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sallynn
@sallynn

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 29, 2019

Is it possible to develop lung disease from high impact auto accident?

Posted by @sallynn, Tue, Jan 29 12:55pm

There is no explanation for my unexpected recent diagnosis of emphysema. Non smoker. Super fit & healthy regularly run 2-3 miles per day. But a pre-op x-ray for a back surgery in August showed ‘potential’ emphysema. I was 49. My PC believed the CT & spirometry tests would come out fine or something else more minor. Scheduled a CT & spirometry tests for sept 17th of this past year. Unfortunately I was hit by a truck going 60mph while waiting to make a turn on sept 16th. I still went to my testing next day even though I was a mess physically & had a tbi. Sure enough, results came back positive for emphysema. My PC & I were in shock. I have felt sick since the day of the accident. Lungs hurt, s.o.b., exhausted, anxious, cough all the time. I took the alpha-1 test twice because this doesn’t make any sense. It was negative. I can no longer run or do my work. I get sob just walking up a flight of stairs. Fighting depression daily. I really believe there’s a possibility this was caused by the accident impact & maybe it’s been misdiagnosed but it’s still lung damage from acceleration-deceleration forces. I really need to find out what actually caused this & be sure I’m getting proper diagnosis & treatment. In one day absolutely everything in my life changed for the worse & I can no longer do anything I did before the accident.

REPLY

@sallynn– Welcome to Mayo Connect. I know the feeling of your world changing overnight. It's scary and disconcerting. It would indeed seem strange to have emphysema even if you do not smoke but it does happen. It can hurt and make you feel terrible. Have you been referred to a Pulmonologist? If not I recommend that your PCP refer you to one. They are the experts on all things that concern the lungs. It seems as if you were having trouble before you were hit by the truck with your lungs, however I'm sure that whatever problems you had before were exacerbated by the hit. Depression always seems to be the after effect of a scary diagnosis. 60 MPH? Wow. When I was a teenager long ago I was hit by a car going slower than that and I was hurt!
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are grouped together and called COPD.
https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/chronic+bronchitis
Emphysema can be caused pollution or chemicals in the air too.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/emphysema/symptoms-causes/syc-20355555
https://www.healthline.com/health/emphysema-stages

Were you put on any inhalers or other medications?

@merpreb

@sallynn– Welcome to Mayo Connect. I know the feeling of your world changing overnight. It's scary and disconcerting. It would indeed seem strange to have emphysema even if you do not smoke but it does happen. It can hurt and make you feel terrible. Have you been referred to a Pulmonologist? If not I recommend that your PCP refer you to one. They are the experts on all things that concern the lungs. It seems as if you were having trouble before you were hit by the truck with your lungs, however I'm sure that whatever problems you had before were exacerbated by the hit. Depression always seems to be the after effect of a scary diagnosis. 60 MPH? Wow. When I was a teenager long ago I was hit by a car going slower than that and I was hurt!
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are grouped together and called COPD.
https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/chronic+bronchitis
Emphysema can be caused pollution or chemicals in the air too.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/emphysema/symptoms-causes/syc-20355555
https://www.healthline.com/health/emphysema-stages

Were you put on any inhalers or other medications?

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I’ve been waiting a long time for a pulmonologist appointment. Seems to be a shortage of them. The only appointment I could get months out is a tele-med appointment & it’s coming up, finally, later this week. My PC gave me Anoro & a rescue inhaler but Ive put them to the test to prove if they work or not & I think Ive determined they really don’t seem to do much. My symptoms & struggles seem to come & go & change in severity with or without them. I guess I’m having a bad day but I just feel extra pissed off at the severe alteration of my life in one day from a distracted driver in a big truck & realize it’s only going to get worse. And I have no logical explanation for having it outside of it being accident related. It just feels like it was the simplest, most obvious diagnosis to give even though it makes no sense. It’s been 4-1/2 months & im starting to fall apart emotionally over this. Communication with a pulmonary Dr online who specializes in rehab & wellness programs told me he thinks my condition is due to damage from the accident. But of course he hasn’t seen me. I really want to find someone who can convince me it is or isn’t attributable to the impact collision. Perhaps I shouldn’t be posting on emotionally challenging days, lol. But I thank you for your words of advice & encouragement.

@sallynn

I’ve been waiting a long time for a pulmonologist appointment. Seems to be a shortage of them. The only appointment I could get months out is a tele-med appointment & it’s coming up, finally, later this week. My PC gave me Anoro & a rescue inhaler but Ive put them to the test to prove if they work or not & I think Ive determined they really don’t seem to do much. My symptoms & struggles seem to come & go & change in severity with or without them. I guess I’m having a bad day but I just feel extra pissed off at the severe alteration of my life in one day from a distracted driver in a big truck & realize it’s only going to get worse. And I have no logical explanation for having it outside of it being accident related. It just feels like it was the simplest, most obvious diagnosis to give even though it makes no sense. It’s been 4-1/2 months & im starting to fall apart emotionally over this. Communication with a pulmonary Dr online who specializes in rehab & wellness programs told me he thinks my condition is due to damage from the accident. But of course he hasn’t seen me. I really want to find someone who can convince me it is or isn’t attributable to the impact collision. Perhaps I shouldn’t be posting on emotionally challenging days, lol. But I thank you for your words of advice & encouragement.

