Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Asthma Forum

Can't Take a Deep Breath (Page 16)


June 29th, 2009
To Geoffrey, Grapes, and All
Geoffrey - After reading your post last night I finally jumped on the idea of it being related to hypothyroid. I have always been low, but never hypo. I noticed other people on the thread mentioned this too, but your post really spoke to me. Did you read mine? We have a very similar history. Mine began 2/1, I have been on disability from work since, was diagnosed with GERD affecting my larynx, and have lost 40 pounds. This must have been extremely stressful for you to lose 91 pounds, esp considering your hypothyroid dx. I know it has been for me. I'll be getting my thyroid tested Wednesday, and it better show hypo, because I know my diaphragm doesn't work right, it's not all in my head. One thing that has helped me through this is a weekly myofascia release with an OTR. Have you tried that? It opens up the intercostal muslces in the ribs and allows for better breathing. Unfortunately it's a bandage instead of a cure, but has definitely helped me cope all along. Please let us know how your test comes out and if thyroid medication helps.

Hi Grapes - Thanks for your reply. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to go on this thread. I did last week and I had to get off because it was making me worse. Sorry so slow to reply. I think that is really neat that you own your own flower shop. Sounds like a labor of love. My dream is to open a small health food cafe, California style. You konw, lots of sprouts and sunflower seeds? Since I've been sick I've had alot of time to plan my cafe. Now all I need is my health back so I can start! Have you considerd that it could be related to your thyroid too? You did have a 12 year span inbetween problems, so maybe not likely. It wouldn't hurt to have it tested though.

Also, I have to mention how important diet/detoxing/stress reduction is if we want to be healthy today. I am a nutritionist, but unfortunately wasn't able to heal myself until after this whole crisis. Now I understand the power that stress has over our bodies and that you don't mess around with it. It's playing with fire. Same goes for nutrition and detoxing/avoiding chemicals. Another great one is Weston A. Price Foundation. The information they have may seem extreme, but when you consider that 1 out of 4 people are supposed to get cancer nowadays it kind of puts things in in perspective...we have a very unhealthy country! (The US)

The best of health to all!

Maureen
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replied June 29th, 2009
hello everyone! oh man i am so glad i found this page. out of the blue in the middle of the day i started to have a hard time breathing so i went to the ER, they found nothingand since then i have been having an extemely hard time breathing and its been a year and have had every test done to me imaginable with nothing showing up except i had 1 pos ANA and high liver enzymes and when they rececked they were okay. i am currently taking advair, singulair, an inhaler, mucinex, xanax,vitamins, and pantoprazole. nothing is helping, i cannot get a deep breath at all, so i find myself sighing and yawning continuosly. i am at my whits end. my ribs shoulders and back hurts when i feel like this. it happens probably about 4 out of the 7 days a week. i cant function at all sometimes and i am a stay at home mom of 2 girls, which is stressful, but they are 3 and 6 so its not so bad. i am about 30 lbs overweight, which i am trying hard to lose. other than breathing and acid reflux i am in pretty good health. even when i went for the spirometer it came back okay, but asthma with acid reflux is all the pulmonologist can come up with, yet its still not under control. does anyone have any good coping mechanisms for this because i dont see anyone haveing a "cure". we should all put as much info about ourselves as possible on here because it seems like we need to find a common denominater.
i am 24
female
Live in oklahoma my whole life
married with 2 kids
in college
have 1 outside dog
i smoke about 2 ciggs a day, cut back from a half pack.
i have been healthy all my life except 1 cyst removal and pneumonia when i was a teenager.

i have one more question, has anyone previously or is presently on any antidepressants? i have been on zoloft and paxil in the past after each of my kids was born, but i havent been since i have had this breathing problem. was wondering if it helped or made it worse?

