In Jan this year, I had acute onset of dyspnea, chest heavyness, audible wheezing, like a whistling when I exhaled. I was smoking at the time, been smoking off and on since I was a teen, I am 43 now. I have had some long periods when I didn't smoke. This last time was for about 4 months, pack every 3 days. When this began that was it for the cigs. I used my Albuterol ( I have a hx of allergic asthma I thought, but maybe it never was) but it didn't take the sensation away completely. If much at all. My Ex wife, and I got a dog around this time, I am allergic, so thought it was the dog. Went to see the GP, he listened to my lungs, sounded fine, except on forced expiration, when I coughed and wheezed. Prescribed a steroid inhaler. I used it, and it did take away a dry cough I had, otherwise no difference really. Maybe slight. Had a CXR too, was normal. Saw a Pulmo in April, thought it wast he dog. Sent me to a allergist for testing, even tho I knew I was allergic. She did spirometry in late May, well above normal. My FVC/FEV1 was 78. FEV, FVC both over 100. Still I had the constant dyspnea. Prescribed Dulera, not much difference. Maybe some. But not much.
I have been away since June fron New Mexico, and the dog. I am in Alaska now. Been on a ship, on shore, in different places. But the dyspnea remains. ALL the time. The whistling noise, the heaviness of breath. Wheezing. I go to stand up, it gets worse, I walk, it is worse. You can hear it, well I can. Take a shower worse. Always there. Sometimes I exercise, not as heavy as I used to, and I don't notice it as much, but I still do, if that makes sense. When I stop, sometimes the whistling, the heavyness intensifies. Lifted weights this morning and was so out of breath, thought my heart was gonns leap out of my chest. 02 sats 96-98. And I have this sore throat too, especailly after activity. Mornings seem to be the worst. No cough, no phlegm, no fever. I have not been sick this year, thankfully. I wake up with a dry mouth every morning, used to breath through my nose at night mostly.
I had a spirometry done 5 days ago: FVC:6.06, FEV1 4.39, FEV1/FVC 72.9
Post Albuterol: 6.49, 4.79 73.8. Yes, good numbers, well above normal. Except for the ratio which is close to the cutoff of 0.70. Even went to 68 today when I did one, and came up to 72, post Albuterol. That is a big difference from May! Still, with how I feel, not sure how this is possible. I have constant dyspnea and this whistling, harsh breath sounds. Feel like they are in my throat. If I do a forced expiration, you can tell I wheeze as well. I wonder if I have emphysema, and have for awhile, but thought it was exercise asthma. I never used my inhlaer much prior to this, and when I did, any wheezing went away COMPLETELY. Now I use it more often, and not much change. Lasts maybe 2 hours, and I am still uncomfortable.
I am supposed to see the Pulmo doc on 11/9, for full PFT's. I emailed him the spirometry and he said it looked fine. Asked him to comapre it to May, have not heard back. Not that it matters I guess. I know you can have emphysema, and normal PFT's, but how I feel, I should be late stage, yet the spirometry says otherwise. Many people have early COPD, and no sxs. What gives? I know it affects everyone different, but this is crazy. People can have norma spiro, but a low DLCO, I guess I will know soon. I may ask for a chest CT too. The pulmo said if PFTs normal, then we can discuss other causes. Guess I wil know soon. I asked him about the FEV1/FVC ratio. He said I was overreading it. That handheld spiro makes results look worse than they are. Mine were "normal". But I feel like crap, since Jan! Overall, it is not as intense as it was at the start, but in some ways feels worse. Especially the past few days.
Anyway, thought I would pick some brains on here. See if anyone had similar circumstances? Opinions please. I know the numbers look ok, but I feel terrible. As I write this, I still have the feeling. Especially in the morning. I have this high pulse rate and worse dyspnea, even with standing, walking. A few weeks ago, I could hit the sauna for an hour or more. Lucky I can get 30 min, if not less. Tired all the time and get dyspnea from talking. If I think back to last spring, I had a similar problem, something didn't feel right in my chest, and I had the harsh breath sounds in my throat, mild dyspnea. Stopped smoking then, had been for like 3 months. This went on until July I think. Also happened in 2011, just came on out of nowhere. Was told I had vocal cor dysfunction. Can't recall if I was smoking. I didn't have the fixed wheeze then. This is different though. Didn't wheeze like I do now. Maybe I have had copd awhile, but didn't know it, discounted it as Asthma, not sure anymore. I just feel like crap! I use Albuterol now, maybe once a day, takes the edge off. I could use it more, but what is the point? Does not really help. Even if I had mild copd, the amnt of breathlessness is too much! Ill admit, I am anxious, not sleeping very well, this is understandable. Not in my head, despite the long winded post. Yeah I am depressed and anxious. No hx of either of those. Ill add that I have not had a cig since Jan, soon as this began. I knew something was wrong and was done.
Ok, don't mean to come across as neurotic, just I am super bothered by this. Please excuse the long post. Many of you have lived it. Appreciate any feedback.