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Question SOB for over a year without answers

Christa Capel

New Member
Mar 25, 2020
8
0
1
28
Tasmania
Hi everyone,

I have joined this forum to try and search for answers, I have a long history and all I can do is pray that I might find some direction on this forum.

I am not a typical free diver, I hold my breathe and catch crayfish; I haven't had any training and possibly, that damage has been done.

I started free diving a year ago and would go to maybe 8m, 10m max and stay under only for 30 seconds, not much longer. One day a year ago now I was diving and I got really cold, I had also swallowed a lot of salt water due to dodgy snorkel. I remember burping a lot whilst trying to dive (and I still do this and I don't know why!). When I got back I got a bad chest infection and cough. It went away but when it did I was stuck with shortness of breath.

Everyday I can't breathe properly. I yawn a lot and try get the air in and sometimes it doesn't go in down into my lungs. Sometimes I can get it in but the more you force it sometimes the harder to take the deep breathe. Sometimes I feel like I am choking or being strangled and I have a constant wheezing noise from my throat. The other thing is a have a weird croup sounding cough which has never gone away either and comes and goes. My oxygen saturation levels are normal, no asthma, blood tests normal, chest x-ray and CT scan both normal. The only thing abnormal was my lung function test which showed that my 'gas transfer' the called it was not normal.

I am a mountain bike instructor for my job and it has been so hard, I really am clutching at strings,

Any help, any comments, even if they are negative I don't care I just need something (and sorry if I posted in the wrong forum).

Thank you
Christa
 

hteas

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
929
121
148
71
Anchorage, AK
Have you tried deep inhales? Inhale, lift your shoulders, and inhale to the max. Then relax and let your stomach extend out to stretch your rib cage and diaphragm. They may help to open up the airways. Try several each day and see whether your breathing improves. Do start gently to keep from increasing the inflammation. Just a guess

It does sound like you inhaled some of the water and it got down into your lungs, causing abiotic pneumonia. Not necessarily permanent, but work gently to see whether you can get them back to functioning better.

J Campbell's suggestion may be right, but that should have shown up on the testing.

good luck, and don't give up
 
OP
OP
Christa Capel

Christa Capel

New Member
Mar 25, 2020
8
0
1
28
Tasmania
Have you tried deep inhales? Inhale, lift your shoulders, and inhale to the max. Then relax and let your stomach extend out to stretch your rib cage and diaphragm. They may help to open up the airways. Try several each day and see whether your breathing improves. Do start gently to keep from increasing the inflammation. Just a guess

It does sound like you inhaled some of the water and it got down into your lungs, causing abiotic pneumonia. Not necessarily permanent, but work gently to see whether you can get them back to functioning better.

J Campbell's suggestion may be right, but that should have shown up on the testing.

good luck, and don't give up


Hi HTEAS,

Thank you, when I inhale etc is it though the nose or mouth or both? I do notice when I do this the moment tension is in my throat area I can barely get any air in and it tightens up. Is there nay videos you know of I could be watching on this?

Thanks so much!
Christa
 

L-aspetto

New Member
Apr 2, 2019
1
1
1
21
Malta
Hi, i am a medical student (not a doctor yet so do not take my words as definite).

I can think of three possible causes that you should discuss with your doctor prior to starting anything.

1) you have had a pneumonia secondary to aspiration (breathing in the salt water that you may have thrown up underwater), meaning you needed antibiotics, and maybe it never quite healed properly.

2) this episode has left you with chronic stomach reflux ( stuff inside your stomach is coming up your food pipe on its own; especially while you are lying down and sleeping, and going into your lungs). You may need to speak to you doctor and either do a barometric study or start some sort of anti acid or PPI (medication). You may want to test out raising the head of your bed by a few inches so that you sleep at an incline; this may help without needed a doctors opinion.

3) you may have done some damage to your sinus without knowing, and now you are producing mucus from your nose that causes “post-nasal drip” that drips down to your lungs and causes this constant irritation. Maybe you need to start some form of nasal steroid?

Im not sure obviously because i have no examined you myself and have not seen your test results; but these may help you discuss further with a doctor. In my opinion you need to review with a respiratory specialist and maybe consider doing something called a bronchoscopy and broncheoalveolar lavage to further investigate.

Goodluck, and get well soon. I hope this helps a little bit :)
 
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fla

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
58
3
48
Connemara
Hi Crista,
That's a super sucky situation, especially when its affecting your work. While I don't know what could be causing your lungs to act in such a way I highly recommend Oxygen Advantage as a method of figuring out your breathing. It's done wonders for me in all areas of my life, not just for diving.
Maybe it can help.