thanks talk to ya soon.
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replied June 30th, 2009
this is the biggest thread on this forum, with the most misunderstood problem, that we all have. Ok, i have posted a few times on here because i feel i want to contribute my options. i have noticed that many of you are in your twenties and tirties. When i first had this problem i was only 27 years old. It was unbearable then because i didn't understand what it was(as i have pointed out in my earlier post). I wish then i had the internet to hear from everyone like i have now on this thread. It is the best thread there is on the matter. I think it is very important to accept that what we have is not life threating. I have survived and been cured from it all those years. However, now in my forties i have had a little come back on it. This time round i understand more what it is. I still think it is cronic hyperventilation symdron, which is more common in youger people. Even though you may not be breathing fast or out of breath i think our bodies are used to being hyper and thats what gives us the urge to keep wanting to breath in, hense the odd breathing pattern because we are trying to control our breathing. Its difficult to explain but if you observe youself like i have been doing recently you will uinderstand what you are doing. I am almost there with it going away again: been less stressed and trying not to think about it much.Hense, body seems to going more into relaxed mode. It is truly and after affect of anxiety that you may have experienced lately. i know i'm not a doctor but i have enough experience to understand it somehow. It can't be physical, if you are ok, when doing something you like or when you are not thinking about the problem. I will point out though that it is worse when you are relaxed because your body is probably not used to relaxing! Am i making any sense?? When i am at my most physical, eg walking, gardening, walking down Samara Gauge, i'm fine! Please everyone realise how stressed you really are, even though it does not appear so. Hope i have tried to explain a bit more. Meglaws 2,- i come from London, female, have no health problems, the right weight, don't smoke,eat well, and although 46 now, have been told i am like a 20 year old, always feel i have to be on the go. hope this helps a little. I'll keep posting, if i think it helps everyone. Bye for now.
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replied July 1st, 2009
YES!
hey everyone,

i really wanted to make sure to post here--i always promised as i discovered answers that i'd return to help out other people. i am exactly what everyone has been describing--a musician in los angeles, 29 years old, healthy, young, etc., etc., etc., yet i get marvelous periods of times where i have air hunger. sometimes this happens in public, sometimes alone at home, etc. sometimes it doesn't happen at all.

since this all started about a year and a half ago, i've seen many doctors and have been able to figure a lot of it out. the thing i learned from a great doctor was that it was quite possibly a combination of several things that were causing what seemed like ONE problem, making it difficult for doctors to understand (i was given inhalers, anxiety meds, talked to a therapist--who dubbed me as understanding and grounded as he was after his many years of Eastern philosophy and study, and so on). i felt so alone in finding a cure, and I two or three times thought i was going to die from passing out while driving or embarrass myself by passing out on stage, etc.

enough about me, but see if any of this makes any sense:

1. i have some kind of silent reflux problem. next time you can't breathe, regardless of if your stomach feels fine, try taking 4 Tums and see if there's a nearly immediate difference.

2. i also have stress injuries to my spinal cord--not major surgery type injuries, but try this and see what happens (it's painless). Set up your bed where you can ONLY sleep on your back throughout the whole night. Turns out with piano and laptop work all the time that I've cause myself some problems--and my breathing is incredibly worse after a night on the laptop or too much music playing in the span of a day or two. I wonder if everyone here is nearly always working on a computer?

I use ice packs (never heat) on my back once a day while I watch the Daily Show at night. try it--again, it costs next to nothing to get an ice pack, but it does make a difference. I use it from the top of my spine to where the rib cage ends. a cardiologist showed me how slightly compressed nerves in that area help effect how well your chest can expand.

3. I have allergies, too. A lot of drainage. for a while, i thought there was some kind of poison in the air or a mold or something that was tearing me apart. then i went to visit home on the east coast for two weeks--same problems! now i sleep with a humidifier (yes, i live in LA and i sleep in a hot room like a sauna). it helps a lot. i actually think the warm steam helps as much to the body as it does my allergies.

there is SUCH a marked improvement with those steps, even after all the doctors couldn't figure out the problem! i'm not completely better, but now i have good days (and many times, for a week or more) and usually a bad day is easily detected because i forgot to follow my plan above for a day or two.

so to recap, if you haven't found an answer, try this:

1. sleep ONLY on your back, and as flat as you can.
2. ice your back for 1/2 hour a day, pretty much on the spine near the rib cage.
3. try to stay off the laptop/piano/anything that has those movements for as much as you can.
4. if the Tums seem to really help lessen an "attack," talk to your doctor about acid-reducing meds and diet.
5. during "attacks," try to lay flat on your back (more the floor than a bed with pillows) for a little bit. you'd be surprised. Smile

