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Rheumatology appointment today.....

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#1 Sandy B

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 07:36 AM

Hi All.

Had a follow up appointment with rheumatologist today. Have been having problems with pain and swallowing for quite a while, so awaiting a gastric emptying study and endoscopy at the end of the month. Recently developed a dry tickly cough which is more of a nuisance now when I eat and for a little while afterwards. I am on omeprazole and am about to start domperidone for gastric isssues. I know scleroderma and reflux can cause lung fibrosis and I do have scarring on the lungs and at my last lung function test (6 months ago) my TLCO was 70%. The rheumatologist wants another echo and lung function function test to see if there have been any changes since the last ones.

The question I want to ask is, does anyone else with swallowing difficulties also have problems with coughing while eating? It is very annoying and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions how to relieve the problem. I always have a glass of water with a meal anyway, to help it go down.

I have to say on a more positive note The Prof. (as he is known) has certainly gone up in my estimation. On my first visit he did sort of throw in `Everybody gets tired sometimes' grrrrrrr. But his attitude has completely changed, so much so that he said if ever I needed to see him in an emergency then I only have to phone his secretary, so I feel quite comforted by that, should things ever take a nose dive!

Anyway the sun is shining, so shall go pull a few weeds for a little while.

Take care everyone and thank you in anticipation.

Sandy B

#2 Joelf


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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:56 AM

Hi Sandy,

I'm pleased to hear that your rheumatology appointment was quite positive.

I do have a dry cough, which is much improved to how it was when I was first diagnosed; I now only get what I call my "fibrosis" cough if I exert myself too much, but think I shall probably suffer with this for the rest of my life. However, fortunately I don't suffer with swallowing problems (yet!) and haven't had a problem with coughing whilst eating, so can't advise you about that from my own experience. But I'm sure some of our other members that do have GI involvement will be along to give you some first hand advice.

It does sound as if your rheumatologist is on the ball with regard to your lung function tests and the Echo and I'm glad that he seems have a more sympathetic attitude. I must admit that I didn't really take to the first rheumatologist I saw; I had already commenced treatment at The Brompton by the time I saw her (they referred me to her) and my lung function had already improved. I just got the impression that she thought I was swinging the lead at first....until she read my notes and realised that the inflammation on my lungs had been quite serious. The next time I went I saw another rheumatologist whom I liked very much.

The sun is shining here too, Sandy: I hope you enjoy your weeding! :D

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#3 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:19 PM

Hello Judy

Well coughing can be a symptom of many things, Raynaud's of the lungs heart problems, lung problems and reflux. That you're having another lung function test and ECHO will establish whether the coughing is of a more problematic origin I.e. heart or lung issues.

I am glad that you feel more connected with your rheumaologist because it does make a difference.

Take care and keep posting.
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#4 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 01:14 PM

Hi Judy,

What started me off on my quest for a diagnosis was a persistent cough (and shortness of breath). Over the years, despite lots of tests and consults, they could never pin down the cause of the cough. I don't have allergies, my reflux is now virtually non-existent due to a fundoplication, etc. I do have some swallowing difficulties, but I wasn't coughing more when I ate. Recently I was complaining (again) to my pulmonologist and she thought we ought to try both a steroid nose spray and a steroid inhaler. Well, what do you know - the steroid inhaler did the trick. Utterly amazing~
Jeannie McClelland
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