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My Husband Is Having Breathing Problems.. For Almost 8 Weeks

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Posted on Wed, 22 Jul 2020
Question: My husband is having breathing problems.. for almost 8 weeks now. He is COVID19 NEGATIVE... He started having difficulty breathing about 5 days after remodeling our chicken coop that had been vacant for almost 2 years. At the time he was cleaning out the coop he was just getting over a cold. He has tested negative for histoplasmosis. He is truly struggling, and I don't know where to go from here. We've done 13 telehealth consults, 1 urgent care, 1 ER, 1 ENT specialist.

SYMPTOMS:

From sinuses to lungs feels majorly constricted, a struggle to breathe. Nothing seems to 'trigger it' to get better or worse. It's just constantly there. If he lays on his back for too long his chest starts to hurt. No fever.

Medications:

He was given Albuterol when telehealth doctor first thought it was COVID19. He was since tested, and was negative. After he takes it he says "it feels more like a pit in there and makes him cough". If he doesn't take it then he has no cough, but also can barely breathe at all.

There is something wrong with him that started right after he was remodeling/cleaning to coop -- I just need to know how to help him. What could we be testing for that we're not? What else could he have that would cause this?

We're uninsured so we get the backcrap of every physician, but we're self employed, and can pay for the right tests. To get him into a "primary care physician" he can't get in until October. The ENT wanted to get him into a pulmonologist - however they are now backlogged until November

Just need someone to actually listen and help.

He doesn't have good or bad days - he has bad days and worse days. If someone can even point me in just the right direction, we can selfpay or to order labs we just don't know what to look for or what to ask for. What is something he could have that we haven't thought of that we can test for?

Where he is having trouble is the area connecting his throat/nose - He tested negative for Histoplasmosis. Is there anything else that could cause these problems that might be associated with him having cleaned out the chicken coop that I can get him tested for?
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Follow up: Dr. AJEET SINGH (0 minute later)
My husband is having breathing problems.. for almost 8 weeks now. He is COVID19 NEGATIVE... He started having difficulty breathing about 5 days after remodeling our chicken coop that had been vacant for almost 2 years. At the time he was cleaning out the coop he was just getting over a cold. He has tested negative for histoplasmosis. He is truly struggling, and I don't know where to go from here. We've done 13 telehealth consults, 1 urgent care, 1 ER, 1 ENT specialist.

SYMPTOMS:

From sinuses to lungs feels majorly constricted, a struggle to breathe. Nothing seems to 'trigger it' to get better or worse. It's just constantly there. If he lays on his back for too long his chest starts to hurt. No fever.

Medications:

He was given Albuterol when telehealth doctor first thought it was COVID19. He was since tested, and was negative. After he takes it he says "it feels more like a pit in there and makes him cough". If he doesn't take it then he has no cough, but also can barely breathe at all.

There is something wrong with him that started right after he was remodeling/cleaning to coop -- I just need to know how to help him. What could we be testing for that we're not? What else could he have that would cause this?

We're uninsured so we get the backcrap of every physician, but we're self employed, and can pay for the right tests. To get him into a "primary care physician" he can't get in until October. The ENT wanted to get him into a pulmonologist - however they are now backlogged until November

Just need someone to actually listen and help.

He doesn't have good or bad days - he has bad days and worse days. If someone can even point me in just the right direction, we can selfpay or to order labs we just don't know what to look for or what to ask for. What is something he could have that we haven't thought of that we can test for?

Where he is having trouble is the area connecting his throat/nose - He tested negative for Histoplasmosis. Is there anything else that could cause these problems that might be associated with him having cleaned out the chicken coop that I can get him tested for?
doctor
Answered by Dr. AJEET SINGH (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Your husband might be having an allergic or asthmatic bronchitis

Detailed Answer:
Hi...
Welcome to "Ask a Doctor"service.
I am Dr Ajeet XXXXXXX

I have gone through your query and here is my opinion.

Your husband might be having an allergic or asthmatic bronchitis.

As you have already consulted an ENT specialist so an upper respiratory tract pathology has been ruled out.
It should be predominantly a lower respiratory tract pathology involving the windpipe,bronchus and lungs.
A pulmonologist can guide you through the issue but unfortunately it is not possible at this time.