One thing that led to all this was the fact that touring would have particular days where I didn't really eat or sleep much, and although my body should be deteriorating from such, i felt great. then i'd get back to LA and find that a day or two of tons of sleep and eating well and i felt terrible! this started providing some clues, and i swear each post in this thread resonates more than you would know with how i was feeling. i hope this helps other people.

i also wish i could write which band i'm in--i'd love to give hope to everyone by letting them know that you can really still do amazing things and power through this (although YES, sometimes i get really nervous about an attack at the wrong time and sometimes i have to power through an attack day at the wrong time). i haven't died yet. but the band/label won't allow me to tell people this as we have a very public image to uphold and me looking like i can't breathe doesn't fit into that too well. but i promise we're all still alive, many after years of this. death is really no where near this conversation, and major diseases simply work too fast to be listed as a cause.

also, if your symptoms differ a little, do see a doctor--some people do have asthma or other diseases that do need treated. my advice is for those of you like me--major symptoms, but you ACE (not just pass) all the tests they throw at you...
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replied July 1st, 2009
Im just so confused. I dont want to liv elike this anymore and all I do is long ofr the life I had, not realizing how great it was until this happened.
It has affected everything......
Im checking into my THyroid now, I am also curious about the "candida" there have been many symptoms I have linked to that. I truly, honestly know its ot induced by anxiety, its just not the case. I have sleep apnea, and they say it can create "air hunger" during the daytime. I mean, it has gotten much better since February, but nobody, none of us should have to live like this.
My diet is poor, always has been, I dont get enough sleep, I work 5am - 12pm.....I have a great family, good friends, numerous interests and hobbies, and neve, ever had anything liek this happen, althoug I can say thatr i did have two episodes where I woke up at night unable to take a deep breath, freaked out, finally got one and fell back to sleep not remembering about it and it was gone......both times after severely overeating or drinking too much caffeine.

I moved into a new house in Novemeber, and my Mom and I have never been happier, getting it in order, buying things, etc.....We were eating pretty bad and the week thishappened, I can say I ate bad, went to sleep right after eating, then went to work and did it all over again.
I havee been diagnosed with hiatal hernia, gastritis, and slightly inflamed esophogus.
I have been taking prilosec, eating small meals, take .5 xanax daily, probiotics, and no caffeie. I walk almost daily, try to think positive, see a therapist, who said just yesterday that she doesnt think its anxiety(have been seeing her since Feb) ..I just generally dont feel like myself, the iritability, fear of this not going away, I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK !!!!

Im 42, male, single, weigh 284 lbs, down from 376 lbs on 2/8 I have allergies I take nasonex daily, I do notice in bad weather(rain) its worse, and when my nose is stuffed up its worse, I get constipated and up until a year ago, I never had that problem,, it went in, it came out...period.
I have had a stress test(fine) Ecco(fine) lung function (fine) Sleep study (sever OSA) I got the machine to sleep with and I guess I can hope that will help, Had an endoscopy and explained earlier what was found, numerous, I mean dozens of folkd say right away that when I tell them my symptoms, its the hiatal hernia, and diet, losing weight, and the medicine will make the symptoms go away, It has improved, it really has, but its so frustrating, I know its something physical and I need to find a cure...I have a life to live and right now its on hold.

Help
Geoffrey
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replied July 1st, 2009
Difficulty getting full breath, need to yawn but can't fully.
Erica,

I have the same feeling and it's really frightening, not to mention maddening!
It's been going on for a few months, at first I thought it could be anxiety but not now, not going on for so long, and I literally have it all day everyday, with some moments where it is marginally better every now and again. I have heard people say GERD and other people say anxiety, but I'm still obviously worried about any possibly more serious things. My doctor is giving me nothing and says that it doesn't seem like asthma, even though my peak flow isn't exactly optimum. I am a little anaemic but other than that, blood tests seen normal.
Did you get any further with a diagnosis?
It is exactly as you said, a difficulty getting a deep breath and I am trying to yawn constantly but it never seems to get up and over and I'm just sat there with my mouth gaping open!
Please let me know if you, or anyone else, has been diagnosed.
Thanks Smile
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replied July 1st, 2009
Hello, to all..
I too have this problem off and on for 3 years. I have gone to the Dr.s And Er everyone just say it a panic attack(give meds) But I am not sure? I mean this happens in the middle of the night when I am sleeping. I wake up and I can breath? It is very scary. But I just try and breath in a brown bag and talk myself out of it. It seems to get worse around my period. I am having my thyriod and hormones checked but I have not got the results Yet.I just wish someone would help Because all the DR's want to do is give xanax?? I do not like this medication ( I have 3 kids and can not be on the couch all day) . I also noticed since this has started I can not drink any type of caffeine or chocolate. It also gives me breathing problems. I asked the DR why does this happpen and he has no answer. I think he thinks I am crazy but I am not!!! This is real. So to all the people who read this ...Yes this is real and you are not crazy just try to calm down and get a brown bag and try to know that it will pass. I hope someday there will be help.

