Pneumomediastinum Still causing issues over a month later

Patient

Q: On september 3rd, I had to have a cyst removed from my back that was golf ball sized on the outside and supposedly larger on the inside of my body. 3-4 days later I developed severe chest pain and breathing was difficult and painful. It got to the point where I thought I was having a heart attack, so I went to the hospital and after a CT scan was diagnosed with a Pneumomediastinum. Shortly afterwards, I was released after being told I would just have to wait it out for 3-6 days for the pressure to subside. A week later I was still having a lot of difficulty breathing and doing minimal exercise (such as walking to class) left me in a sweaty heap so i returned to my regular doctor who referred me to a pulmanologist. The pulmanologist told me sometimes it can take up to six months for the effects of a pneumomediastinum to completely dissipate and placed me on a prednisone regiment, daily dulera shots, and tri-daily albuterol treatments. About a week ago, I went for a follow up CT scan and when the office clerk told me my "psnmo-madea-stee-num" was completely resolved I was not super convinced.

As a child I had asthma, so I was told the psnumomediastinum probably agitated that, but I have not had an asthma attack in over 15 years and quite frankly, I refuse to believe my symptoms are equivocate to an asthma patient. Despite religiously taking the aforementioned medications, I still am having alot of issues. When I attempt to take a breath (and my lungs fully inflate) there is a slow burn on the upper parts of my lungs. There is also still a lot of pressure on what feels like my heart region. I have a persistent cough that has also developed that is deep in tenor. I continue to try and live my normal life, but by even walking a tenth of a mile to classes, I literally sweat through an entire t shirt and am completely out of breath when I arrive. Its embarrassing and I have never had this issue. Prior to the cyst removal, I had been running a 5K every morning and working out in the afternoon, so such extreme exhaustion from minimal exertion is frightening to me.

I'm scheduling an appointment for a second opinion with another pulmanologist, but worry that they will tell me its just asthma. The discomfort I feel on a daily basis is not something I can put up with for much longer. Tomorrow will mark a month since this whole transgression began. Is there something other than a chest X-ray or CT scan (with agent) that would reveal a potential other issue? What should I say to this new doctor? Are there other symptoms I should be looking for/mentioning? Do Pneumomediastinum's really take 6 months to dissipate?

I appreciate your time and your response is highly valued.

Symptoms:  Pneumomediastinum, breathing, pressure, lung pain,
Doctor

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