Hi there! I'm new here. As the title says really, I'm confused. I'm 59, took early retirement nearly two years ago and live with my husband and an assortment of animals, including 10 cats (soon to become 11). We also have llamas and a pig on our 2.5 acres. Over the past 10 years or more, I had what I thought were attacks of bronchitis. After coughing like mad for a couple of months I would go to the doctor who gave me antibiotics. They didn't work, I didn't go back, but the coughing eventually went.
Then 8 months ago it started again and I would be up all night sometimes with a cough that felt as though it would break my ribs. I eventually went to the doctor (I had also come down with cellulitis by then) and was put on 3,000mg antibiotics/day. The cellulitis cleared, but I still had the cough.
Then I was given a 5 day course of prednisolone (I know this steroid well having used it for our cats and ferrets). It worked. The doctor didn't explain why, but suggested I try an inhaler. Still under the impression I had bronchitis, I declined. About 5 days later I began wheezing again, so back to the doctor who gave me Symbicort. I felt like new.
The only trouble is that I've had umpteen cases of very painful oral thrush. I rinse and gargle very well, brush my teeth afterwards and recently kept gargling with salty water through the day. I'm sitting here now unable to eat and it's even painful to drink. I still have some Nystan left over from a previous episode, so fingers crossed it will improve soon.
They tried me on Qvar, but after 5 days I was wheezing again. After 10 days the cough was getting bad, so I gave up and returned to the Symbicort.
My normal doctor left recently and I can't seem to get on with the other one. In over 20 years I have only been there a couple of times and don't know any of them well. They haven't (or won't) give me a diagnosis, only saying it might be asthma.
Apart from the cough, I also get bouts of sneezing and about once a fortnight I can't breathe through my nose at all. Cue another sleepless night sitting downstairs in a chair. I'm on Loratadine for that and so far (about a week), there has been no sneezing. (The episodes were odd and would often start around 1.30 in the morning. No idea what I was suddenly exposed to that I hadn't been earlier).
So now I've taken myself off Symbicort and don't fancy another trip to the doctor. I have little trust having been let down when I had Septicaemia a few years ago. The hospital put me on pills that I couldn't keep down. Hubby rang the doctor, but she didn't call back all day and he rang back to catch her leaving for home at the end of the day. Things could have turned out very badly.
Sorry for the long post. So I think I may have asthma and perhaps it's allergy related, but to what, I don't know. I've not been offered any tests to find out, although I guess it's something I can't avoid. I have no idea if I can continue on the antihistamines alone. I don't know whether to change doctors and if I do, what should I be asking for?