Shortness of Breath, Chest Tightness?

@khenson7 (104)
United States
September 8, 2008 6:34pm CST
Sorry this is long, but if you will please read and give me your opinions! :) PLEASE HELP! My mom, 43 yrs. old, is having shortness of breath, chest tightness, she sounds like she is whispering when she talks because she can't get enough air to talk normal and pain in feet. My mom was diagnosed with bronchitis/ pneumonia on June 26; her white blood count was 17 and her lungs were bad in the x-ray. She was given Avelox 400 mg, Nohist-Plus, Preventil HFA and a shot of Roceferin. She went back on July 3 and was given Benzonatate 100 mg, Advair and a steroid shot. Still sick, she went back on July 30 and her WBC was good/ lungs were worse than at first. She was given M-End WC (cough medicine), Zolpidem 10mg, Prednisone 10 mg, Mucinex, and was told the AdVair made it worse and to not take it anymore. She still didn't get better so she went back on August 5. Her blood count was going back up and her lungs were the same. So she was given Factive 320 mg., Singulair 10 mg, Proventil HFA Inhaler, and ADvair and a steroid shot. August 7 she went to the Pulmonologist and was told her X-Rays look fine and they did the Spirometer breathing 'test' in which she passed with flying colors! The only thing he could see was that she was "Holding" a little air somewhere and was put on Singulair again! It hasn't helped at all! Everytime we've been to the doctor she has had a 98% or better oxygen level and her blood pressure is good. She doesn't smoke- no negative health before or in family history. (Her dad had a stroke at 45 yrs. old.) PLEASE, give me ideas on what to ask for... what to do! It seems like doctor's don't know what is going on. She has had blood work to check for Congestive Heart Failure- and didn't show any signs of it. She has passed all lung tests. They had her on Nexium to see if it is GERD, but she knows what heart burn is and says that isn't what she is feeling. Nexium also didn't have much of an impact on how she felt. She is now on a "Fluid Pill" to help her get fluid out of her aveloi and lungs. She is feeling alot better than at first, she just has days when she feels as though she smothers a lot. If she lifts are arms above her head or tilt her head back she can't breath. Does anyone have any ideas what could be going on? Thank you!
4 people like this
18 responses
• United States
8 Sep 08
Her medical history looks almost like mine. I have been on the majority of those pills that you have just mentioned. Sounds to me though like she have anxiety or Lupus. Although, I know what House would say, "It is never Lupus", except for that one episode where it was Lupus. If I were her, I would seek out different doctors to see what the real problem is.
2 people like this
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
She isn't losing any hair, and doesn't really have symptomS for lupus, but the anxiety is possible. But, wouldn't she have one good day out of 2 1/2 months? She really isn't anxious/stressed over anything now. We've been to a pulmonogist/had a chest CT scan/ X-rays and blood work. Everything is normal except her White Blood Count and it keeps going up and down. I don't know anymore. Maybe it is just taking her more time to get well!. Thanks for the response!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Sep 08
This sounds like a mystery diagnosis. When I hear of symptons that you are talking about, I think heart attack, stroke, anxiety, or Lupus, but there could always be something that is under lying what is seen, and sometimes the medical test do not catch anything, you might be seeing up to a hundred doctors before you find what you are looking for.
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I agree. Thank you for your responses. I hope you have a wonderful week! :)
• United States
9 Sep 08
It could be a number of things from the wrong diet,medication,newly developed asthma,high blood pressure and heart conditions.At any rate its nothing to be played with.I would have her checked out as soon as possible.
2 people like this
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
He said it could be a touch of asthma. But she has no weezing,and wouldn't she have atleast one good day? Thanks. have a great week!
@mchavez11 (1406)
• Philippines
9 Sep 08
Just try to relax more and meditate regularly. Your mind is the most powerful tool of all. Eat healthy foods as well. Like fruits and vegetables. Just relax more and try to calm down a lot.
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
We are always eating fruits and veggies. We love them! She does need to relax more! She isn't good at relaxing and calming down- she thinks there's always something for her to be doing. Thank you!
