Patient :This is not a question about asthma, I am putting it in this category in hopes that someone with knowledge of the respiratory system sees it.
My dad's girlfriend (female, age 52) has a serious respiratory problem. She has been having spontaneous episodes for the past 3 years, during which her throat slams shut. We've seen multiple specialists who have all agreed this is not asthma, but have given us little else to work with.
One doctor suggested laryngospasms, but the next doctor discounted it completely due to the fact that these episodes last MUCH longer than 30-60 seconds. We've had to call the paramedics each time it has happened, and by the time they arrive she is cyanotic and barely clinging onto consciousness. (Obviously she is still getting a small quantity of oxygen, she's likened it to breathing through a coffee straw.)
There are no constant variables here causation wise, there is not one specific thing causing these episodes (at least not that we are able to identify, and believe me we have tried.) They have happened in all different places, times, during different activities, after different meals. The results of her allergy test came back strange, she showed a mild reaction to everything, but the doctor ruled this non-causative.
She has been on inhalers, anticonvulsants, and we have EpiPens to use when the attacks happen. Nothing has helped.
She now has a custom-built trach in place with hopes of providing her with adequate oxygen when this happens again. It's a way to cope, yes, but I need answers here. None of her doctors seem to be putting any effort into figuring out what is wrong. It's like everyone has thrown their hands up and said 'Oh well, I give up."
This isn't a scratch or a cold. This is a life-threatening problem. While it may not be of import to all the doctors with 100 more patients to worry about, it is very important to her and my father.
Here's to hoping someone out knows what's going on, or can at least point us in the right direction.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.