Good luck

Thomas
 

ApneaChamp28

Member
Mar 25, 2015
5
3
13
42
United Kingdom
Many years ago I had a chest infection but carried on training. I then got a myocarditis. They discovered this through a heart ultrasound. I was breathless a lot sometimes thought I would pass out. Might be worth requesting one just to double check?
 
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Clearance

Active Member
May 26, 2012
1
1
36
South coast UK
Would highly recommend getting in touch with a doctor who specialises in diving as they have been helpful for me in the past. Here is a list for your neck of the woods: https://www.spums.org.au/dive-doctors-list
Nearly everything is fixable, so don't despair. The last time I properly aspirated seawater it took months and IV antibiotics before my breathing was sorted and I could dive again, but my lung function is as good as it's ever been now and I fly through my annual dive medical.

Have a good one,

Pete
 
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alastair

Blue Member
Aug 30, 2002
157
33
118
Genova, Italy
www.orchard.it
Hi Crista,

Sorry to hear about about your experience and trauma. SOB is a SOB :)

Probably a red herring, but is your condition constant, or does it flare up under certain circumstances? Several years ago I had a near miss at 50m and suffered from SOB every time I thought of diving for several months. For me it was anxiety-related (like a panic attack) and there was a degree of vicious circle where stress created tension in the throat, which created SOB, which increased the stress. It fortunately went away over time and I could sleep again and get back in the water.

I’m not a doctor and I’m absolutely not saying “it’s all in your head”. Your gas exchange results probably indicate you have some physical healing to do, but it could be worth trying relaxation / meditation / stretching routines in combination with any investigations you do with the lung specialist. At least this helped me.

Good luck
Al
 
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perphectnumber

Active Member
Oct 18, 2011
1
2
36
Berthoud, CO, USA
Christa,
Echoing what Alastair just said... it's important to remember that a lot of the stuff our bodies do is learned behavior, in a sense. I would definitely recommend seeing some medical experts, but I would also put some serious thought and effort into gradually re-training some of your breathing-related behavior. Stress-induced feedback loops are tricky and can be very difficult to un-learn, but they CAN be unlearned with patience and persistence. Whether or not the doctors find something they can fix, I urge you to have absolute confidence that you can improve your own situation over time. That confidence is an important part of the process... if you feel hopeless, the stress-induced feedback becomes much harder to break. If you feel confident and determined, every tiny step forward will serve to reinforce that confidence and you will make progress over time. Good luck and stay strong!
-Phil
 
Hi everyone,

I have joined this forum to try and search for answers, I have a long history and all I can do is pray that I might find some direction on this forum.

I am not a typical free diver, I hold my breathe and catch crayfish; I haven't had any training and possibly, that damage has been done.

I started free diving a year ago and would go to maybe 8m, 10m max and stay under only for 30 seconds, not much longer. One day a year ago now I was diving and I got really cold, I had also swallowed a lot of salt water due to dodgy snorkel. I remember burping a lot whilst trying to dive (and I still do this and I don't know why!). When I got back I got a bad chest infection and cough. It went away but when it did I was stuck with shortness of breath.

Everyday I can't breathe properly. I yawn a lot and try get the air in and sometimes it doesn't go in down into my lungs. Sometimes I can get it in but the more you force it sometimes the harder to take the deep breathe. Sometimes I feel like I am choking or being strangled and I have a constant wheezing noise from my throat. The other thing is a have a weird croup sounding cough which has never gone away either and comes and goes. My oxygen saturation levels are normal, no asthma, blood tests normal, chest x-ray and CT scan both normal. The only thing abnormal was my lung function test which showed that my 'gas transfer' the called it was not normal.

I am a mountain bike instructor for my job and it has been so hard, I really am clutching at strings,

Any help, any comments, even if they are negative I don't care I just need something (and sorry if I posted in the wrong forum).

Thank you
Christa
Hi Christa,

As some others have asked, does it seem to get worse at times? Some others have posted that there may be a psychological component. I had something similar happen a while ago and when I went to the hospital, all the tests were fine. I realized that it got worse when I thought about it or if I started doing breath hold exercises, but if I was able to distract myself, then I wouldn't notice it. That seemed to indicate to me that there was a psychological aspect involved. Now it rarely ever happens. If a person is predisposed to anxiety then this might also be correlated to it. If your blood oxygen levels are okay (as mine were), then I would be inclined to think physiologically that you are okay.

Anyway, I hope it gets better for you. I had to stop doing all free diving and all breath hold exercises for a while just to get back to normal. I know this isnt really a good answer but hopefully if our situations were similar then it may help.