Thanks to all ..
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replied July 1st, 2009
Breath your fine!!!!
giggle
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replied July 2nd, 2009
although i still think it is an anxiety problem, i found it very interesting to read that a lot of you have either a hernia or acid reflux, or stuffed up noses. When i first had this problem years ago i was recovering from a stomach ulcer and gastrtis. I am always suffering from a stuffy and runny nose, caused by allergy. Apparently i snore too!!! I wonder if some of these problems trigger our breathing condition which in turn could cause us anxiety???
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replied July 2nd, 2009
The week before this started, I was sick with a cold, I had a stuffed up nose and couldnt breathe through my nose. I used Zicam....needless to say, as I recovered from that, my breathing problem ensued.

We moved to this new house here in November, and I was constantly sick or had/have allergies. There are carpets here, didnt have any in my old house of 24 years, a dog lived here and Im alergic to dogs, I remember now in Nov and Dec having episodes that lasted only for like an hour where I couldnt get a deep breath, and thought it was just because it was stuffy in my house, Then Feb. Bam !! Full on and here ever since......Im in severe agony and suffering. Every aspect of my life has been ruined bu this constant 24 hour problem......I need help

Geoffrey
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replied July 3rd, 2009
Geofffrey,
i know you say you are not stressed now, but were you before. I think this problem is an after effect of stress. I know how terrible it is, it would almost be better to have a physical condition so that we could take a nice tablet to help us!!! Knowing that you are phyiscally ok will help you more; but i think that it is a difficult problem to accept because it is such a horrible, horrible codition. Please don't disspear, even when it is at it's worst,it doesn't mean it's getting worse, it just has different levels of severity depending on how we are feeling. Yes it is a 24 hour problem, when i had it years ago, i had it everyday all day for 6 years and with it reaccurring now, i had forgotton how nasty it was i wish there was a magic cure for it. One day you will wake up and find that it has gone. Don't disppear! I knew one other person with this problem while i had it. She only had it for 6 months: her reply to me was, 'mine's gone because i don't think about it anymore, i don't let it matter.' She was also much more relaxed then me. I was an absoultly hperactive person, and am still like that now.. Relaxing for me is very difficult, could never get a straight hair cut. I leave you for now, but i will keep posting, i'm hooked!!
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replied July 3rd, 2009
Gomogo2000,
thank you for your reply. I'm sorry i meant i am a little Hper not Hypo. Yes, thank you my thyroid is alright. I may go back to the doctors though, because i think i am feeling depressed because of the menopause, at 46!!! Also everyone close to me seems to be too stressed, and i need to let of steam. Keep posting, i like hear how everyone is doing.
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replied July 3rd, 2009
Hello, i too kinda started this with a dry cough and maybe a little sick or feeling like i was getting sick. i remember i used to sigh a lot for probably a couple of months before this all REALLY started. i still sigh alot though and yawn. this is really affecting me bad lately. Out of the ble the other day my friend called me and asked me how i was breathing and i said terribly, and she described how she is feeling and its pretty much the same.
to everyone thats had kids, does is kinda feel like your 9 months preggo and everything is smashed inside, and your chest and back are kinda achy? thats kinda how i am feeling, right at this moment.
i also live in a house that the previous owners had an indoor dog, but i lived here for 2 yrs before this started.
has anyone had a leaky roof, or a mice problem? those were the only changes in my life when this started. however they are both fixed now and the breathing hasnt changed. i dunno i am just rambling trying to come up with something, because i dont think i am crazy, or a person with high anxiety issues. i think its something we just need to figure out what it is.
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replied July 4th, 2009
Meglaws2 and all,
yesterday i read something about 'Breathing Retraining' look under yahoo Breathing Retraining. That was the first article i read that explained about three types of breathing pattern disorders.
1) panting and rapid breathing (causing anxiety attacks)
2)cronic habitual breathing--which is a slight increase in depth & speed of breathing
3) sighing, yawning & gasping WHAT WE ALL HAVE ON THIS THREAD. caused by negative emotions and thouhgts which leads to excessively deep breathing leading to mild hyperventilation. Everyone don't you think that sounds like us???
What we have is difficult to describe because we are not getting the panic with it, just the severe tension in our upper bodies and obvious;ly not being able to breath. Anyway,the same rules apply to all breathing problems. That is to learn how to slow the breathing down, not take big deep breaths but slow controlled ones. I tried the slow contolled breaths and it really does relaxe you. However, i think we are not used to breathing slowly, so that is why we are SUFFERING!!! Please read the article it didn,t have a web address.
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replied July 4th, 2009
Hi guys, hope all are doing well, or at least trying.
Boy, I just cant get a handle on this thing and its literally driving me insane.