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Hang in there. Pulmonary department is very busy. Once you get in they are very knowledgeable. Once you get all the test run, it will be easier to search for answers. Never give up on yourself.

@sallynn

I’ve been waiting a long time for a pulmonologist appointment. Seems to be a shortage of them. The only appointment I could get months out is a tele-med appointment & it’s coming up, finally, later this week. My PC gave me Anoro & a rescue inhaler but Ive put them to the test to prove if they work or not & I think Ive determined they really don’t seem to do much. My symptoms & struggles seem to come & go & change in severity with or without them. I guess I’m having a bad day but I just feel extra pissed off at the severe alteration of my life in one day from a distracted driver in a big truck & realize it’s only going to get worse. And I have no logical explanation for having it outside of it being accident related. It just feels like it was the simplest, most obvious diagnosis to give even though it makes no sense. It’s been 4-1/2 months & im starting to fall apart emotionally over this. Communication with a pulmonary Dr online who specializes in rehab & wellness programs told me he thinks my condition is due to damage from the accident. But of course he hasn’t seen me. I really want to find someone who can convince me it is or isn’t attributable to the impact collision. Perhaps I shouldn’t be posting on emotionally challenging days, lol. But I thank you for your words of advice & encouragement.

Jump to this post

@sallynn I just saw this and did a double take because it sounds like the same situation my friend has been fighting for a couple of years. This year seems to be the first where they've gotten her meds such that things have calmed down. After getting non-stock bouts with bronchitis she swore that it was the material in the airbag that caused it. No surprise, she wasn't able to find anything online to support her theory, but I wanted to pass it along for you to ponder and discuss, if you think it's a possibility with you.

@bluelagoon

@sallynn I just saw this and did a double take because it sounds like the same situation my friend has been fighting for a couple of years. This year seems to be the first where they've gotten her meds such that things have calmed down. After getting non-stock bouts with bronchitis she swore that it was the material in the airbag that caused it. No surprise, she wasn't able to find anything online to support her theory, but I wanted to pass it along for you to ponder and discuss, if you think it's a possibility with you.

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Thank you for sharing. Idk if I’ll ever get answers but your input brings me back to the moment I “woke up” from being knocked unconscious. I woke up to the sound & smell of something hissing & smoking coming from both sides of the rear of the car (well, former rear of the car). My husband thinks the whitish smoke & hissing sound were shocks. Whatever it was, it was creating a toxic, choking feeling & I worked to unbelt myself & get out of the car. I’m struggling so much right now trying to face each day. It sure would help to just have answers. I know it wouldn’t fix my current health situation but it would take that question mark out of my mind at least. And maybe auto insurance would start covering my growing medical bills over this. Anyway, thanks so much for commenting.

Will keep you in my thoughts & hope that one way or the other you find comfort when you get to the pulmonologist. I hope you'll keep us posted.

@sallynn

I’ve been waiting a long time for a pulmonologist appointment. Seems to be a shortage of them. The only appointment I could get months out is a tele-med appointment & it’s coming up, finally, later this week. My PC gave me Anoro & a rescue inhaler but Ive put them to the test to prove if they work or not & I think Ive determined they really don’t seem to do much. My symptoms & struggles seem to come & go & change in severity with or without them. I guess I’m having a bad day but I just feel extra pissed off at the severe alteration of my life in one day from a distracted driver in a big truck & realize it’s only going to get worse. And I have no logical explanation for having it outside of it being accident related. It just feels like it was the simplest, most obvious diagnosis to give even though it makes no sense. It’s been 4-1/2 months & im starting to fall apart emotionally over this. Communication with a pulmonary Dr online who specializes in rehab & wellness programs told me he thinks my condition is due to damage from the accident. But of course he hasn’t seen me. I really want to find someone who can convince me it is or isn’t attributable to the impact collision. Perhaps I shouldn’t be posting on emotionally challenging days, lol. But I thank you for your words of advice & encouragement.

Jump to this post

@sallynn– I understand your frustration and anger. Writing on Connect is the best when you are feeling this way. There are many people who rant here. 4 1/2 months from a very serious accident is very soon to be "over" the emotional and physical damages. Try and be patient with yourself because honestly it wont do you any good to be impatient. Nothing will change until your mind and body heal. I know that you are striving for this so keep at it. Also being angry or very pissed off is normal. For the first part of these past 4 1/2 months you have been in shock so you have had less time to mentally heal than you think.
Let me show you how to use and inhaler correctly.

Please use a spacer device so that you get as much medicine as possible. Also when you inhale relax your stomach muscles and push your stomach out as you inhale. There are several types of inhalers so ask your dr or pharmacist which is the best for you.
https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/patients-visitors/blog/the-first-steps-of-recovery-after-a-car-accident

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