Your husband should avoid dust and allergens,go for steam inhalation thrice a day and may use ahumidifier.
He should avoid stress and anxiety which may exacerbate his symptoms.
Deep breathing exercises would help him to increase the lung reserve.
Corticosteroid inhalers are usually prescribed to such patients.

As soon as you get access to the medical facilities,please visit a pulmonologist who would go for blood work,spirometry and high resolution CT Scan of the chest for complete evaluation.

Hope that I have answered your query.

Stay healthy and stay blessed.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. AJEET SINGH (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Your husband might be having an allergic or asthmatic bronchitis

Detailed Answer:
Hi...
Welcome to "Ask a Doctor"service.
I am Dr Ajeet XXXXXXX

I have gone through your query and here is my opinion.

Your husband might be having an allergic or asthmatic bronchitis.

As you have already consulted an ENT specialist so an upper respiratory tract pathology has been ruled out.
It should be predominantly a lower respiratory tract pathology involving the windpipe,bronchus and lungs.
A pulmonologist can guide you through the issue but unfortunately it is not possible at this time.

Your husband should avoid dust and allergens,go for steam inhalation thrice a day and may use ahumidifier.
He should avoid stress and anxiety which may exacerbate his symptoms.
Deep breathing exercises would help him to increase the lung reserve.
Corticosteroid inhalers are usually prescribed to such patients.

As soon as you get access to the medical facilities,please visit a pulmonologist who would go for blood work,spirometry and high resolution CT Scan of the chest for complete evaluation.

Hope that I have answered your query.

Stay healthy and stay blessed.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. AJEET SINGH (2 days later)
I know this is long - and most people won't take the time to read the whole thing. But I'm desperate. I've been seeking help for my husband who has been suffering since March - He went from 169 pounds to 134 pounds since April 9th. He cant' breathe/ eat/ sleep -- and I can't get anyone to listen. I had him write up exactly how he feels/ what he's been going through - it's a long read -but maybe something will click, or make sense to a doctor.



Symptoms started about 2 weeks after having a cold and treating down and rebuilding chicken coop, other than that I have not had any major medical issues or allergies. Broken nose last year led to deviated septum but no breathing issues until after they started in my chest. The evening of April 9 I started having some pain in the center of my chest. The next morning I woke up with pain, pressure, and mild difficulty breathing from my chest. Due to potential contact with COVID-19, the health dpt. asked me to be tested, but the hospital refused. Over the next 5 days the pain continued, sometimes moving from center to left of chest. No major breathing trouble, just pain and pressure. On April 15, I went to the ER as the pain was still there but I began having trouble breathing in the lower part of my throat, just above my chest, feeling like it was being constricted. They did an ekg, doctor looked in my throat and said "it doesn't look good down there" and sent me on my way. The days after led to the breathing/constriction moving up my throat and into my nose, most uncomfortably in the area between mouth and nose feeling almost completely closed off at times. This has been most long term consistent symptom, feeling almost as if it were congested but there is nothing in there. Since that time, the breathing problems have been the most prominent, with the chest pain only coming and going, though there is still some difficulty breathing in my chest and on the worst times my entire throat feels very constricted. On a "good day" I would say my breathing is 70% normal, while bad times are 40%. It's getting the air into my lungs that is extremely difficult. What I've tried- ENT requested sinus x-ray, I requested histoplasmosis testing, and both came back negative. Nothing seems to trigger symptoms to be worse or better, although the warm humid air is more difficult to breathe. Albuterol helps my chest somewhat, but doesn't help with the overall breathing from my throat up. Flonase is a minor help short term (30 min - an hour) for my nose. To have a longer term noticable improvement I would need to use them both consistently at least once an hour, which obviously isn't possible, plus there is still the throat difficulty. Claritin for a week with no results. Zyrtec with no results. Claritin-D with some relief, but major side effects (dizziness, nausea) so I only took it once. Singulair for 2 weeks with only minor results and daily nausea ranging on a scale from 3-5 on days after I do not eat, to a 6-9 on days after I eat. It's not sustainable for no real improvement. 5 days Prednisone (no help) ... 7 days methylprednisolone (no help)... 6 days dexamethasone helped my chest and throat on days 2-4, but did not do much if anything for my nose. Day 5 I was having a difficult time breathing again, particularly in my upper throat and nose. Laying on my back for more than a few minutes creates a lot of chest pressure. Waking up after a couple of hours sleep (on my side) is the best I feel- my chest feels more open and the congested feeling from my nose isn't typically as bad, and sometimes has moved to the side of gravity. Within 10 minutes of getting up is when the problems begin, even if it's just sitting up in bed. I am currently 24 hours into staying away from the house just to rule out anything I might be breathing in, but so far there has been no change.



