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New to Asthma -

Hi everyone -
I'm 35 and while It was suggested to me last April by my primary that I may have Asthma, I wasn't diagnosed until I saw an allergist this past January.  Since January things have been getting progressively worse.  I've been extremely uncontrolled.
I was initially prescribed Symbicort and Ventolin - also Singulair and Cetirizine - but have since been put on Dulera instead of the Symbicort.  I also have been prescribed the use of a Nebulizer 4 x's daily.

I had a CT scan last week with contrast and I was one of the lucky few that had an anaphalactoid reaction.  Everyone made quite a fuss and I was grateful that I was already in the hospital when my throat started to swell.
Since then I've been on Prednisone (finished the course 2 days ago at 60mg) and my other meds - my sleep is basically non-existent and I am a coughing and wheezing mess.

I am waiting for my doctor to call me back today to discuss more Pred. and possibly Xolair.  
I feel extremely out of control - I am naturally scared and the memory of what happened last week in the CT is still right there with me.  
Is it usually this hard to get Asthma under control?
I am taking my meds, resting - basically not doing anything - and I am still a mess.  
My symptoms are more of the coughing kind - with wheezing when I lay down - very tight chested - short of breath when talking too much or moving around a lot.

Oh - CT was fine - it did show Asthma but no big bad E or C.  I am a smoker.  I have been reading Allen Carr's The Easy Way to Quit Smoking and have 6 chapters to go.  
The other issue is cats and dust - I am very allergic to both and we have a cat - she's been with me for 10 years now - sorry folks - she's not going anywhere - as idiotic as that may sound.  

Am thinking maybe I should go stay somewhere until this "flare" gets under control.
I have no clue - I am exhausted and spent and feel like I've gone crazy...

Can anyone else relate?
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746512_tn?1388811180
You must look into ways to control your allergies.  The only medication you aren't on is the xolair and daily prednisone which has serious side effects and is a last resort.  You could ask about adding Atrovent to your nebulizer as it helps ventolin works better to control your breathing.

As for the allergies, are your symptoms controlled with the reactine, besides the asthma?  

You should get someone to watch your cat and spend a week or so with low dust and cat dander until the flare subsides - A VERY good idea.  A hotel that does allow cats or a friends' home with minimal carpet/drapery etc and no pets of any sorts.

Once your flare get under control and you are able to live with the cat without major symptoms (which may happen and yes I know it would be horrible - I cried for 2 weeks straight when my "asthma" was out of control and my respiralogist really really wanted me to get rid of my 2 cats - I'm soooo glad I didn't have asthma - long story so its not relevant now)

IF your asthma can get under control (and that is a big if at this moment), you will need to remove as many things that can collect dust as possible - limit carpet, horizontal surfaces, anything soft and non-washable.  Ideally your bedroom would be hardwood and contain your bed and that's it.  Buy allergen covers for your box spring, mattress and pillows.  Wash your sheets and blankets every week (or close to that) in hot water to kill the dust mites or using lanudary additives that are designed to kill dust mites - sometimes hard to find in stores, easy to buy over internet.  

Your cat MUST stay out of the bedroom (I know it ***** but it is very necessary because your lungs are the most vulnerable to allergens at night), wash hands and face after touching them and try VERY hard not to kiss and rub your nose into their fur (it was actually impossible for me to do that, it was weird).  Limit your contact with the cat as much as possible, especially when you have any sort of asthma symptoms.  The cat should be washed with water once a week and brushed twice daily to limit the amount of hair around the house.  A product that is worth more than gold is called allerpet-c, a liquid that you wipe the cat with once a week (works best if you bathe the cat first to remove the built up dander, let them lick themselves dry which puts more dander back on their coat and THEN use the allerpet).  It is scientifically proven (I found and read their original research and I'm a upper level science student) that it denatures the cat dander (protein you are allergic too) so you physically can't have a reaction to the original protein.  

This was a lot of information but implying it all will help over a period of time plus as much cleaning as you can do.  I used all of these once I found out that my severe allergies were not to grass like I thought but instead to cats and mild dust mites.  If you live in the US, the following website is full of great products and information - however riducolous shipping prices if you are in Canada ($80 shipping - 30 from company (reasonable) and 50 from UPS at arrival for $120 purchase).

http://www.achooallergy.com/pets-allerpetC.asp

Hopefully your asthma settles down soon!!  Once it is under control, think about getting allergy shots because they will greatly help your allergies (completely got rid of mine - including blood and skin tests went from +4 (cats) and +2 (dust mites) out of 5 to negative results.  If your asthma is mainly allergy based, it would greatly help that as well.

Let me know if was anything you didn't understand because I don't have time to proof read it because I'm suppose to be studying for 2 midterms coming up next week and my vet school interview on saturday (oops the downside of notes on computer and wireless internet)
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746512_tn?1388811180
You must look into ways to control your allergies.  The only medication you aren't on is the xolair and daily prednisone which has serious side effects and is a last resort.  You could ask about adding Atrovent to your nebulizer as it helps ventolin works better to control your breathing.

As for the allergies, are your symptoms controlled with the reactine, besides the asthma?  