I am so confused, it is mental, is it physical, is it a deficiancy, is it a disorder........Yikes !

Everytime I think its one thing, something convinces me its another.

When it started was I under stress ??? Absolutely. My Mom and I just got kicked out of out house after 24 years, I work across the street, the whole time living there, we now live 21 miles away. We had to sell many things at garage sales and ebay to come up with the money to move, bought new furniture, I had to drive in bad weather to work, at the same time, we got new managers at work after years and years of the same ones, I was fighting with my best friend, had bills up the wazoo, and had to adapt to a new and strange environment, pack and move ourselves, had no help, and the - hti s is why Im not sure its stress related..I remember being ecstatic how we stepped in gold we, found a much bigger home, cheaper also, great landlady, my Mom was ecstatice, I used to come home every day after work smiling, sitting in my new chair and having such a sense of accomplishmwnt that when push came to shove, we succeeded, by ourselves, came up with the money, found a place, moved and the whole nine yards....
We were also realxing, eating alot and going right to bed, etc...and I was lifting pretty heavy things.
I also noticed that on rainy days, I couldnt breathe right but paid it no mind as I always have been stuffed up my whole life due to alergies, and we have cats....suddenly their litter box were right across the hall where I sleep. We also have electric heat and every AM I woke up with dry mouth......and a dog used to be in our place and we have carpets.

So, it comes down to Alergies, Anxiety, Hiatal hernia, all ?? none ?? The week og the Superbowl, is when all hell broke lose and we also were staying in all day and night cause of the cold and eating alot and Me going right to bed, sometimes falling asleep in the chair.

So, either GERD affected the hernia and it is impacting my diapraghm,or the allergies have kicked in, or the anxiety is here from the stress and unfamiliar surroundings....
I also went for a sleep study and have sever OSA, lost 91 lbs and have the machine to sleep with, I dont know why I havent tried it yet....I guess fear that it wont help and Im gonna be stuck with this forever.....My GOD, Im so scared.

.....and, as I type this to you guys, Im breathing fine, Aware of every breath, but breathing fine:

1. (a tip) When you feel the need to take that deep breath, dont do it, think of something else, letit pass, it will be uncomfortable, but that "trigger" coming prematurely is whats messing up our lives, I think. When you wait, and breathe slowly, and try to occupy yourself, then it resets itself for a while and boy does it feel good, until BAM, all over again...but I digress...

Also, right after I go to the chiropractor, I can breath outstandingly well, for a while, maybe just time will take care of this...

Comments ? advice ?? Thoughts ???

Love you all,
Geoffrey
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replied July 6th, 2009
Wow, it IS a relief to hear that others are suffering the same thing, though it's frustrating that there seems to be no diagnosis or treatment. It's quite annoying, isn't it? In my case, I never feel short of breath when I exercise--in fact, it feels great to exercise. It's only when sitting or laying down, for example at work at my computer or at home trying to go to sleep. At night, trying to sleep (or having woken up from sleep during the night) is the WORST.

