I know I haven't posted a new thread in a while but thought I'd let you know what's going on. In graduate school I was diagnosed with moderate persistent asthma, and treated with several meds for that and reflux, only the coughing didn't ever really go away. Also, I would take oral steroids at least 4 times a year. Anyways, over the years it's gotten much worse. I had what turned out to be pneumonia (or some sort of lung infection) for six months this year between June and November.
So I went back to a pulmonologist I'd seen a few times and he confirmed that I was actually aspirating (breathing in the food I was eating down the wrong way), which was causing the repeated pneumonia. This was caused by this weird congenital thing called a vascular ring, which is actually an alternative look alike diagnosis to asthma. Basically I would take massive amounts of asthma meds, and it sort of acted like a bandaid....helping things enough that I could sort of function and get through, but not really helping like it would if I really had asthma.
So anyways, major blood vessels around my heart were actually wrapped around my trachea (causing wheezing) and my esophagus (causing the trouble swallowing and aspiration). So I ended up at a heart specialist in January at a major heart hospital here in the States, and ended up seeing a heart surgeon. So in February I had two surgeries to move my left arm artery that was wrapped around my esophagus, and to repair my aorta which is wrapped around my trachea.
So....the story goes no one is certain whether these blood vessels were causing all my problems, or whether I also have asthma. So last week my cardiologist asked me to go off of serevent, and I was terrified as I've been ask to try this before and it's never worked. But I did it hoping that they were right and this other thing was causing a lot of my problems.....
So the exciting news is....I can actually breathe and I'm only taking singulair and one puff a day of flovent (no long acting broncodilators). So I'm really hopeful taking less meds will work this time. They said that I will still probably get lung infections, but that it will be like a few times a year and much easier to deal with. It just seems easier to deal with because I finally have a plan that fits my symptoms anyways.
But I hope you guys don't mind if I still hang around here, because really you're the only people I've found who really understand what it's like to have trouble breathing like I do all the time where I'm ending up in the hospital. Even when I had this surgery to fix this thing I ended up getting pneumonia afterwards.....my doctors were surprised, but I really wasn't!
Anyways, I think this is good news :). After a very long time something seems to be finally getting better.