You should get someone to watch your cat and spend a week or so with low dust and cat dander until the flare subsides - A VERY good idea.  A hotel that does allow cats or a friends' home with minimal carpet/drapery etc and no pets of any sorts.

Once your flare get under control and you are able to live with the cat without major symptoms (which may happen and yes I know it would be horrible - I cried for 2 weeks straight when my "asthma" was out of control and my respiralogist really really wanted me to get rid of my 2 cats - I'm soooo glad I didn't have asthma - long story so its not relevant now)

IF your asthma can get under control (and that is a big if at this moment), you will need to remove as many things that can collect dust as possible - limit carpet, horizontal surfaces, anything soft and non-washable.  Ideally your bedroom would be hardwood and contain your bed and that's it.  Buy allergen covers for your box spring, mattress and pillows.  Wash your sheets and blankets every week (or close to that) in hot water to kill the dust mites or using lanudary additives that are designed to kill dust mites - sometimes hard to find in stores, easy to buy over internet.  

Your cat MUST stay out of the bedroom (I know it ***** but it is very necessary because your lungs are the most vulnerable to allergens at night), wash hands and face after touching them and try VERY hard not to kiss and rub your nose into their fur (it was actually impossible for me to do that, it was weird).  Limit your contact with the cat as much as possible, especially when you have any sort of asthma symptoms.  The cat should be washed with water once a week and brushed twice daily to limit the amount of hair around the house.  A product that is worth more than gold is called allerpet-c, a liquid that you wipe the cat with once a week (works best if you bathe the cat first to remove the built up dander, let them lick themselves dry which puts more dander back on their coat and THEN use the allerpet).  It is scientifically proven (I found and read their original research and I'm a upper level science student) that it denatures the cat dander (protein you are allergic too) so you physically can't have a reaction to the original protein.  

This was a lot of information but implying it all will help over a period of time plus as much cleaning as you can do.  I used all of these once I found out that my severe allergies were not to grass like I thought but instead to cats and mild dust mites.  If you live in the US, the following website is full of great products and information - however riducolous shipping prices if you are in Canada ($80 shipping - 30 from company (reasonable) and 50 from UPS at arrival for $120 purchase).

http://www.achooallergy.com/pets-allerpetC.asp

Hopefully your asthma settles down soon!!  Once it is under control, think about getting allergy shots because they will greatly help your allergies (completely got rid of mine - including blood and skin tests went from +4 (cats) and +2 (dust mites) out of 5 to negative results.  If your asthma is mainly allergy based, it would greatly help that as well.

Let me know if was anything you didn't understand because I don't have time to proof read it because I'm suppose to be studying for 2 midterms coming up next week and my vet school interview on saturday (oops the downside of notes on computer and wireless internet)
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144586_tn?1284669764
I am curious as to how the CT "showed asthma". Asthma does not show on a CT unless you have had a severe attack andf your lungs are plugged with mucus.

The dye contrast in the CT is more of a hazard than the dye in an MRI.

That being said, you have to take a long hard look at your surroundings and the "triggers" that are around you.

You must always (forever) keep a rescue inhaler avilable, but there is hope that your symptoms will diminish and disappear.

My advise is to find the cat another home. A good one. If you are in fact allergic to this animal then you are placing yourself in a life-threatening position. People die from asthma.

Tammy2009 has provided you with excellent advice regarding ridding your home of substances that act as antigens.

Oral prednisone works well, but is not recommended for long-term relief because of the side effects.
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490398_tn?1319944317
Tammy -

Thank you so much for all of the good info on how to get better results living with a cat!
My cat hasn't been inside my bedroom in about 4 years now.  I can actually leave the door open when gathering clothes or what have you and she'll sit down right outside the door and watch.  

My room is my safe room - though it is being improved this weekend.  I am heading out for Saturday to my parents house and my fiance and my mom are going to change things according to my doctors suggestions - removing things that attract dust and adding more allergy covers to my pillows etc. My mattress is already good to go.
I'm grateful you don't have asthma as well :).
Thank you for your detailed info and reply!  

Caregiver -

Thank you as well for the information and suggestions.  As for how the CT "showed" asthma - I have no idea.  I just report what I'm told and I was told it's just showing asthma - no emphysema, no pneumonia and no cancer.  I was in an incredible flare at the time of the CT - which is probably why I reacted to the dye, according my doctor.

I do know people die from Asthma - I have been reading about this disease non-stop for two weeks now.  That said - Quality of Life is something I am striving for - with my doctors help I should be able to keep my cat and get through the worst of this.

Thanks so much for your thoughts.

I fought for it and I have a weekend free of Prednisone!  I have spirometry and another CT on Monday - this time with out dye.  They want to look at my sinuses.  I also have Barretts disease so it's possible that GERD is giving my lungs a hard time.

My doctor will not give me allergy shots until I'm through this but my insurance will cover them and we will be heading down that path once I am better Asthma-wise.

Thank you both again for your replies.

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Avatar_m_tn
This pranayam will send extra oxygen to the lungs and help to control the asthma.You will start to notice the benefit after 4 weeks.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom pranayam –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
March 26 ,2011
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