My brother used to suffer from bad panic attacks, which was very strange because he has not had any traumatic experiences, is a generally happy guy, and is not the sort to feel angst-ridden or strongly emotional. He describes the panic attacks as "a chemical thing" (i.e., not a situational thing). He could never connect them to any event in his life, or to any stress or anything like that. Anyway, this sort of useless yawning/ inability to get enough oxygen was one of his symptoms. He finally got meds for the panic attacks and they went away, and he's never had to take the meds again. I am not so excited about changing my chemistry through meds, temporary as it may be, but this is annoying as all getout and seems to be happening with greater frequency and duration as I get older (I'm 35). I'm a little less serene than my brother but, still, don't smoke, exercise regularly, eat well, very healthy, generally happy--all that to say, not a prime candidate for panic attacks--so I am wondering if it is just the same non-situational issue he had.

I think it gets worse when I don't get enough sleep...but it is sometimes a vicious cycle because when I can't breathe at night, I can't fall asleep!
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replied July 7th, 2009
Geoffrey,
I think this condition is bought on by either mental(depression), Physical (an illness, tireness,muslce tension ext)) and emotional stress, or all three together. It could also be triggered by allergies because when we have an allery we can't breath properly so we panic without realising it, which i suppose brings on the stressed breathing pattern. I still think the only cure is to:
1) accept that it's not a physical illness in itself and that it won't kill you! even though it makes us feel like death!
2)find a way of relaxing which is enjoyable
3)Do physical excersise to releave stress.
4) be happy and comfortable
5) do breathing excersises, to retrain our breathing pattern
6) trying to forget about it as much as we can.
7) i have been told by a doctor that short term anxiety drugs can help to reset the body, to calm it down, so that normal breathing patterns can be resumed.
What does everyone think of that?
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replied July 7th, 2009
I cant figutre out of its "just" anxiety or something physical.
I do know that yesterday, I was breathing pretty decent, although having to concentrate on each deep breath.
I went to the chiropractor like I do since April, 3x a week and after the treatment yesterday ? It felt like when it forst started whereas it was so tight, I couldnt get a deep breath for almost two hours, then I came home, took my magnesium, B-complex, and 1200mg Omega 3, ate something and the deep breath restored somewhat - oh, and I read in another forum that Lavender oil helps, and it really does, I rubbed some on my throat, chest and breathed it in and it relaxed me tremendously and I breathed a little better.

When I woke up this morning, I was pretty good and at work almost perfect, then I sat in the car to come home and it started up again, making me think switching positions matters (hiatal hernia, muscles, spine)
I tiook my vitamins, and went to the bathroom and I feel somewhat better but still feel tight, oh, and if my nose isnt clear ? forget it.
I read about post nasal drip and VCD, something I need to look into, and also today all day as I was breathing decent, I noticed as I was starting to have trouble, the weathe rchanged outside and it started to rain...the sun is now out and im breathing better.
I really feel confused, defeated and like Im cursed with this for the rest of my life, I just dont know what to do , I want to die. My poor Mother, we had such high hopes, dreams, and plans when we moved her......

Geoffrey
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replied July 8th, 2009
cant take a deep breath
hello everyone, i dont know if somebody already suggested this, but anyway i have the same problem as everyone(cant take a deep breath) my doctor (pulmonologist) suggested to do a sleep study, they found that i stop breathing when im asleep. with this problem our lungs are not holding enough air when asleep, so when we wake up, instead of a full lung capacity it is less. i tried wearing a cpap machine but it didnt last long because im not comfortable with it(its just me)but it did help me on the nights that i use it. also there is the IS (incentive spirometry), use it every morning after waking up and often, it helps hyperinflate your lungs to its full capacity.
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replied July 10th, 2009
same problem...
erica and all replies...

I'm in the same boat. I think my condition started two years ago spring of '07 after I had a month-long cough that I think was caused by allergies. I've not had a satisfying inhale since. It's just as you all have described it. I can basically not fill the bottom of lungs and get that full satisfying breath even when I try to yawn. I have mentioned it to the doctor and a couple think it's asthma related but my inhalers that I was given (advair and albuterol) do not help at all. Nothing seems to work and it does get worse when I lay down at night. I don't know what to do but to go to specialists at this point. It's affecting my quality of life...
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