I'm short of breath all the time, and I'm afraid I won't get the oxygen I need

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi Folks:

I noticed I was getting out of breath about two months ago--early March. If I take a shower and get dressed, I'm out of breath, and HAVE to lie down afterwards. Simple things like getting up out of bed, or out of a chair, leave me panting, and trying to get air into my lungs. My breathing is shallow, and I am wheezing while asleep, my wife tells me. No cough, just shallow breathing and the wheezing.

I thought maybe I developed bronchitis, as I had suffered through a horrible cold in late February. I wasn't instantly out of breath, or breathing shallow. It happened over a period of two months, and the breathing difficulty got really bad two weeks ago.

My wife drove me to an Urgent Care on a Sunday morning. The doctor listened to my lungs, and told me they sounded clear, and Dr. sent me for a chest X-RAY, which showed my lungs CLEAR. The reading was low on the pulse oximeter ( About 86 ), and the Urgent Care Doctor sent me home with a prescription to use two inhalers daily.

I wasn't getting any better, so I made an appointment to see my primary care doctor. My doctor had me go to the lab to have blood drawn, and I received a call from my doctor the very next morning. My doctor told me that the blood work he had ordered, showed that my blood was clotting somewhere, and that information started a series of tests:

My primary doctor thought that my breathing issues warranted an appointment with a cardiologist, and I am scheduled to meet with the cardiologist within 24 hours.

The Cardiologist, after meeting my wife and I, asks me to schedule three tests :

  1. Have blood drawn, and this time with specific areas like artery blockage, etc.
  2. Take a Heart Echo Cardiogram Test.
  3. Have an Angiogram Test done of my arteries, leading to the heart.

I am to have all three tests completed by the 17th of June, as I have an appointment to meet with the Cardiologist again on June 21st.

I had to purchase a pulse oximeter, to keep a log of the readings every day, up to the 21st. I also had to purchase a blood pressure machine, and log those readings as well for the doctor.

My pulse oximeter readings are low. I'm usually 85-89. I'm told that 95-98 is normal.

My blood pressure readings are a little elevated for me ( I'm averaging 140/80 ) For years, I was always 110/70.

Here it is, June 6th, and I have all three tests done, but I have to wait until June 21st for my appointment with the Cardiologist, at which time she will lay out my test results, and tell me what my options for treatment are.

Wow! This is new territory for me. I've been an avid runner most of my adult life, and have finished nine marathons, (the last marathon was ten years ago). I've not had any cardio issues. I have never had an appointment to see a cardiologist, and I'm 62 years old.

My questions are:

  1. Has anyone had a similar problem with shallow breathing?
  2. If so, what tests did you take ?
  3. How are you doing now?

I'm on sick leave from work. Most days for me are spent inside the house. Taking out the trash is a big deal for me, as I can't catch my breath afterwards.

I'm afraid--some days I think I should go to the nearest Hospital Emergency Room, as I'm wheezing and panting and afraid I won't get enough oxygen into my lungs to keep me going.

I sure would appreciate any cardio/shortness of breath issues you may have had, which could help me at this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Donald

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Donald,

    Are you OK with sleeping or you can't sleep because of the shortness of breath? If you can't sleep maybe your left ventricular has problem like me (hypertrophy). Eco-cardio will show that. I don't want to give you any prescription but a furosemide 40 mg can help you if your doctor permit it. remember it will increase the urine.

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    • Posted

      Hi ranjbar:

      You nailed it! I am NOT sleeping well. I can't get to sleep in my bed, I often have to go to the couch, where the back of the couch keeps me on my side. Then I fall to sleep. Some nights--two hours sleep. Last night , about 2 .5 hours of sleep.

      I will definitely ask about furosemide when I meet with the cardiologist.

      Thanks very much!

      Donald

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  • Posted

    But this is serious and may get worse. It is better to go and visit your doctor asap.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your prudent advise. I will call on Friday and see if I can be squeezed in to have an appt. with the cardiologist sooner Thanks again!

