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I'm pretty sure my asthma and my anxiety issues are feeding the shit out of each other (pdoc and gdoc both agree that this is probably so) so I finally decided to (wo)man up and get myself a referral for the asthma clinic over at the chest hospital.

I've been diagnosed with asthma for about two years and I can't get it under control. I'm currently on -deep breath- Flovent (250 mcg 2x/day), Flonase (2x once/day), Serevent (50 mcg 2x/day), Singulair (10), Zyrtec (10) and Famotidine (10) (my gdoc's latest theory of desperation is that I might be yakking acid into my lungs ;) ) and I'm still having a lot of breakthrough shortness of breath and coughing despite these meds' having been added pretty much one at a time over the past year to try to get my lungs to sit down and shut up.

Problem is, I really don't have a resting wheeze unless I have an infection (I don't wheeze when I'm just straight-up flaring, though I do when I exert myself), and my personal best peak flow (460) is somehow well above what it's supposed to be for my age/height/weight (it's supposed to be about 420, apparently), so when I go to the doctor and tell them my peak flow is in my yellow zone (410-420) they don't really see this as a problem, whereas for me that number translates into significantly impaired breathing (as does anything below about 440).

My chest is tight almost all the time during my bad periods, even when I'm just sitting down. I do have periods where my breathing is clear, but never for more than a month or so at a time, and then I have periods of weeks or months when I'm constantly coughing and puffing at the slightest exertion and I can't get a deep breath in even when I'm sitting still. The allergist I originally/briefly saw when I was diagnosed said it was only RAD, but I'm pretty sure she was an idiot.

I'm hoping for a big medication restructuring when I go to the clinic in January and definitely some updated testing and diagnosis confirmation and I'd like to sort of go in there with an idea of what they might recommend/try/want to test me for as an alternative diagnosis. I know y'all are some of the most empowered patients around, so I figured I'd ask around here. Doctors make me super anxious (especially the kind with needles, as these ones are VERY likely to have :) ) so I'll feel better if I go in there with some idea of what sorts of test they're going to want to do and/or what other/new meds have worked for people. I was thinking about asking for Symbicort or Combivent (my flovent/serevent combo is equivalent to Advair, cuz it's a LABA and a corticosteroid, only it's different chemicals). Obviously I'm gonna let the nice docs do their jobs (I'm even going to let them stick me with needles -sigh- I've PROMISED myself I'm going to be good and not flip the shit and run the other way ^_^ ) but you know how it is - I always feel better when I'm a partner and not a toy patient. I've had too much of that already :)

Anyway, I'm just wondering - does anyone else have this sort of really recalcitrant (mild?) asthma? What's worked for you? What should I expect from this clinic? I know they're gonna wanna do spirometry and the dreaded allergy skin test...grr...

Thanks y'all :P

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Hi, I have mild asthma too. I don't wheeze unless I'm having an attack, or it's *cold* out, or I've overexerted myself. I'm not on a maintenance inhaler, I only have an emergency inhaler. I haven't been to a doctor for it for a long time except for a gp back when I had my crappy student insurance - which is how I got the emergency inhaler.

Anyway, I guess I don't have any advice for you other than to agree that your anxiety is probably feeding your asthma and visa versa.

Blah, my mind just shut down. Sorry for the useless reply.

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I was diagnosed with severe asthma at age 8 and had to do those horrible treaments in the ER SO MANY times I cant count. But as I got older I got better. I'm now just on an emergency inhaler Albuteral (which Ive literally been on since I was 8) and it still helps attacks. I usually get an attack if I jump from warm to cold (i usually have an attack jumping in a pool and cant breathe for 10 minutes) or from walking or exerting myself (especially outside with the cold and the allergens and all that icky fun stuff). I feel you though. I REALLY understand that anxiety and asthma FEED of eachother. Because they do. I have to control anxiety to control asthma. Especially with panic attacks.

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