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Heavy Chest, Shortness of Breath
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Heavy Chest, Shortness of Breath

Sorry this is long, but if you will please read and give me your opinions! I've been keeping log since it first happen and adding to it as time goes on.

PLEASE HELP! My mom, 43 yrs. old, is having shortness of breath, chest tightness, she sounds like she is whispering when she talks because she can't get enough air to talk normal and pain in feet. This all began 3 weeks after a trip to the Beach. My dad was sick and we went to a drive in movie in the mountains- after that night she has been sick. My mom was diagnosed with bronchitis/ pneumonia on June 26; her white blood count was 17 and her lungs were bad in the x-ray. She was given Avelox 400 mg, Nohist-Plus, Preventil HFA and a shot of Roceferin. She went back on July 3 and was given Benzonatate 100 mg, Advair and a steroid shot. Still sick, she went back on July 30 and her WBC was good/ lungs were worse than at first. She was given M-End WC (cough medicine), Zolpidem 10mg, Prednisone 10 mg, Mucinex, and was told the AdVair made it worse and to not take it anymore. She still didn't get better so she went back on August 5. Her blood count was going back up and her lungs were the same. So she was given Factive 320 mg., Singulair 10 mg, Proventil HFA Inhaler, and ADvair and a steroid shot. August 7 she went to the Pulmonologist and was told her X-Rays look fine and they did the Spirometer breathing 'test' in which she passed with flying colors! The only thing he could see was that she was "Holding" a little air somewhere and was put on Singulair again! It hasn't helped at all! Everytime we've been to the doctor she has had a 98% or better oxygen level and her blood pressure is good. She doesn't smoke- no negative health before or in family history. (Her dad had a stroke at 45 yrs. old.)

She has had blood work to check for Congestive Heart Failure- and didn't show any signs of it. She has passed all lung tests. They had her on Nexium to see if it is GERD, but she knows what heart burn is and says that isn't what she is feeling. Nexium also didn't have much of an impact on how she felt. She is now on a "Fluid Pill" to help her get fluid out of her aveloi and lungs. She is feeling alot better than at first, she just has days when she feels as though she smothers a lot. If she lifts are arms above her head or tilt her head back she can't breath.

We had to take her to the ER because she couldn't breath back in early October. They did CTs, X-Rays, Blood Work, Artrial Blood Gas Test, EKG...etc... and they said they couldn't find anything!! They just gave her Doxycycline. The day after she couldn't feel her arms from elbow down nor could she feel from her knees down. Late that night she got feeling again. A day or two after she passed blood when she had a bowel movement. We were afraid it was an allergic reaction so we stopped the Doxycycline. The blood in the bowel movements stopped within a few days.

She went back to her regular doctor and he said she had Costrochondritis- inflammation where the ribs and sternum meet.

She began to feel better for a few weeks. And beginning Friday she is sick again! She began to have the chills, hoarsness, FATIGUE, smothering and chest heaviness. ** The nights she has a "Smothering Attack" she is usually nauseated before bed.** She has been taking Zoloft for her nerves for years now, but we switched her to Cymbalta to see if it would help her. Tonight she woke up not able to feel her arms or face, her chest was really heavy and she was waving her arms in the air. The days she does more physical activity or is very stressful at work are the worst days for her and she is literally too tired to move when she gets home and feels horrible. She is scared to go to sleep because she is afraid she isn't going to wake up.

** This is not my normal mom- she is usually active, laughing and enjoying life. PLEASE HELP WITH IDEAS!! I can't find anything on the internet and I can't get any doctors around to find out what is going on.
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3 Comments
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi

Thanks for the post! How is your mother now? I can understand your frustration!

One thing is certain. Her problems started following an infection. This infection could have affected her spinal nerves supplying the face and chest. This could Thus though her lung function is ok now, because the respiratory muscles of the chest and abdomen do not function properly, she feels the shortness of breath and suffocation. Maybe nerve conduction studies should be done for all spinal nerves in the cervical and thoracic spines. This is also the reason for her numbness. The symptoms are maximum when she is least alert that is while sleeping for then there is no voluntary component for her actions and breathing.

Alternatively you must think in terms of an autoimmune process and get her investigated in that line.

I think you should discuss these possibilities with your doctor. It is difficult to comment beyond this without examining and various tests. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!

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586504_tn?1226476765
Thank you so much! It is nice to finally get a reply somewhere.  She was feeling better for a few weeks, now after a very stressful week she is sick again!  what kind of doctor looks at autoimmune processes or should I get a referral to an neurologist?
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi

Please get a referral to a neurologist first to rule our spinal nerve problem. My guess is that since stress and physical fatigue precipitates her problem, the chances of spinal nerve involvement is more. Autoimmune disorders can be diagnosed by an Internal Medicine specialist.

Do keep me posted. All the best!
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