Here’s the situation fellow Dopers…
A few weeks ago I developed a sore throat and a cough. Like any normal college student after it became too much I went to the health center.
There they initially diagnosed my condition as bronchitis. The doctor that I saw perscribed doxycycline (an antibiotic) and Prometh with Codeine cough syrup. I was told to return in two days if I wasn’t feeling any better.
So, two days later I returned because I was still coughing violently and I wasn’t feeling much better. At this point they began to suspect that I was developing asthma, mainly because I display most of the symptoms of asthma coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath; however I don’t really wheeze ( I only wheeze when I cough). At this point the doctor also perscribed Advair to try and open up my lungs. Since they were suspecting astma they started to take my peak flow ( the measure of my ability to push air out of my lungs) and my blood oxygen level. I had never been diagnosed with asthma, so all of this was very new to me. They asked me to come back the next week.
That night my grandmother took me to the hospital because she thought I that I had bronchial pneumonia and lack of oxygen, because I had a severe headache. At the hospital I had several doctors listen to my lungs and all of them asked me if I had asthma. They took chest x-rays and they all came back clear. They recommended a cool mist humidifier, told me to continue with my medication and sent me home.
The next week I returned to the health center, at this point I was feeling really good (finally finished with the antibiotic and the cough syrup), but my coughing was and still is really severe (I often cough to the point of gasping for breath). The doctors there continued to test my Peak Flow and blood oxygen level. During the week my peak flow never went above 200, when at my height and age it should be around 460. Needless to say at the end of the week they concluded that I have asthma, so they added an Albuterol inhaler to the medicine mix. They also want me to see a Pulmonologist.
Here’s where it get’s tricky: My family in no way shape or form wants to believe that there is the possibility that I could have asthma. They merely think it is just a cold. And I’m not saying that there isn’t the possibility that they could be right. That is why I saw my family doctor for a second opinion. What I didn’t know was that my mother had already discussed this whole situation with my family doctor.
I had the health center fax all of my information over to my family doctor, so he could get a better understanding of what was going on. When I saw him, he merely listened to my lungs and went by my temperature of 99. 1, and told me that I have a case of bronchitis that is continuously irratated my my constant coughing. He said it couldn’t be asthma because I have a fever. But that is the first time that I have remotely had a fever in all the time I have been going to the health center. So he perscribed Tussionex cough syrup and Prednisone.
I wouldn’t be so doubtful of his decision if it wasn’t for the fact that he didn’t really look through the records I had faxed over and he didn’t really care about my peak flow record. I was only in his office for about 15 minutes, tops. I know he could be right, that this is merely bronchitis and I also know that the health center could be wrong with their asthma diagnosis. So now, I am on even more medicine and really unsure of what to do. Tomorrow I have a health center appointment with their asthma specialist. Even though, my family doctor says it’s bronchitis, I plan to keep the appointment.
What would you do if you were in my position? I don’t want to assume either way and I really would like to be able to stop coughing. If you have any idea of what I should do I would be really interested in hearing it. Thank you so much.