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Reply To: Shortness of Breath

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I get shortness of breath walking up stairs, up hill, or maybe carrying something, (such as my 15 pound dog, who gets back trouble), but it can also come if I’m congested. The other night I heard wheezing inside my chest so I took a Mucinex, used my Arcapelo and got up some green plugs, which helped me breathe better. I’m missing the lower lobes of both lungs, one from surgery and the other from emphysema caused by Alpha, but I do try to exercise, although I don’t push beyond my limits. For instance, my chest got tight and I had shortness of breath walking my dog on a nearby hilly road so I had to stop. The next day I took my oximeter with me and tried again, but noted the oxygen reading dropped to 85, so I turned around immediately. I guess we have to keep a good balance: exercise enough to keep up lung function, but not stress our hearts by overdoing it when our oxygen levels fall. Last October, during a six minute walk test at NJH, my oxygen dropped to 80 when I walked fast, even though I wasn’t especially short of breath! I recovered quickly when I slowed down, but my doctors said such a drop is “worrisome.” That’s why I bought my oximeter, so I can keep track of just how short of breath I actually am.