Because I do not have a primary care physician (and back up with COVID) the earliest I can get in to see a doctor seems to be August. I've been relying 100% on Telehealth appointments, but just keep hitting dead ends. I can't continue like this with no relief. What could I be asking to be tested for that I have overlooked? What could this be?
default
Follow up: Dr. AJEET SINGH (0 minute later)
I know this is long - and most people won't take the time to read the whole thing. But I'm desperate. I've been seeking help for my husband who has been suffering since March - He went from 169 pounds to 134 pounds since April 9th. He cant' breathe/ eat/ sleep -- and I can't get anyone to listen. I had him write up exactly how he feels/ what he's been going through - it's a long read -but maybe something will click, or make sense to a doctor.



Symptoms started about 2 weeks after having a cold and treating down and rebuilding chicken coop, other than that I have not had any major medical issues or allergies. Broken nose last year led to deviated septum but no breathing issues until after they started in my chest. The evening of April 9 I started having some pain in the center of my chest. The next morning I woke up with pain, pressure, and mild difficulty breathing from my chest. Due to potential contact with COVID-19, the health dpt. asked me to be tested, but the hospital refused. Over the next 5 days the pain continued, sometimes moving from center to left of chest. No major breathing trouble, just pain and pressure. On April 15, I went to the ER as the pain was still there but I began having trouble breathing in the lower part of my throat, just above my chest, feeling like it was being constricted. They did an ekg, doctor looked in my throat and said "it doesn't look good down there" and sent me on my way. The days after led to the breathing/constriction moving up my throat and into my nose, most uncomfortably in the area between mouth and nose feeling almost completely closed off at times. This has been most long term consistent symptom, feeling almost as if it were congested but there is nothing in there. Since that time, the breathing problems have been the most prominent, with the chest pain only coming and going, though there is still some difficulty breathing in my chest and on the worst times my entire throat feels very constricted. On a "good day" I would say my breathing is 70% normal, while bad times are 40%. It's getting the air into my lungs that is extremely difficult. What I've tried- ENT requested sinus x-ray, I requested histoplasmosis testing, and both came back negative. Nothing seems to trigger symptoms to be worse or better, although the warm humid air is more difficult to breathe. Albuterol helps my chest somewhat, but doesn't help with the overall breathing from my throat up. Flonase is a minor help short term (30 min - an hour) for my nose. To have a longer term noticable improvement I would need to use them both consistently at least once an hour, which obviously isn't possible, plus there is still the throat difficulty. Claritin for a week with no results. Zyrtec with no results. Claritin-D with some relief, but major side effects (dizziness, nausea) so I only took it once. Singulair for 2 weeks with only minor results and daily nausea ranging on a scale from 3-5 on days after I do not eat, to a 6-9 on days after I eat. It's not sustainable for no real improvement. 5 days Prednisone (no help) ... 7 days methylprednisolone (no help)... 6 days dexamethasone helped my chest and throat on days 2-4, but did not do much if anything for my nose. Day 5 I was having a difficult time breathing again, particularly in my upper throat and nose. Laying on my back for more than a few minutes creates a lot of chest pressure. Waking up after a couple of hours sleep (on my side) is the best I feel- my chest feels more open and the congested feeling from my nose isn't typically as bad, and sometimes has moved to the side of gravity. Within 10 minutes of getting up is when the problems begin, even if it's just sitting up in bed. I am currently 24 hours into staying away from the house just to rule out anything I might be breathing in, but so far there has been no change.



