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Asthma

Seeking Proper Medical Help

12/18/2000

Question:

I am frustrated. I was fine a week ago. Then we had a blizzard and when I came in from shoveling snow I was wheezing. Now almost a week later and 3 visits to the doctors office , I am still wheezing and it is not getting any better.

Every time I have gone to the doctor's office they say, "You are really wheezing," and give me a nebulizer treatment and then its "there, now you sound much better" and send me home with a handful of prescriptions. I`ve been taking the prescriptions religiously but it seems like as soon as the nebulizer wears off I start wheezing again. I can breathe much better after the nebulizer, but it does not seem to last, and this is getting expensive. Isn`t there anything that will last a little longer? I can`t afford to keep going to the doctor for a nebulizer treatment almost every day. Plus my stomach and back and shoulder muscles are getting too sore to cough up the mucus that collects in my lungs when I wheeze. The only time I can cough it all up is after I`ve been on the nebulizer. But then a few hours later I start wheezing again and it starts all over again.

What do I need to say to my doctor in order to communicate that I can`t keep doing this and I`m not getting any better? I feel like he is always in such a hurry he doesn`t listen to me, just sticks the stethescope up to my chest and then I get hustled off to the nebulizer room and then boom, as soon as its finished I`m out the door and I never even got to say why I`m there.

I have been tempted to go into the ER almost every night but I hate the ER, and besides its so expensive I really can`t afford it. But I`m starting to feel like I almost have to wind up in the hospital before anyone will notice that I`m not getting any better.

Answer:

I`m sorry about your frustration. However, you`re asking for a specific diagnosis and treatment plans, which is more than I can provide online. I cannot further comment as I don`t even know what "handful of prescriptions" you`re taking. Only a detailed history and physical exam by a healthcare professional can provide enough information to make a specific diagnosis or treatment plan. As you seem rather fed up you might try requesting a referral to either a pulmonary or allergy specialist. NetWellness offers a referrals/directories page, which might help you to find the type of specialist that you seek. To access it, follow the "Click here for a referral" link at the left of this screen.

For more information:

Go to the Asthma health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mitchell C Rashkin, MD Mitchell C Rashkin, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati