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  • #31
    Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

    In my completely uneducated opinion it is probably the hot liquid that helps reduce congestion which is a trigger, and the caffeine. I think as long as you don't add to much milk as to cool the coffee down too much, you will be fine. I should experiment with decaf vs. regular.

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    • #32
      Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

      Hello Jim, I too have had trouble with multiple versions of the non-drowsy antihistimines. What works best for me is actifed. (chlorpheniramine) . It makes me really sleepy, but some days I would rather sleep then sneeze constantly. Also note as far as decongestants, pseudoephedrine works better than the PE version phenylephrine.

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      • #33
        Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

        shiny! i'm glad your cardiologist at least had the humility to finally listen, and from the sound of the encounter, he likely learned. the next patient who is short of breath will get a little more thought. it just sucks that you had to go undiagnosed for so long.

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        • #34
          Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

          I am from Russia so I remember that Buteyko breathing technique helped some asthma patients back in Russia and one of those patients was my classmate. Here is a couple of links from my today's search: http://asthmafoundation.org.nz/wp-co...is_Buteyko.pdf and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...22763812000520

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          • #35
            Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

            Thanks, jk. I'm determined to look forward with optimism instead of backwards with resentment.

            Today I met with the interns at the SW College of Naturopathic Medicines and Health Sciences. Also talked with the ND who's supervising my case. He's an endocrinology professor! Based on my intake the first thing he wants to do is test my adrenals, pituitary and thyoid, which is what I've needed for years. And that's just the beginning. This guy's smart! He's confident they can help me feel better and breathe better. I finally found a zebra hunter.

            Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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            • #36
              Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

              Originally posted by ER59 View Post
              I am from Russia so I remember that Buteyko breathing technique helped some asthma patients back in Russia and one of those patients was my classmate. Here is a couple of links from my today's search: http://asthmafoundation.org.nz/wp-co...is_Buteyko.pdf and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...22763812000520
              Thank you for this, ER59. I'm printing it up and will do further study. I really appreciate it!

              Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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              • #37
                Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

                Originally posted by shiny! View Post
                Thanks, jk. I'm determined to look forward with optimism instead of backwards with resentment.

                Today I met with the interns at the SW College of Naturopathic Medicines and Health Sciences. Also talked with the ND who's supervising my case. He's an endocrinology professor! Based on my intake the first thing he wants to do is test my adrenals, pituitary and thyoid, which is what I've needed for years. And that's just the beginning. This guy's smart! He's confident they can help me feel better and breathe better. I finally found a zebra hunter.
                Thanks for sharing your story here, Shiny. It's been an education, not only on your own specific case, but also in how to approach an incredibly frustrating situation with grace, and hope.

                Seeing those qualities in you is no surprise to those of us who have read your posts for a while, but you still manage to teach them by example with the way you live your life.

                You will continue to be in our thoughts.

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                • #38
                  Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

                  Originally posted by astonas View Post
                  Thanks for sharing your story here, Shiny. It's been an education, not only on your own specific case, but also in how to approach an incredibly frustrating situation with grace, and hope.

                  Seeing those qualities in you is no surprise to those of us who have read your posts for a while, but you still manage to teach them by example with the way you live your life.

                  You will continue to be in our thoughts.
                  Astonas, if you ever saw me in my less graceful, less hopeful moods you would have a much different opinion of me! But thank you. You made my day.

                  My sincere gratitude to all of you for taking the time to help me. I don't know how I got to be so lucky to have you as friends. Thank you, EJ, for making the forum available. This is a great bunch of people here!

                  Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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                  • #39
                    Re: COPD or Asthma, Anyone?

                    [UOTE=charliebrown;288133]Hello Jim, I too have had trouble with multiple versions of the non-drowsy antihistimines. What works best for me is actifed. (chlorpheniramine) . It makes me really sleepy, but some days I would rather sleep then sneeze constantly. Also note as far as decongestants, pseudoephedrine works better than the PE version phenylephrine.[/QUOTE]

                    Yes chlopheniramine also works on me although it also affects me somewhat whereas benadryl does not. Dexbrompheniramine also works. When I was really having problems I used to take Drixoral. Drixoral also contains pseudoephedrine. This product is no longer sold in the US, although I believe you can still get it from Canada. I avoid pseudoepherdrine as much as possible because I also have high blood pressure (controlled). When Drixoral was no longer available in the US, I bought 5 boxes of Drixoral from Canada, but have only used it rarely.

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                    • #40
                      My Brother Had Two Cancers

                      Iíve been away from iTulip for several months, and now Iím slowly catching up. My younger brother had two cancers, so I spent a chunk of time on the East Coast in a hotel near the hospital, visiting him every day.

                      I wasnít sure where to put a subject like this, but since we already have several health-related discussions in this thread, it seems like a reasonable place.

                      There are three things I/we learned during this process that I think will interest others on iTulip.

                      ** My brother had a busy professional life, and he hadnít been to see a doctor for a dozen years. He never had the routine tests you get through your primary care physician. One of those tests, prostate specific antigen (PSA), is controversial since anything over "four" is considered a sign of possible prostate cancer. Healthcare observers often feel this test is over-used, since people end up worrying when the test registers anything over four, even though they donít actually have a significant problem.

                      My brother felt very tired, was found to be anemic, and was hospitalized for blood transfusions. While he was in the hospital they did a complete series of blood tests, including PSA Ė and it measured 8,000. My brother had prostate cancer, metastasized to the bones. That meant it could be treated, but it could not be cured. His estimated life expectancy was put at five years.

                      Take-home message: it might be a good idea to see your primary care physician every once in a while, even if you are very busy.

                      ** My brother was treated for prostate cancer and felt much better. We went together on vacation to Rio de Janeiro. He got a well-made wig, so no one at work would suspect his situation.