      Oh--before I forget. My wife wanted to know if You have ever seen a pulmonologist to review your case as well as the cardiologist?

      Donald

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    • Posted

      I have never seen a pulmonologist only a EP I can't pronounce it but they are cardiologist who specialise in the electrical systems of the heart and carry out AV and also RF ablation. Keep pushing - I did because I do not think I would have made last Christmas as I felt I was dying. As I said the difference I felt after the pacemaker was fitted was immediate I felt reborn. Good luck don't be shy it is your life - fight for it!!!

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    • Posted

      Hello:

      I wanted you to know that I picked up my CT Scan of my heart from the Imaging place that my Doctor sent me to. It reads:

      "There is Atherosclerotic Plaques of the Left Anterior Descending ( LAD ) Artery and Circumflex Coronary Arteries.

      I called the Cardiologist , and I received an appointment at West Hills Medical Center. on Monday at his office at 12:30pm.

      I hope to find out on Monday what procedure or treatment plan the Cardiologist will have for me on Monday. thanks for Encouraging me to move the appointment up to ASAP!

      Donald

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    • Posted

      Hi Ranjbar:

      I have moved my appt with Cardiologist from June 21st to tomorrow, Monday, June 10th at 12:30pm. I thank you very much for encouraging me to move up the date of my appt. I'm the kind of person who doesn't call the doctor, and I would have to wait 2 more weeks to see the cardiologist, and I would have complained EVERY DAY about waiting to see the Dr.!!

      I checked my pulse oximeter a few minutes ago, and my pulse/oxy number was 87. My pulse was 100. I have slight chest pain on the left side of the chest. My left arm hurts, up past the elbow. My arm hurts a lot.

      As I say, I'm glad that I am visiting with the Cardiologist tomorrow. I'll let you know the results of my visit.

      Donald

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  • Posted

    I have had this reaction especially the breathlessness for 3 years I was diagnosed with irregular heartbeat. My oxygen levels are always 98 so I can`t comment on that part. I spent a year with different tests and ended up with a pace and ablate and am pacemaker dependent. The pacemaker made a great difference in my blood oxygen. Keep pushing for an early appointment as the cardiologist will be able to sort you out. Maybe an EP would be better, hope your feel better soon but keep pushing them!!!

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    • Posted

      Dear Sylvia:

      Thank you for responding. I will call the cardiologist on Friday to see if I can make my June 21st appt. even sooner. It is indeed "pushing", as the receptionist does not share in my urgency.

      Thank you for sharing about your pacemaker. May I ask, are there any inconveniences that the pacemaker brings with its connection to your heart? I can only think of the redeeming values that a pacemaker can provide.

      Thanks again for sharing your experience, strength and hope! Very much appreciated!!!

      Donald

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    • Posted

      Dear Sylvia:

      I wanted you to know that I picked up my CT Scan of my heart from the Imaging place that my Doctor sent me to. It reads:

      "There is Atherosclerotic Plaques of the Left Anterior Descending ( LAD ) Artery and Circumflex Coronary Arteries.

      I called the Cardiologist , and I received an appointment at West Hills Medical Center. on Monday at his office at 12:30pm.

      I hope to find out on Monday what procedure or treatment plan the Cardiologist will have for me on Monday. thanks for Encouraging me to move the appointment up to ASAP!

      Donald

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    • Posted

      I am glad for you that it is getting sorted. It sounds that you have a partially blocked artery and that is dangerous. All the best for tomorrow. I have a pre-op and I hope I pass i can't see me failing. then on to Thursday but with only 50% chance of success - still must keep on trying!

      Don`t be afraid of a pacemaker they are wonderful as they protect youagainst your heart stopping by picking up the beat.

      Good luck, would be interested to know what your outcome is. you know what they say knowledge is power!!

      Regards

      Sylvia

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  • Posted

    Only where there are security barriers like in the entrance to a supermarket they tell you not to stop within the area because of the magnetic force. I do not have any trouble but I am deaf and cannot use a personal listener as the wireless part is around your neck. Hope that helps.

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