Over the past month I've been having SEVERE shortness of breath. Almost constantly. When it gets really bad my throat closes up, almost like an allergic reaction. I've been to the ER twice. I've seen a gastroenterologist and had an endoscopy to check out my esophagus. Everything was fine. I've had my heart checked. All good.
Ended up in the ER again on Friday. X-rays of my lungs looked fine but they prescribed me an inhaler and referred me to a pulmonologist. My appointment is tomorrow.
Okay, so the inhaler did nothing (as has none of the mess I've been given) and on Saturday my friend told me it sounded like I was having anxiety attacks. That sounded absurd to me because I'm not an anxious person and this issue appears at random. But she gave me a klonopin and last night when I felt my breathing getting difficult and my throat closing up, I took one. It worked.
So maybe it is a never ending anxiety attack. Should I tell the pulmonologist this? I just want this fixed and I'm tired of seeing doctors and if these things fix my breathing I want them now!
Panic Attacks. That'll be $150, please. NEXT!
[quote]my friend told me it sounded like I was having anxiety attacks. That sounded absurd to me because I'm not an anxious person and this issue appears at random.
Really? You think Panic Attacks is a result of someone being nervous? It's called Panic because that is the symptom.
She technically could but if you come to a specialist for the first time; she will run tests. If she concludes it is anxiety, should refer you to a gp/internist/psychiatrist who can treat you (no guarantee they will prescribe that drug or any drug) Also, talk therapy would not be a bad idea. Don't drink alcohol with this drug - makes it addictive. Don't borrow this drug.
If the episodes are truly random and the only symptom is shortness of breath - it is not a panic attack or panic disorder.
But you should thank your friend for diagnosing you and giving you medication that may well mask the symptoms.
The symptoms are:
Shortness of breath
Tingling and numbness in fingers
These are all the symptoms of an anxiety attack. Also a heart attack but my heart is fine. I have no idea if its this or not but if it is, I'd like to start meds NOW because this is unbearable, and not have to make YET ANOTHER new doctor appointment. That's my point here. I'm tired of seeing new doctors. I've seen 5 in one month. I've had so many tests, I've had to take so much time off work and its expensive.
Are you a smoker?
Well OP anxiety attacks aren't random.
Unless you left out something about your and your friends qualifications - neither of you are qualified to diagnose an anxiety disorder, let alone prescribe medication.
I share your frustration - you're not only the only person to have a health crisis and physicians aren't able to diagnose and/or successfully treat.
See a therapist to help you with this, while physician's try to figure out what is wrong.
In the meantime stay out of your friend's medicine cabinet.
klonopin is the choice of treatment in epilepsy, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, mania & migraines. textbook anxiety attack. try pot.
If you have your licence, you can prescribe anything.
R8, weed actually makes it worse. I've tried.
[quote]Well OP anxiety attacks aren't random
Of course they are. You think you can schedule them? They can happen any time, even in the dead of night.
She can, OP, whether it's advisable is another matter.
Does your inhaler have albuterol? That would be what you should take to relax your chest muscles when they falsely believe you aren't getting enough oxygen.
I'm guessing asthma OP.
Klonopin is one of the most addictive meds out there. OP, are you already addicted and looking for a new angle for a prescription?
You will lose your hair. You will become constipated. You will lose all ambition. You will be living in a dreamstate.
Klonopin is bad news.
[quote]weed actually makes it worse. I've tried.
Same here, OP. Anxious and paranoid as hell.
people who get paranoid on weed are inherently honest.
The dishonest people are the ones who enjoy it on a regular basis.
R15, if you read my OP you have your answer. I've amen exactly 1 klonopin in my entire life. So no, my concern isn't feeding an addiction, it's being able to breathe. I'm a runner, too, and this has been a terrible burden.
The inhaler I was given IS albuterol. 2 puffs every 4 hours. It has given me no relief. Neither has the nexium, the fish oil, the Claritin, and all of the other meds I've been prescribed over the past month or so. The klonopin did, however, which is why I'm curious about it.
klonopin is the choice of treatment in epilepsy, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, mania & migraines.
you yourself say that you take klonopin to relieve your "symptoms" but you are so deep in denial that you insist on trying to find some other explanation to your problem.
go see a therapist, OP.
I think you're correct R17 based on my circle of friends.
OP, I believe you could be having an allergic reaction to something.
If you really want pain killers then ask for them. State where it hurts, and the problems the pain is causing. Make sure (if it is allergies) that you get an RX for that too (the doc will be more likely to give the pain pills with the allergy ones) Try to pin point where you are when the attacks start, and what you are doing. Write it down (or make a quick note on your smartphone, so you always remember.) I've seen this happen before. I don't like the idea of anyone taking antihistamines all the time, but sometimes it's necessary. I've seen allergies cause breathing issues far too many times.
Are you indoors when it happens? Pets? Feather pillows? House plants? Carpets? Any sign of mold, anywhere?
R20 = can't read
R22, it happens at work. It happens at home. It happens in the car.
I thought allergic reaction, too, because it feels the same way when I eat shellfish, which I'm allergic too. But antihistamines didn't work.
I guess I'll see what the Dr. says tomorrow. I'm just tired of being referred around and want this fixed. The time and money it's costing me is a big deal, but mostly I just want to feel normal again.
