Quote from Nurse Ratched
The only thing that walks through my brain is the possibility of anemia r/t his ulcerative colitis, but I think he'd notice if he was bleeding out, plus a CBC would've been part of any basic blood workup.
It has been an ugly spring pollen-wise- any chance that he is developing allergy-induced asthma?
On Monday I had an appt w/my doc and c/o persistent cough (along with another problem). Out comes these little devices--peak flow meters? Now, my 0-2 sat was 98%--but my peak flow was not so good (enough that my doc was willing to take the best out of 3...). Current working diagnosis: asthma (awaiting further pulmonary function tests.)
I'm surprised those cute devices don't get used more often--especially with the frequency with which adult onset asthma is now being diagnosed. (Of course, I don't know what the adult age distribution is--I am 55).
Has he tried the xanax? Has it helped? If the xanax isn't helping, and he is still short of breath, a fuller workup should be done. ERs really aren't designed to do exhaustive workups on problems unless they are life-threatening--and then it is to get the patient stabilized and transferred elsewhere (the floor, home, specialty care unit...). At least that's how they are *supposed* to work.
He may want to keep a diary to note when breathing is more difficult; when is it better? What makes it worse? What happens when he exercises? Etc. If he has allergies--could it possibly be associated to exposure to something--including something he's eaten.
Good luck and keep us posted,