Long-Haul Covid and Asthma Diagnosis (anyone)?

Posted by otter2154 @otter2154, Sep 24, 2021

I was horribly sick for a several months last year (Nov, Dec and into Jan) with severe Covid-like symptoms. My PCP would not see me in person because of the Covid symptoms and only offered pep talks through video chat … so I suffered through it all at home. Finally got to a pulmo in Jan and after testing he immediately diagnosed me with moderate persistent asthma (I am 57).

Fast forward to today and I am doing much better. Still working with pulmo group and through addition testing they have ruled out COPD, Bronchiectasis, lung cancer, ILD’s, etc. And my current spirometry results show “stunning” improvement per my pulmo. So he remains adamant in his asthma diagnosis.

Now he agrees that I likely had severe Covid late last year and the asthma is my gift that keeps on giving from Covid. He also says that at this point it really doesn’t matter what triggered my asthma (Covid or whatever) because my lungs are fundamentally fine and suggests that it’s pointless to dwell on what might have caused this. Anyway, my asthma is seemingly improving, very slowly, over time … I have a few good days, and then a bad one where my chest tightens-up, breathing feels labored, and I produce sticky, white phlegm (annoying and tiring). Has anyone else received an asthma diagnosis post-Covid, and if so … do you see it improving over time?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

@otter2154, I’m glad to hear that further testing indicate that your lungs are functioning well and that serious long-term lung conditions have been ruled out. It sounds like even the asthma symptoms could possibly be temporary. What do you do on your “bad days” to find relief?

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@colleenyoung

@otter2154, I’m glad to hear that further testing indicate that your lungs are functioning well and that serious long-term lung conditions have been ruled out. It sounds like even the asthma symptoms could possibly be temporary. What do you do on your “bad days” to find relief?

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Thank you for asking. On days when my chest is tight and I’m making lots of mucus, riding my bike helps a LOT! Thankfully I’m able to ride long distances again. My pulmo is low on words, yet high on action. Yet he has implied that the asthma may subside over time and that some lung issues can take a LONG time to resolve. He’s asked me to consider tapering off the asthma meds in 90-days (to see what happens). He and his pulmo group established the Covid Survivor Corps here in Atlanta, so I value his direction. And I’ve learned so much about lung health reading the Mayo forums.

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@otter2154

Thank you for asking. On days when my chest is tight and I’m making lots of mucus, riding my bike helps a LOT! Thankfully I’m able to ride long distances again. My pulmo is low on words, yet high on action. Yet he has implied that the asthma may subside over time and that some lung issues can take a LONG time to resolve. He’s asked me to consider tapering off the asthma meds in 90-days (to see what happens). He and his pulmo group established the Covid Survivor Corps here in Atlanta, so I value his direction. And I’ve learned so much about lung health reading the Mayo forums.

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Wow! You found the right doc! You may want to ask about whether he thinks nebulizing sodium solution would help get the mucus out. When my congestion from asthma/bronchiectasis is bad, it is very helpful to do before I walk or exercise.
My spirometry results are always "within normal range" but it doesn't stop me from being short of breath when the mucus builds up. Another thing to discuss, especially as cold and flu season approaches, is whether using Mucinex LA (12 hour guaifenesin) twice a day would help. It is a mucolytic, and thins the mucus to make it easier to get rid of.

I am glad you are improving, Sue

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Hello, I am 57 years old and had a positive COVID test June 28, 2020 and a second positive test on July 19, 2020. I suffered continuous chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, sinus issues and extreme fatigue for the first 4 months. In Nov 2020 I was diagnosed with Printzmetal Angina and in June 2021 was diagnosed with moderate asthma. So COVID left me two not-so-welcome gifts. My lung function test was normal but I have to use both maintenance inhaler and rescue inhaler every day. I have been working remotely the entire time because I struggle with even minimal exercise. I have noticed that some days I have more mucous than others but have not noticed it coinciding with chest tightness. My asthma doctor has said that since I also have Printzmetal that it will be difficult to determine which is causing my chest pain. I would like to know what you feel helps you the most with your recovery?

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For me it has mostly been time and patience. I’ve noticed that since my initial post here a month ago that I’m doing even better (I’m right at the 1-year mark). My pulmo reminds me that lungs can take a year and longer to heal from something like this. And I have a friend with severe long-haul issues who is actually being seen by Mayo, and she says they told her that 2-years is is possible. There is debate on this, but I found that exercising and pushing myself did help … I started riding my bike most days and it was initially tough. Now it’s much easier … I think I had become deconditioned from all the “resting”. I’m still on the asthma meds (Trelegy), but I may try to ween off of it at year’s end. And like you, I had debilitating fatigue for about 4-months (I could barely walk 10-feet). And I was dizzy. Thank goodness we worked from home or I would have had to take medical leave.

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@otter2154

For me it has mostly been time and patience. I’ve noticed that since my initial post here a month ago that I’m doing even better (I’m right at the 1-year mark). My pulmo reminds me that lungs can take a year and longer to heal from something like this. And I have a friend with severe long-haul issues who is actually being seen by Mayo, and she says they told her that 2-years is is possible. There is debate on this, but I found that exercising and pushing myself did help … I started riding my bike most days and it was initially tough. Now it’s much easier … I think I had become deconditioned from all the “resting”. I’m still on the asthma meds (Trelegy), but I may try to ween off of it at year’s end. And like you, I had debilitating fatigue for about 4-months (I could barely walk 10-feet). And I was dizzy. Thank goodness we worked from home or I would have had to take medical leave.