OP, don't waste your money on a pulmonologist there's nothing wrong with your lungs. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist, get your medicine, have a therapy session or two and be done with it. No doctor will prescribe you klonopin for concerns outside their field.
OP - you need to see a therapist.
If you are having panic attacks - then talk therapy will be part of the treatment.
If you have serious health problem which will require managing with life style changes and/or medication. A therapist is a good idea.
I know two people who have been diagnosed with panic disorder - you don't mention something the both experience. Extreme overwhelming anxiety.
R24, you don't need to be in pain! Breathing is essential to life, and if a doctor isn't helping you, then find another one! The doctor should be trying to find the root cause, and treating it as-is until he can find the cause.
Do you have air conditioners at home, in your car, and at work? These are all enclosed indoor areas, it is sounding more like allegires to me. You may need to try a different antihistamine (and stick with it for a bit to give it a chance to work).
Also, get a humidifier and use it for a few days. Even if you don't want to do anything else I've suggested, please buy a humidifier! (you can always just return it after!)
Keep us updated OP!
What about Xanax?
I was just given a prescription by my doctor last week for mild anxiety. My family is triggering anxiety, and I am having a hard time with it. So I went to my dr. And told him what is happening and what I am goin thru. He agreed it was anxiety, and offered either Xanax which I can take as needed, or klonopin which I would have to take daily. I opted for the Xanax, which I must say is a very mild help. But I am not familiar with the side effects. Someone above mentioned losing your hair from klonopin. Anything awful like that from Xanax? I definitely so far feel like I have more get up and go, more positive, less negative feelings.
Klonopin and Xanax are both benzos, so one has to use caution in taking them.
Hellish withdrawl if done cold turkey, addiction is a worry, and there are varying side effects.
You must weigh the benefits and side effects against good old-fashioned exercise and nutrition, which will lessen your anxiety and not make you a zombie.
Did you ever watch Dr. Drew?
He was always warning people about benzos.
R30, R29 here I have heard lots of bad things about benzos, frightening. But the Xanax just lifts the edge off, I honestly feel I can deal with things better, pick my battles, have a more positive outlook. I feel like the people that enjoy getting a rise from me are now dumbfounded. I don't feel fogged up at all. I feel good, not high at all, but normal. I didn't realize how anxious I was, I suppose, but this has so far been a great help. Of course I am only On it 6 days. Wondering if this is something I should have done long ago. But on the other hand I was not looking to be on it long term when I spoke to my doctor. I am in no way a drug user, partied a bit when I was a kid, but not in many years. I'm not looking for a way to get high.
Anyone have anxiety attacks? Does it feel like anaphylaxis?
As R27 said, do you have extreme overwhelming anxiety? My best friend suffers from panic attacks, but she also suffers from extreme anxiety. It doesn't sound like you're a generally anxious person, OP.
Benzo withdrawal is hell. It's the worst thing you can go through. Don't start! There are alternatives.
OP, I've had anxiety attacks in the past and they are not random. I didn't experience numbness/tingling in the hands or a closing feeling in my throat like you do, but I had an extreme shortness of breath (I was gasping) and a pain across my chest down into my gut.
You should tell the dr. that the klonopin worked and all the drugs that didn't. They might be able to figure out what you really have based on that, your symptoms and the results of tests.
Keep searching. I know it's tiring, frustrating, etc. to keep going to doctors, but you need to find out what you really have. Good luck to you.
The pulmonologist said that he thinks I do have anxiety, but believes its as a result of my condition. He thinks its lung or heart related. I had an echocardiogram done yesterday a d on Friday I am going back for a pulmonary function test.
Is anyone ever successful taking Xanax on an occasional, as needed basis without getting hooked? I took Valium daily for about a month and then stopped, and even in that short time frame, I experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms.
OP. Your regular doctor can prescribe this medicine as well. Mine did shortly after my heart attack.
I would have palpitations and freak out. They found nothing wrong with my heart. I would wear a monitor for 48 hours and nothing would happen. The symptoms are real and should be treated as such, but the source could be more anxiety related.
After any traumatic incident, physical or otherwise, the nervous system can remap itself. Mine went from back pains to my heart. I realized how much of this was actually my nervous system after my heart attack because the back pains disappeared.
My system had remapped my anxiety to a whole new part of my body.
It was a relief in a way. Now I take Klonopin at night before bed- only when I need it. As I get more comfortable with myself, and realize when and why the palpitations come on and I'm not going to die, I need it less and less.
Mind and Body work together for the positive as well. Good Luck OP.
My Dr. has had me on klonapin/clonazepam for 3 years.
Is something going around? Because my friend, non-smoker, has the same symptoms. He's getting better, but slowly. It started with bronchitis and then the throat closing up, which shocked and surprised him. It is getting better without medication.
R40, tell him to start taking magnesium supplements. Just not Magnesium Oxide. That's basically in-absorbable. Try the aspartame. GNV has a great Magnesium and Potassium supplement. They're 250mg a pill. I take two in the morning and 2 in the evening. They're like $25 but I just Google GNC $10 off coupon and just print that.
I had terrible shortness of breath and started that regimen. Cured in 2 weeks. Google Magnesium decency and shortness of breath and see if that sounds like your friends problems.
I went through something that sounds incredibly similar. Turned out to be episodes of severe GERD. I would eat something and an hour or two later I would get what felt like "panic attacks." It took a while to connect because the reaction was not immediate.