The hidden diagnosis

For thirty years I have been diagnosed with asthma, my symptoms persisted throughout my younger years and well into adult life.

In my twenties my asthma was described at ‘brittle severe’ and that was the first change in my diagnoses, the second change was a few years ago being ‘atopic life-threatening eosinophilic asthma’; in the last two years I was diagnosed with COPD stage 1.

Looking back at the history of the diagnosis one can clearly see the progression of the developments in the respiratory condition, one no would ever question any other cause for my symptoms.

To cover all their bases, medical professionals always did blood tests, xrays, scans and ECG (heart monitoring) again no one would ever question these tests. The test showed consist results pointing to my lungs, all my other organs seemed fine and working well, there was even a check of my bones and bowels as I had been on prednisolone steroid treatment for such a long while.

It was concluded that my asthma had developed into irreversible COPD, as this has no cure there was never any action plan to resolve or cure the condition, but rather mange the condition and ensure I understood the condition and how it was a degenerative lung condition, with the aim to mentally prepare me for what was to come.

However, it could one doctor to hear something I had said time and time again to many other medical professionals which provoked him to request an echo (echocardiogram, a scan used to look at the heart and nearby blood vessels)

What did I say? The right side of my chest hurts, and I seem to get a falling sensation. This sentence has always been understood as my body reacting to a recent respiratory episode.

The echo showed a small hole in my heart a (PFO) a very common condition which is normally left untreated unless the patient has ongoing life-threatening conditions. I fall into that category as a result I am on a waiting list for the small procedure.

This changes everything, this hole in the heart is reducing the amount of oxygenated blood in my body, I therefore wonder, will this help my body retain the oxygen? Time will answer that, I will be sure to share it with you.

If you wish I will do another blog on PFO with details and possible symptoms.

Take a breath – Raj

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