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Topic Shortness of Breath Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By plcpainter On 2012.05.31 11:22
My husband is increasingly having episodes where he feels short of breath. During these times he audibly pants like a dog and experiences anxiety. The anxiety doesn't cause the shortness of breath but rather, the shortness of breath causes the anxiety! When his blood oxygen levels are taken during these episodes they are always around 92%, so a little on the low side. I wrote his neurologist and just heard back from him. He doesn't feel this is caused by PD. I am finding this hard to believe as it seems that the diaphram and/or lungs are being hit with rigidity, which then relaxes and regular breathing resumes. Neuro doc says PD very rarely affects breathing. Would appreciate the thoughts and experiences from those on this forum. Thanks so much! BTW - my sweetie will be 80 in 3 weeks and has had PD for 8 years.

By lurkingforacure On 2012.05.31 15:46
I can't say how many times I have read that the "experts" say this or that is not caused or contributed to by PD, including PAIN. It only stands to reason that as all muscles in the body become increasingly rigid, including the heart which is a muscle, that breathing difficulties are inevitable.

My husband has progressed very rapidly in the last year, lots of stresses which I totally believe are the reason. I have noticed the past couple of months or so that he makes all kinds of strange sounds when he moves, rolling over, getting up, bending over to put on a sock or shoe, he said he can't help it and we try to laugh. Also when he walks across the room or puts on his pants or really anything, he is winded. I have started to worry about this too but cannot find that there is anything I can do about it. But it is obviously PD related-how could it not be? When the drugs are working, the sounds and shortness of breath are gone....when drugs are not working so well, they are back. Watch what happens when you husband's meds are working and see for yourself how things play out-there will be your answer.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.05.31 18:54
Sound consul from Lurking! Many times I'd like to grab some of these Doctors and shake them up a bit! Many learn in school, pass exams and go out into practice thinking they know everything! I know it's hard to keep current with every new breakthrough and treatment. But they need to keep learning! To keep current! As more is learned about the diseases they treat they must keep up with this new knowledge. Lurking is right watch to see if there is a pattern to the breathing episodes. As to anxiety causing problems or problems causing anxiety they both feed off the other and separating them is hard. Again good advice Lurking! Take care, good luck and hang in there.

By lurkingforacure On 2012.05.31 23:52
Al, I would add that a more than healthy dose of attitude and condescension of many neuros may also be in play. Humility does not seem to be a trait seen in the doctors we have been to, sadly. I'm happy that is not universal, though, and if anyone reading this has a kind, humble doctor who listens, count your blessings!

By karolinakitty On 2012.06.02 21:49
Recently we had a parkie friend call us early morning as she had similar symptoms....did you check BP?

Hers was 80/50...Thank goodness for skype...we were able to work her through it...but in the long run it seemed that the muscles around the chest area had contracted causing the tightness in her chest and the ability or should I say NO ability to take deep breaths...my guy also had this happen during a period of dystonia....very winded....not able to take deep breaths....
We used warm compresses to lossen the muscles around the chest area....
like lurking suggested try watching around his off times...it could be caused by that.....I have learned from many parkies that sometimes if it is real severe they take a half sinemet and that too relieves it....

Al and Lurking couldn't agree with you more about the docs...it seems we ourselves don't have a good neuro or PCP but great neuro nurse and primary nurse...in our case we have found them more acceptable of our suggestions and no more about the issues involved then the docs themselves.....

By parkinit On 2012.06.03 12:26
We have this on a regular basis and mostly in the evenings. I have found that the shortness of breath may cause panic which causes more shortness of breath. I had to pat his back and sit by his side and reassure him and ask him to consciously take slow deep breaths. This helped immensely. I still hear most nights his difficulty breathing. We take bp often and have not found a direct correlation to shortness of breath and low bp in our situation. Of course, all our PWP are different, aren't they? It would be so easy if one case fit for all. That is why I think we so often have to struggle and find out causation on our own - because each case can be significantly different.

Personally, in our case, I believe, because he is in advanced PD stages, that it does have to do with the brain not properly working the diaphragm muscles.

By plcpainter On 2012.06.03 15:35
Thank you all for the input. I wasn't clear enough in my original post: I KNOW his PD is the cause of the shortness of breath! I just needed affirmation from other PDP. I will take this to his neuro, who is a good and caring man but tends to be too bound "by the book". Still, he is open to other possibilities. It makes me so darn mad that these symptoms get discounted! As was noted: OF COURSE all the muscles in the body are going to be affected by PD! Why not the diaphram, lungs, and heart as well!?!?!! We have found that using good old Vicks Vaporub at night on his chest helps keep the muscles relaxed and his breathing easier! Sometimes a cup of hot tea will do the same as I think the heat helps relax the muscles. My best to all of you.

By moonswife On 2012.06.03 20:55
Similar symptoms, present first as chest pain across top of ribcage. Then comes the shortness of breath. Twice (including last night) we went to ER. Ruled out heart attack with EKG, blood panel, but then they start insisting on stress tests. Neuro Dr says no treadmill (knee surgery) no dobutamine stress, etc. Usually resolves itself when they put him on the gurney and cover with warming blanket. But those CYA ER Drs want to "keep him for observation". Don't you just love it when they ask what Rx you take, but do not ask when your last dose was, or if you have your pills with you?

By karolinakitty On 2012.06.04 11:59
Moonswife...don't know if you saw the earlier post or if you are in the states, but, NPF has a kit called "Aware in Care" for taking to the hospital...It is totally awesome and helps you keep everything together for when you do go...even to the ER...I took ours to the ER and it helped a great deal....I also keep in that kit the booklet from APDA on med contradictions.....this way THEY may no be on top of it but YOU are....you can still order one... they are awaiting more grant money for them but here is the link again...

http://www.awareincare.org/


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