Very odd respiratory distress syndrome!


Q: I need someone that might have some ideas!
I've been in intensive care x4 now after the following chain reaction of symptoms:

I get a viral illness, usually upper respiratory, my lungs become irritated, and become short of breath. THe shortness of breath becomes bad enough that I end up in the emergency department.
CHest xrays are always clean, sometimes with hyperinflation.
ABG typically shows low co2, normal to low PH, Very low po2 (39-70) on oxygen, base excess all over the place (sometimes -16 or worse)
Labs always show: Slightly elevated WBC with high neutrophil shift, low phosphorus, low magnesium, normal to low potassium, metabolic anion gap acidosis, elevated lactic acid level (3-4).
Vitals: normal blood pressure, severe tachycardia ranging from 120-170 (higher with any exhertion)
SPO2 ranges from 88-100 depending on how well hypoxemia is being controlled.

These attacks do not "beak" with ativan or xanax or other anxiolytics.

These "attacks" do not respond to bronchodilators well, if at all.

CT scan shows right hemidiaphram is elevated, but not paralyzed.

PFT's during attacks to not show restrictive pattern, but show overall lowering of FEV1 to 70% (usually 115%) and very low NIF and MEP. (Nif at 33% during last attack)

All of this strangely resolves in about 24-48 hours with intensive care therapy (intubation x1, high flow oxygen). PFT"s return to normal NIF and MEP return to normal, labs return to normal, the only thing that doesn't is po2 remains in 70's on room air with sat about 94-96%

These attacks are scary, devestating and no one knows what's wrong, and one doctor even told me it's "all in my head". Please help!


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