Because I do not have a primary care physician (and back up with COVID) the earliest I can get in to see a doctor seems to be August. I've been relying 100% on Telehealth appointments, but just keep hitting dead ends. I can't continue like this with no relief. What could I be asking to be tested for that I have overlooked? What could this be?
doctor
Answered by Dr. AJEET SINGH (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Your husband might be having an allergic or asthmatic bronchitis

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back.

You can have a portable pulse oximeter at home to do intermittent pulse oximetry.
It would reveal the percent saturation of oxygen in blood and the effectiveness and compliance of lung to absorb oxygen.
A level greater than 95 percent is reassuring.

As your symptoms are long standing(ongoing since April 20) and you did not get relief from supportive and symptomatic treatment (including steroids which are usually a reserve drug for resistant cases),I would strongly recommend you to seek medical attention and 'physical consultation' immediately.
You can visit an emergency room with all precautions (like wearing a mask,practicing social distancing,repeated hand washing and using an alcohol based sanitizer).
They would go for investigations like blood counts,eosinophil count,blood/sputum/Swab cultures,ECG,Echo,Spirometry,X ray chest/para-nasal sinuses,CT Chest etc.
Treatment would be done as per inputs from Chest physician/allergologist and experts in Internal Medicine,Immunology and ENT.

Warm regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. AJEET SINGH (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Your husband might be having an allergic or asthmatic bronchitis

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back.

You can have a portable pulse oximeter at home to do intermittent pulse oximetry.
It would reveal the percent saturation of oxygen in blood and the effectiveness and compliance of lung to absorb oxygen.
A level greater than 95 percent is reassuring.

As your symptoms are long standing(ongoing since April 20) and you did not get relief from supportive and symptomatic treatment (including steroids which are usually a reserve drug for resistant cases),I would strongly recommend you to seek medical attention and 'physical consultation' immediately.
You can visit an emergency room with all precautions (like wearing a mask,practicing social distancing,repeated hand washing and using an alcohol based sanitizer).
They would go for investigations like blood counts,eosinophil count,blood/sputum/Swab cultures,ECG,Echo,Spirometry,X ray chest/para-nasal sinuses,CT Chest etc.
Treatment would be done as per inputs from Chest physician/allergologist and experts in Internal Medicine,Immunology and ENT.

Warm regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Practicing since :1994

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My Husband Is Having Breathing Problems.. For Almost 8 Weeks

My husband is having breathing problems.. for almost 8 weeks now. He is COVID19 NEGATIVE... He started having difficulty breathing about 5 days after remodeling our chicken coop that had been vacant for almost 2 years. At the time he was cleaning out the coop he was just getting over a cold. He has tested negative for histoplasmosis. He is truly struggling, and I don't know where to go from here. We've done 13 telehealth consults, 1 urgent care, 1 ER, 1 ENT specialist. SYMPTOMS: From sinuses to lungs feels majorly constricted, a struggle to breathe. Nothing seems to 'trigger it' to get better or worse. It's just constantly there. If he lays on his back for too long his chest starts to hurt. No fever. Medications: He was given Albuterol when telehealth doctor first thought it was COVID19. He was since tested, and was negative. After he takes it he says "it feels more like a pit in there and makes him cough". If he doesn't take it then he has no cough, but also can barely breathe at all. There is something wrong with him that started right after he was remodeling/cleaning to coop -- I just need to know how to help him. What could we be testing for that we're not? What else could he have that would cause this? We're uninsured so we get the backcrap of every physician, but we're self employed, and can pay for the right tests. To get him into a "primary care physician" he can't get in until October. The ENT wanted to get him into a pulmonologist - however they are now backlogged until November Just need someone to actually listen and help. He doesn't have good or bad days - he has bad days and worse days. If someone can even point me in just the right direction, we can selfpay or to order labs we just don't know what to look for or what to ask for. What is something he could have that we haven't thought of that we can test for? Where he is having trouble is the area connecting his throat/nose - He tested negative for Histoplasmosis. Is there anything else that could cause these problems that might be associated with him having cleaned out the chicken coop that I can get him tested for?