@dokaor (307)
• Thailand
9 Sep 08
Hi i'm not doctor but may be could be from her stress or tension and hard woking t2t we have to stop and relex Hope she will be better soon. Best of luck.
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
Thank you for the kind words. She doesn't have the time to relax. lol! She stays busy. I've tried to get her too! She says there's always something for her to do. Have a great week!
@sharra1 (6344)
• Australia
9 Sep 08
Fluid in the lungs will make her feel like she is drowning. Breathing is a struggle. I am not sure about the tightness in the chest. That does sound like heart. Have you thought about a second opinion. Going to a different doctor can sometimes help. Being able to diagnose is a rare gift with doctors, I have only known one doctor out of heaps who had the gift. Bronchitis/pneumonia is serious and will make breathing extremely hard even when the spirometer test is normal. The spirometer tests lung capacity not your ability to breath. For example if she had emphysema the spirometer test would show reduced lung capacity but bronchitis makes it hard to breath because of the fluid in the lungs even if the lung capacity is fine. Does she wheeze a lot? When my bronchitis was at its worst every breath I took whistled. That is a sign of the fluid content of the lungs and fluid makes breathing very difficult especially when you lie down.
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
She doesn't weeze, and she gets a little relief when lying down. when she lifts her arms above her head she can't breath- it's like her air gets cut off. The Dr. put her on fluid pills to get fluid out of her lungs, but there isn't any change. Thank you for your response. Have a great week!
@ShepherdSpy (8565)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
9 Sep 08
It does sound as though She's being helped by the ongoing treatment,when you say the X-rays have shown an improvement over time..How is Your mom's sleep? can She rest comfortably in bed at night? are there any environmental factors that have changed for Her since these symptoms started? Does She have allergies or Pets? anything new at home,like carpeting,bedding,redecorating? I hope things work out for the best!
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
She is feeling about 75% better, she is just still smothering. If she lifts her arms above her head she can't breath. A couple weeks ago she broke out in a rash on your stomach, legs and abdomen it went away after like 2 days. Well, today she broke out beind her ears. She has also lost all feeling in the toe next to her big toe on her right foot. I am just worried, because I can't find any direction to go! It's weird because she is having diff. symptoms pop up at different times that seem to have no obvious correlation to what is going on. There isn't anything new that we can think of at our house. No new carpet, hairspray, make-up, bedding...nothing. That's why I am so stuck and confused! I don't want it to be overlooked and something bad happen. Thank you for your kind words.
1 person likes this
8 Sep 08
Hi Kenson, very sorry to hear about your mom. I'm not an expert on this, I was wondering is her heart alright? I've heard that tightness of chest could be symptoms of heart failure. Good luck with everything, all the best...
2 people like this
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
They did a new test that checks for congestive heart failure. They took her blood and ran it through a machine that checks for it and it came back normal. I was thinking the same thing. Thank you for the reply and the kind thoughts.
@cambiste (1245)
• India
8 Sep 08
I'm sorry i won't be of much use to you. This is the first im hearing of it. But i've read somewhere that tightening of chest was because of eating food at the wrong time, or because you're not eating enough food. The last part isnt part of the symptoms though, and i dont think its as simple either. But eating good, well balanced food may help a lot here.
2 people like this
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
She really didn't have a change in her diet at the time she began feeling sick. But, thank you for your reply.
