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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:
- CT Scan of lungs- RESULT: NO sign of pulmonary embolism
-ultrasound of my legs-RESULT: NEGATIVE for blood clots
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 :
- Have blood drawn, and this time with specific areas like artery blockage, etc.
- Take a Heart Echo Cardiogram Test.
- 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:
- Has anyone had a similar problem with shallow breathing?
- If so, what tests did you take ?
- 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.
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