First a bit of history leading up to the diagnosis; Kaiser Permanente, Vallejo head of pulmonology refereed me to Oakland, CA Children's Hospital in 1988 to conduct extensive pulmonary testing including Methacholine challenge test after I suffered many, many, bronchiole infections and coughing episodes that made it impossible to breath, or catch my breath. I felt like I was drowning.
I was painting military aircraft (A6, A3, P3-Orion) as a federal employee for the Department of Defense (DOD) using many industrial chemicals such as: paint strippers, acetone, Methyl Ethel Keytone (MEK), epoxy based radar signal absorbent primers, and polyurethane paints. Equipment used to protect us when applying chemicals were positive pressure air fed contamination Suites, and rubber gloves, and we taped our steel toe shoes with Ductape.
Unfortunately, over 40 of my divisions fellow painters, including myself, using the air fed contamination suits were being directly exposed through airlines, to all chemicals being applied to aircraft fuselage through the very air supply lines that were supposed to protect us. Air supply fed into our suits was to close to exhaust vents pulling poisonous fumes out of aircraft hanger and ended up recycling chemical fumes into our suites slowly poisoning us.
I’ve been treated with many variations of inhaled steroids, pill form of steroids (prednisone), various forms of penicillin, nebulizer, removed from work places and, or had to resign from jobs due to triggers / irritants in and around workplaces. I’m now on maintenance medications: Symbicort, ProAir, and inhaled steroids, but my hyperactive airways still become irritated in heavy automotive traffic, diesel fuel is a major trigger as is aircraft fuel fumes from jet engines.
The other major concern I have is some of the chemicals force fed into my lungs accumulate and never dissipate from the mucus membrane around the brain, or fatty cells in the body, so I'm susceptible to cancer developing. I’m also suffering from memory problems at the young age of 57.