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Thanks for your quick response! I have tried pushing myself also because I know that I have become deconditioned. But I cannot seem to get past a 60-75% percent pre-COVID fitness wall. I push for a few days but then relapse. Then push for a few days and then relapse. I try not to overdo it and start slowly but am obviously doing something wrong. This cycle has been ongoing since April 2021. My PCP has recommended getting professional help with this so I have an appointment with the Jacksonville Mayo COVID clinic in two weeks. I am hoping that they can help guide me back to full activity. I have a suspicion that my Printzmetal Angina and asthma are somehow at odds and that is what keeps knocking me down.
How far did you ride when you first started activity? And how often?

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I actually started by walking. Maybe 30-minutes every other day, outside during lunch. When I returned to my bike, my wonderful spouse rode behind me (as I was nervous about it). It was 12-miles, but I had to stop and walk my bike at time. Now I am zooming through the 12-mile ride and cruising up all the hills! Also, my pulmo (he’s a good one that works with Covid Survivor Corps) recommended breathing exercises with resistance bands. Basically you inhale deeply during the resistance, try some “breath-stacking”, hold for 4-seconds, the breath out very slowly as much as possible. I swear this has helped (in fact I just finished … the routine takes about 30-minutes). You may want to ask Mayo about some kind of rehab program.

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@baker00l

Thanks for your quick response! I have tried pushing myself also because I know that I have become deconditioned. But I cannot seem to get past a 60-75% percent pre-COVID fitness wall. I push for a few days but then relapse. Then push for a few days and then relapse. I try not to overdo it and start slowly but am obviously doing something wrong. This cycle has been ongoing since April 2021. My PCP has recommended getting professional help with this so I have an appointment with the Jacksonville Mayo COVID clinic in two weeks. I am hoping that they can help guide me back to full activity. I have a suspicion that my Printzmetal Angina and asthma are somehow at odds and that is what keeps knocking me down.
How far did you ride when you first started activity? And how often?

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Full disclosure: I did not have Covid. However, I have asthma and bronchiectasis and had deeply seated, long time mycobacteria and pseudomonas lung infections that weren't diagnosed until June 2018, by which time I had diminished from an "energizer bunny" to a "couch potato" – I couldn't walk a block without pausing. Then I started 19 months of antibiotic therapy – using up to 4 antibiotics at the same time – needless to say, unpleasant although one infection resolved and the other improved, but the meds were killing me. Those were stopped in December 2019, and it took until April 2021 to feel like I was back to normal.
My takeaway – lung damage can heal, or lungs can learn to compensate, but it takes a VERY long time. And pushing may not work, so you need to listen closely to your body.

You can find a lot of help here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/post-covid-recovery/ Some of the videos there speak about using a very slow rate in exercise increase to be more successful. That is, throw out the old "10% increase every 10% days" mantra
Sue

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@otter2154

For me it has mostly been time and patience. I’ve noticed that since my initial post here a month ago that I’m doing even better (I’m right at the 1-year mark). My pulmo reminds me that lungs can take a year and longer to heal from something like this. And I have a friend with severe long-haul issues who is actually being seen by Mayo, and she says they told her that 2-years is is possible. There is debate on this, but I found that exercising and pushing myself did help … I started riding my bike most days and it was initially tough. Now it’s much easier … I think I had become deconditioned from all the “resting”. I’m still on the asthma meds (Trelegy), but I may try to ween off of it at year’s end. And like you, I had debilitating fatigue for about 4-months (I could barely walk 10-feet). And I was dizzy. Thank goodness we worked from home or I would have had to take medical leave.

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Recoverying from Covid and Had infusion [ast week , still SOB and csome cough but doing better at least not in the hospital or ventilator Keep on plugging away

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@otter2154

I actually started by walking. Maybe 30-minutes every other day, outside during lunch. When I returned to my bike, my wonderful spouse rode behind me (as I was nervous about it). It was 12-miles, but I had to stop and walk my bike at time. Now I am zooming through the 12-mile ride and cruising up all the hills! Also, my pulmo (he’s a good one that works with Covid Survivor Corps) recommended breathing exercises with resistance bands. Basically you inhale deeply during the resistance, try some “breath-stacking”, hold for 4-seconds, the breath out very slowly as much as possible. I swear this has helped (in fact I just finished … the routine takes about 30-minutes). You may want to ask Mayo about some kind of rehab program.

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I just found this group. I am scheduled for November 10th onsite visit to Rochester Mn. I am just reading back through the feed. Thank you. If anyone has been and could share some things learned even what didn't work and what it. How long should I plan for my 1st visit?
Thanks

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@shmorri4424

I just found this group. I am scheduled for November 10th onsite visit to Rochester Mn. I am just reading back through the feed. Thank you. If anyone has been and could share some things learned even what didn't work and what it. How long should I plan for my 1st visit?
Thanks

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Welcome shmorri, Will you be going to the Post-COVID Clinic at Mayo? If yes, you may wish to review this discussion:

– What to expect at Mayo Clinic's Post COVID Treatment Program? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-covid-treatment-program/

@ldropps may have some tips and experiences to share with you.

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Yes I will, thank you for providing the link.

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