                      His doctor told him about a medication that could extend his life significantly. He could have waited a year or two, but she advised him to start taking it right away in order to have the best possible results. The medication also had a slight risk of negative effects, but my brother didnít focus on that. Once his doctor said "this medication offers the greatest chance of extending your life," he didnít listen attentively to all the other details.

                      Half a year later he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a cancer which starts in bone marrow and affects the cells that grow into blood cells. These days they do genetic tests on the cancer cells, and he had a very aggressive form of the disease. AML is a well-known side effect of the medication he took. While nothing is 100% percent certain, he thought the second cancer was probably due to the medication. Looking back, he felt he had not listened and weighed appropriately how heíd feel if he happened to draw an unlucky result. When he got the AML diagnosis, his expected lifespan dropped to "three to six months." In fact, he lived about three-and-a-half months from the second diagnosis.

                      Take-home message: when the doctor tells you thereís a small chance of something going wrong, listen hard.


                      Spending this section of his life together with my brother was a learning experience for me. He was able to accept these unwelcome events with composure, and focus on whatever was happening in the moment. The weekend he was admitted to Hopkins for the strongest possible chemotherapy happened to be the start of football season Ė he and my son watched two games that Sunday. He regretted his decision to take the medication for about 30 seconds Ė and then dropped it, noting that his doctor had the best intentions. I hope I can do as well when itís my turn.

                      ** Throughout his life, before these illnesses, my brother always said that if he got sick, he would want everything possible done. He did not believe in an afterlife, and he valued every minute of life possible ... he wanted to continue fighting.

                      He ended up spending about three months in various hospitals. (This is very unusual in todayís healthcare system.) I learned, as I lived through the experience with him, that if I were in a similar situation I would not make the same choices.

                      The hospital rooms were clean, modern, well-maintained Ė one person per room Ė your own TV system with several channels Ė on some units you even get to choose your own dinner. BUT the room is filled with sophisticated devices; they are all noisy. The IV tube beeps whenever the liquid stops flowing. They all keep beeping, louder and louder, whenever theyíre disconnected from electricity. Eventually a nurse comes by and turns off the warning sound.

                      For someone with a short-term issue that can be repaired in the hospital (such as hip replacement, or a curable cancer) of course it makes sense to adapt to that environment, get your treatment, and get out of there. But if I knew I had a terminal illness, I wouldnít want to spend my last days in a hospital room. Iíd rather spend that time in peaceful surroundings, if possible close to plants and sky, even if that meant my life would be shorter.

                      Of course you donít really find out what youíll do in these circumstances until you actually live through them. Over the next few years I hope to learn more about alternative options, because Iíve seen the very best modern healthcare can offer at the end of life, and it isnít what I want.
                      If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

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                      • #41
                        Re: My Brother Had Two Cancers

                        Ellen, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for telling your story. Your brother sounds like he was a great guy who will be sorely missed by his family.

                        I applaud your willingness to consider alternative medicine. There are a lot of alternative cancer treatments. Some are commonly used by doctors in other countries but haven't been approved here. Some are purely unsubstantiated. Some treatments are legit, others are snake oil. Some alternative medicine doctors are extremely knowledgeable and have a lot to offer their patients. Others are just ripoff artists. It's important to do your due diligence when you're not in a medical crisis.

                        The thing that happens when we get a cancer diagnosis is we (understandably) tend to panic. Most people immediately hand over their power to their doctors, do what they're told and never know that they might have other options. I've watched close friends go through this just as you watched your dear brother go through it. People who do due diligence for financial matters don't do due diligence for their cancer treatment.

                        Louis Pasteur said, "Chance favors the prepared mind." I've always been at higher than average risk for certain cancers and I've had a lot of success using alternative medicine for various things. So I decided to prepare myself in advance for the possibility that I might get cancer. I read about alternative treatments, compared outcomes to conventional treatments, compared side-effects, factored in quality of life issues, etc. When I did get breast cancer I was scared but I didn't panic.

                        I was fortunate to have a doctor who was very knowledgeable about cutting edge alternative cancer treatments. She knows even more now. (Thanks to her I learned that I have the VDR Taq gene mutation and what to do for it.) She had three patients at the time with breast cancer. One had exhausted conventional treatment before coming to her. One was doing a blend of conventional and holistic therapies, using my doctor for the holistic side of her protocol. I refused conventional medicine for a number of personal reasons, only doing alternative therapies. This was nineteen years ago. Obviously I survived.

                        I'm not saying that people should do what I did or that my protocol would be right for anyone else. It was just the right choice for me.

                        Again, my condolences for your loss.

                        Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: My Brother Had Two Cancers

                          I owe you guys an update on my lungs since that was why this thread got started

                          I finally got a good pulmonologist about six months later. After a lot of tests ruling out everything else, her diagnosis was that I probably had viral pneumonia. Apparently there are a lot of viral pneumonias that don't show up on blood tests. I had been feverish a few days before my breathing crisis happened, which lends credence to her theory. It took eleven months for my lungs to return to normal. They're fine now. No meds or inhalers necessary.

                          Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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                          • #43
                            Re: My Brother Had Two Cancers

                            ellen, i'm sorry to hear about your brother and all he [and you] went through. your take home message of "pay attention to the side effect risks and weigh them in your decision-making" is true, but i think there's a much bigger take home message: don't go a dozen years without a routine physical. it's likely your brother would have had a psa test years ago, since the [controversial] recommendation not to bother with that test is recent. even if he didn't get that blood test, it's possible a routine rectal exam would have found evidence of his prostate cancer a lot earlier. in general, i think it's worth getting occasional routine physicals [frequency depends on age] if only to have baselines against which to judge future tests in the event you become ill.

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