About 5 months ago, I went to see my chiropractor. At the time, I had a newborn, 1 month old baby. I had been feeding her a bottle and my neck had become extremely sore. The pain was truly excruciating. When I went to my chiropractor, he did all of the usual things (i.e., twist your neck, crack your ribs, pull on me). During the treatment, I didn’t feel any injury or pain. However, the next day, I was having trouble breathing. I couldn’t get a deep breath and I couldn’t draw in a yawn. Also, after I ate, I felt incredibly stuffed, as if I had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner. I felt bloated, even though I didn’t eat much.
A few days later, I mentioned to my chiropractor that I was having trouble breathing. He said that sometimes you can experience breathing problems whenever the ribs get moved. He explained that the nerves from the mid-back, which go to the lungs and help the lungs function, sometimes get strained. He said that if they are agitated, then breathing becomes harder. He advised me to put a cold pack on my back and to come back for treatment.
That night, I put a cold pack on my back. However, this made my breathing noticeably more difficult. I stopped. Thereafter, I visited him a few more times, but he was unable to solve my problem.
I decided to see a pulmonologist. He did not perform tests, but did order an x-ray. He said that the x-ray was normal. I told him that, in addition to my breathing problems, I was having severe acid reflux about once a week (I had never previously had it). He prescribed Nexium. I took this for two weeks, but nothing happened.
I next went to see an Osteopathic Physician. I saw this Osteophathic Physician one on three occasions. Each time, she prodded, manipulated, and worked on me. None of these sessions alleviated my problem. I then saw another Osteopathic Physician in this same office. He attempted to release any potential spasms in my diaphragm and manipulated my ribs to make sure that were none out of place. I saw him on three separate occasions. Each time, he would manipulate me for 1 - 1 ½ hours. He also ordered another x-ray, but found there to be nothing on it. After three visits, he was unable to alleviate any of my breathing problems and had no answer to my problem.
Next, I went to my general practitioner. He did a pulmonary function test. My breathing capacity came back between 65-80%. He also did a blood test and stated that there may be an elevation of something in the kidneys. He then had an ultrasound of my abdomen done, to see if there was something wrong with my gall bladder. The ultra sound came back normal. He has been unable to solve the problem.
Thereafter, I had a high fever and had to go to the emergency room (the fever was a flu, unrelated to my problem). In the emergency room, they gave me Albuteral to help my breathing. Prior to this, my breathing was hoarse, like I was asthmatic. The medicine helped stop the crackled breathing. However, it did not help my breathing function. Prior to Albuteral, I had been prescribed two other asthma-type breathing medications, but neither worked.
Thereafter, I went to see one more Osteopathic Physician. He worked on me for 2 hours. He stated that my diaphragm likely wasn’t spasming. He also said that my ribs felt normal, that none felt out of place. He theorized that a muscle in my lower body might be preventing the diaphragm from working, in that it might be holding the diaphragm down when it tries to pull up. He had me do stretching exercise for a week on an exercise ball. It did not help at all.
To this day, my breathing function has not resolved. I have never had any pain anywhere. Simply put, I just cannot take deep breaths or exercise anymore. The problem seems to be confined to my ride side only.
The symptoms are as follows: When I carry something heavy (e.g. my 20 lb daughter), my breathing gets very strained. I can feel the strain in the middle of my spinal chord area. When I lift her, I have a harder time breathing.
When I try to pant like a dog, I cannot do it. It is physically impossible. I was trying to imitate a dog panting to my young daughter and found it to be impossible. I cannot get air in or out when doing it.
If I draw in air through my nose (like when you have the sniffles), I get absolutely no air from my diaphragm area. It’s almost like I am suffocating when I try this.
If I lay on my side, my breathing is more difficult.
When I take a deep breath, it’s like I cannot get air to the upper part of my lungs.
If I eat a meal, my breathing is tough. Also, after I eat, my right side feels very full (but not my left). My right side feels as if it is paralyzed.
If I run, I literally cannot draw any oxygen. It’s like running while holding your breath.
I cannot ever get a deep breath.
I have been in extremely good shape my entire life. I am 42 years old and in almost perfect shape. My blood pressure is very good. My heart rate is normal. I don’t have any signs of physical problems. Prior to this episode, I never had any problems breathing. I used to have very good stamina. Today, I literally have none. I am bewildered.