My neighbor quit smoking about 7 weeks ago, and recently had a respiratory infection. They had her on steroids, antibiotic, liquid albuterol, and pulmicort. It took her several weeks to kick this, and then she was hoarse for a couple weeks after all other symptoms were gone.
Now, she is on day 5 of feeling like she has to force herself to breathe. She is using her intercostal muscles to make herself breathe and loses her breath and fatigues very easily. She coughs a little, but not much at all. She saw her doctor yesterday and he did an x-ray, which he said looked good, and spirometry. It took her 6 tries to get one good reading & she felt like she was going to pass out.
So, the doctor's conclusion: Stress. And, he gave her a prescription for xanax. He is a general practitioner, and I am wondering if those of you that work in pulmonary nursing have seen stress manifest this way? She is 35 years old. The doctor doesn't think her recent illness or that she recently quit smoking have anything to do with her new symptoms.
So, if the xanax does not resolve her problem, should she request that he doctor send her to a pulmonary specialist? (she does not have insurance) Are there any particular questions she should have for her doctor?