Thanks,

Niko
 
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ebrs

Member
May 3, 2016
26
15
18
36
Florida, USA
Have you gotten any medical attention. You should definitely see a pulmonologist. At the very least have a chest X-ray and a CT angio of your chest and basic blood work. That would at least rule out any major problems (infection in your lungs, pulmonary embolism). That would be a good start. A single trip to your doctor could get you in the right direction
 
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grarena

Member
Jan 19, 2019
84
13
23
63
New Orleans
All good points. My questions are
1- what tests were run?
2- did you see a pulmonologist?
3- did they blow it off like “all in your head”
4- like already asked is it better at times and worse at times and when?
5- does eating make it worse? Lying flat worse? If you take a slow deep breath time it and see how long on the inhale?
6- do you have asthma? Taking something for that? What meds are you on?

Also for this being a year that’s a long time. Doubt pneumonia
 

fieldy

Active Member
Jul 13, 2013
20
1
38
South Somerset
Hi everyone,

I have joined this forum to try and search for answers, I have a long history and all I can do is pray that I might find some direction on this forum.

I am not a typical free diver, I hold my breathe and catch crayfish; I haven't had any training and possibly, that damage has been done.

I started free diving a year ago and would go to maybe 8m, 10m max and stay under only for 30 seconds, not much longer. One day a year ago now I was diving and I got really cold, I had also swallowed a lot of salt water due to dodgy snorkel. I remember burping a lot whilst trying to dive (and I still do this and I don't know why!). When I got back I got a bad chest infection and cough. It went away but when it did I was stuck with shortness of breath.

Everyday I can't breathe properly. I yawn a lot and try get the air in and sometimes it doesn't go in down into my lungs. Sometimes I can get it in but the more you force it sometimes the harder to take the deep breathe. Sometimes I feel like I am choking or being strangled and I have a constant wheezing noise from my throat. The other thing is a have a weird croup sounding cough which has never gone away either and comes and goes. My oxygen saturation levels are normal, no asthma, blood tests normal, chest x-ray and CT scan both normal. The only thing abnormal was my lung function test which showed that my 'gas transfer' the called it was not normal.

I am a mountain bike instructor for my job and it has been so hard, I really am clutching at strings,

Any help, any comments, even if they are negative I don't care I just need something (and sorry if I posted in the wrong forum).

Thank you
Christa
 
Sep 6, 2017
1
1
11
58
denver co
Look into vocal cord dysfunction, this can result from stress on the throat (vocal cords) and can take a long time to heal. Every-time you stress it, the healing time extends. I get this with season allergies, almost feels like asthma for 4-12 weeks. Speech therapist can help with therapy/exercise/habits to help recover.

As a I'm not doctor, would suggest you go see a pulmonologist and get imaging to verify it's not some version of pulmonary edema or aspiration pneumonia.
 
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Anatoliy

Member
Mar 28, 2015
3
1
11
51
Wheeling, IL
Hi Christa,
Very sorry for your breathing troubles.
I am a freediver instructor and licensed acupuncturist.
Western medicine can help if there is a biochemical pathogenic factor still present in your lungs or airways. However, from your report I can't see a big probability of infection. With severity of your presentation the infection would be easy to find, and you would be treated with antibiotics already.
I agree with those talking about dysfunctionality. Quite often, due to traumatic event of any nature, body can enter a state of deep psycho-emotional distress. A person can look absolutely normal from outside, but inside there is a great deal of tension presence that negatively affects numerous physiological functions. In many ways it resembles PTSD or abuse (child/sexua/domestic) condition.
From my experience, breathing relaxation techniques is the most effective way to reset the body and let it heal from inside and stop limiting you from living life you want. If it makes sense to you at all, you can learn more by attending online video conference I am doing this week. You can sign up here https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/HAON7A/workshops
It is free, and I will be happy to give you more guidance in this direction.
Keep breathing, get well soon.
Anatoliy
 
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agro

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2006
2
0
86
Talk to your doctor; you may need a Gastroscopy to determine if you have a Hiatal Hernia.

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). Your diaphragm has a small opening (hiatus) through which your food tube (esophagus) passes before connecting to your stomach. In a hiatal hernia, the stomach pushes up through that opening and into your chest.

A small hiatal hernia usually doesn't cause problems. You may never know you have one unless your doctor discovers it when checking for another condition. But a large hiatal hernia can allow food and acid to back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn. Self-care measures or medications can usually relieve these symptoms. A very large hiatal hernia might require surgery.

Symptoms
Most small hiatal hernias cause no signs or symptoms. But larger hiatal hernias can cause:
  • Heartburn from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Regurgitation of food or liquids into the mouth
  • Backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus (acid reflux)
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting of blood or passing of black stools, which may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding
 
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