I had a pulmonary embolism in July. Since then I have had a horrid, dry, forceful cough, chest burning, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. My newer CT scan shows my lungs as being completely clear of clots. I ended up in the ER around 12/22 because I could not talk more than a few words without needing to breathe. I also couldn't walk more than 100 feet without breathing heavily. The ER did a CT and stated that they saw air trapping in the lower lobes that is indicative of reactive airway disease. I was given a breathing treatment and sent home. Here is the kicker. When the cough started over the summer a pulmonologist ran breathing tests before and after a bronchodilater. I was 125% to norm. In the end she gave me an albuterol inhaler which helped tremendously. My primary care doctor gave me a daily inhaler with both cortisone and a longer active bronchodilator. When I got up to 2x a day on the daily medication I was much much better. I was off it for about 4 weeks before I went to the ER. After the ER trip I was put back on the symbicort. After a week I was able to breathe well enough to return to work. I know that in the summer I mainly coughed when exposed to outside air with allergens. I was fine when inside in air conditioning. Now, not sure when I am fine or not. It seems that activity and eating can be triggers. I went to see my allergist today hoping to get better management as since the ER the rescue inhaler has been used a few times a day. I was told that I didn't need them as my spirometry had been above average. So, why does the CT show it? Why am I a mess? What direction should I go in next? Doctors are thinking I am panicking from the hospital stay over the summer. People who see me though in these coughing fits are concerned. I am concerned. I need to have some help as a pulmonologist and an asthma/allergy specialist both think I am being paranoid and my PCP is great but I don't think he is equipped well enough to manage this.
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