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Hey Sweetie, I know it's been a while since you posted this so I hope you have gotten some help. I've been through a lot of cardiac, pulmonary and many other physical problems, but at least I have been diagnosed and been treated. I would say to you, call 911 and get her to the ER. If you don't get any answers keep taking her to a new doctor until you find an answer. It sounds as though she has some kind of blockage. After I had my first open heart surgery to repair a faulty mitral valve, I was having a difficult time breathing. My oxygen level was like 98%. Finally the pulmonologist checked me out, I think they did an xray and had to draw 1&1/2 liters of fluid from the lining of my lung. Something is desperately wrong here. I know this is scary for you and for her but keep on looking for the answer. I can't believe these doctors who just give up. They should be running tests and rerunning tests. I don't have a website but I would start googling every symptom until something comes up. Good luck Sweetie. My prayers are with you. Keep us posted. I will check back with you. leenie
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
We have seen a Pulmonologist and he didn't see anything in her CTs or X-Rays. He said that it must be bronchitis w/ a touch of asthma. But, after all the medicine he has given her there isn't any change really. She isn't coughing, but she is still smothering. It has been crazy. When we would get X-rays done and blood work done they would be opposite. If the x-rays were good her white blood count would be up, if her x-rays were bad her white blood count would be good. I don't know which way to go anymore. I feel like I am doing circles dancing around the problem, without being able to see the problem. I am so aggrivated at being stuck with no way to help her. Thank you for your kind words. Please, keep her in your prayers- I'd really appreciate it. Prayers are the way to heal. Thanks!
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
10 Sep 08
Khenson, Sweetie, you need to find some help. This is beyond your ability to even cope. Talk to anyone who will listen and those who don't want to. Doctors are not all knowing. But some will go the extra miles to find out what is wrong. You just keep looking, even when you feel hopeless. God will give you the strength to keep going. Don't give up Sweetie. Alot of people are pulling for you. If I can think of something I will let you know.xoxo leenie
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
Thanks! I really appreciate you kindness- so many people on here are heartless! Have a great week!
@yadav8797 (1211)
• India
10 Sep 08
friend,its sad to hear about your mom problem.but don't think it can't be curable?? is can be curable.but your mom has to do yoga for that?? do you hear about yoga and pranayama??the daily practice of kapalbhati and anulom =vilom pranayama,each for 30 minutes in total with 5 minutes gap in rotation will read to cure your mom disease.the report shows that this is possible. for more detail about this PM me?? your mom is like,my mom.so, don't be hesitate to ask me question??ask them frankly??
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
Thanks! :)
@annjilena (5621)
• United States
9 Sep 08
wow,i to have shorten of breath at times the doors of my heart don,t close all the way.they told me i had a funny heart beat.they say i have ashma,they gave me a pill to easy the door of my heart so it could close easy. iam sorry about your mom don,t give up trying to find answers.
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I don't want to give up; but it's like I'm stuck. I can't find anything to help me in a direction really. They said her heart appears to be fine and so are her lungs. So, I don't know what else it could be. I thought it could be some kind of blockage, but they say you can feel it and she doesn't feel anything like that. Thanks for the encouragement. Have a great week!
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
9 Sep 08
Bless your heart. I think I would be tempted to find the closest teaching hospital with a good pulminary and cardiac expert. Or I'd be calling the Cleveland Clinic or the Mayo Clinc or some famous national medical center.
@khenson7 (104)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I would love to! She has been to a Pulmonologist and he didn't do much for her because he really can't find anything in her lungs to cause it. He keeps saying heartburn and she knows what it feels like and it isn't that feeling and it is daily. She is so tired of going to the doctors; she is afraid they are going to think she is crazy because she has been so much. But, to me she deserves to feel better- who cares what they think if they could just figure out what it is. Thank you for your response. Have a great week!
@GADHISUNU (2165)
• India
2 Jan 09
Well Mx Khenson7 you have done and are doing your best. You are giving your mom the best medical care under the supervision of very conscientious medical experts, it looks like, seeing the way her medicine regimen is being managed. Well, I am not a medical man. But having had a deep interest in medicine I understand what you have written. There is quite a strong presence of steroids in the medication, but for the bronchial condition of your mom, this is quite a current treatment. As a non-medical person, without jeopardising the treatment or the prognosis of the disease per se, we could only suggest something that is non-invasive. I presume at no time you have considered alternative medicine- like Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, or other medical systems. These systems offer esp., for chronic cases, greater relief by perking up the immune system, whereas the Allopathic medicines do have deleterious effect on the immune system. However in cases of emergency the allopathic medical system is good, for it is based on sound ligic and empirical proof of working. Your Mom could, non-invasively try regular pranayamic exercises. You need a Yoga teacher to personally guide/instruct her in these. It is not right on my part to instruct without seeing her physically nor is it right for you to go through a book or some sort of written instructions, and practice something on your own. Is it possible for you to find a trained Yoga teacher in the place where you live?
• United States
2 Jan 09
Your moms symptoms sound alot like my fiance's step-dads. He was diagnosed with emphysema but kept having increasingly more shortness of breath. His oxygen level was above 90% although he could not make it from the kitchen to the living room because he couldnt breathe. The doctor wouldnt give him oxygen because his stats were so high. The doctor said his emphysema might have been what was making him short of breathe. However i was a little unsure of this. He became very short of breath in a matter of weeks and looked awful. He was pale, couldnt eat, couldnt breathe, had no quality of life but yet the doctor couldnt find anything wrong with him. All through this his WBC count was ok. To make a long story shhort, his wife ended up taking him to a different doctor who said he needed to go to the hospital right away because he had pnuemonia. WHile in the hospital we found out that he had a terrible case of pnuemonia and had lung cancer that had returned. Now why couldnt the doctor have noticed that he had all of these things? Sadly my fiances step father passed away in the hospital at 57 years old. Not trying to scare you, but maybe you need to get your mother checked for either emphysema, cancer or pnuemonia. It sounds like you need to go to another docotr and get a 2nd opinion I thik sometimes your regular doctor doesnt see things that another one would because he sees you so much. Anyways hopefully that long story helped in some way! God bless you, pray and put your trust in the Lord
• Canada
24 Sep 08
From my experience, I have learned that our immune system plays a huge part in how our body functions. I recommend getting the best pure oil of oregano in the bottle, on the market; with at least 85% carvacrol. I swear by this. You can do your own research online about it. Get her to put the dropper under her tongue with her head back so she can wash it down without it touching the top of her tongue. This is a natural product and is safe to take with other medication. I have found this to be a cure to allergic reactions. It has worked for me. Within a day I have noticed a difference, but depending on the problem, it can take longer before syptoms disappear. It will also cleanse the body helping it to recover. Please try it. It will not hurt her but rather heal her. I promise. In this case i would take 1/4th of a dropper full, 3 times a day, preferably 2 hours after a meal or at least an hour before meals. In this time frame, try to avoid the taking the medication and only drink water. Not coffee, milk, juice exc. It's important you take it properly. Good luck! Please, keep me posted and let me know when she recovers.
• Canada
24 Sep 08
From my experience, I have learned that our immune system plays a huge part in how our body functions. I recommend getting the best pure oil of oregano in the bottle, on the market; with at least 85% carvacrol. I swear by this. You can do your own research online about it. Get her to put the dropper under her tongue with her head back so she can wash it down without it touching the top of her tongue. This is a natural product and is safe to take with other medication. I have found this to be a cure to allergic reactions. It has worked for me. Within a day I have noticed a difference, but depending on the problem, it can take longer before syptoms disappear. It will also cleanse the body helping it to recover. Please try it. It will not hurt her but rather heal her. I promise. In this case i would take 1/4th of a dropper full, 3 times a day, preferably 2 hours after a meal or at least an hour before meals. In this time frame, try to avoid the taking the medication and only drink water. Not coffee, milk, juice exc. It's important you take it properly. Good luck! Please, keep me posted and let me know when she recovers.
• Spain
17 Sep 08
Check if there has been some new article or circumstance introduced into your mother's living environment and to which she might have had or developed an allergy. E.g. the material of a new piece of furniture or a new favorite blouse etc. Anything new. And then see what happens if you remove it from her living environment. Thomas
• Spain
17 Sep 08
Could it be that there has been a recent change in your mother's living environment, introducing something that before did not exist there but to which she is or has developed an allergy. E.g. a new piece of furniture or piece of favorite clothing with a special material which she is allergic to. Try to see if there has been something new and see what happens if you remove it from her environment.