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    • #21530
      Brittany Foster
      Keymaster

      When I went to my GI doctor yesterday, I was told that diaphram breathing can help to relax some of the sphincter muscles that are located within the stomach to help with digestion and emptying. Because of my open heart surgeries and form of spinal defect that I have, my chest wall has always had limited motion to the point where it doesn’t look like it is moving. The only way that I have ever been able to expand my lungs to their capacity (which is around 30%) is to breathe with using my stomach and diaphram. This is something that I have always done so it isn’t something new more me. I breathe with my diaphram and using my stomach moving it up and down probably about 90% of the day.

      Do you breathe using your chest wall muscles/ upper body or are you more of a stomach and diaphram breather? Have you practiced diaphram breathing? It is hard for me to expand my lungs fully because they are very restrictive, but I do the best I can with it.

    • #21537
      Margaret
      Participant

      While at university, I had it pointed out that I am a “stomach” breather. That was over 50 years ago, and I guess I still do. Never thought about it’s being of value.

      • #21543
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Margaret,
        When I was a teacher for 8th grade my students were actually the first ones to point this out to me and this was before my PH diagnosis and before I was put on oxygen. A few students came up to me after class one day and said “Miss Foster, why doesn’t your chest move when you talk?” I had honestly never thought about it before but when it was brought to my attention, especially by kid I started noticing the ways I adapted !

        • #21561
          Colleen Steele
          Keymaster

          Brittany,
          Wow, that was really observant for that age group! That question must have really surprised you.

          Has the infection cleared or are you still battling with it? I’ve been thinking of you.

        • #21568
          Brittany Foster
          Keymaster

          Colleen,
          It really was observant and totally caught me off guard because my whole life I have never noticed that I breathed that way and didn’t move my chest ! When I ask my doctors about it they were able to give me an explanation. And my upper respiratory infection just happened the last few days. As soon as I stopped my antibiotics for the infection around my stomach site, it was like another one popped up! So frustrating sometimes when I just want to feel well for once.

    • #21548
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      Over the years I’ve repeatedly tried to breathe with my diaphram because I’d read that it helps get more oxygen to the body. Try as I might, I just can’t do it; in fact, I get dizzy when trying. A few years ago, when they were testing for something else, a C-T scan detected a diaphragmatic hernia on my right side, which causes paralysis of the diaphram. While I don’t have PH, I found out that diaphragmatic hernia causes PH in most people. I guess I’m one of the few lucky ones who have diaphragmatic hernia without pulmonary hypertension, though I do have problems when I have bronchitis, making me more susceptible to pneumonia. It also explains my inability to breathe with my diaphram and stomach.

      • #21550
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        WOW V.R. you are certainly lucky that they were able to catch this hernia for you. Was it operated on or is it just something that is there that they like to keep an eye on and watch? I’m sure when you get upper respiratory infections it aggravates things even more.

        • #21554
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          My doctor is taking a wait and see attitude. If I get any acute symptoms, he’ll do something about it then. Even though we’re not doing anything about it, I’m glad to know so I’ll know which symptoms cannot be safely ignored. Yes, upper respiratory infections can turn ugly real quick for me, and I now know not to ignore those too.

        • #21555
          Brittany Foster
          Keymaster

          VR,
          I am glad that you are knowledgeable of the signs and symptoms to look out for when it needs to be acted on. I am thinking of you, especially during the flu and cough season approaching. (As I take my first dose of the prednisone taper and codeine for this awful chest pain that goes along with a URI)

        • #21558
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          Thank you @brittany-foster. I pray you recover as quickly as possible from your URI.

    • #21549
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Thank you Brittney for the reminder that I need to breath from my diaphragm. I am a stomach breather and I know I would get more oxygen in my lungs breathing from my diaphragm. Your posts are always so helpful! Thanks again.

      • #21551
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Carol,
        I am also a stomach breather and it does help even more with other issues like just calming the mind and body down as best as it can. I have been breathing this way because it was the only way that I actually get a good amount of air into my lungs even though I only breathe with about 30% lung function. It still helps me to fill them to that full capacity . The only things I really CAN’T do is take slow breaths in because for me the breath in only lasts about 3 seconds and that’s it. It is harder for me to expel the air too. Do you struggle with expelling air?

    • #21553
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      My PAH has been pretty stable for several years. I have been very lucky with my meds doing a pretty good job – Remodulin IV, Letairis and Adcirca. I don’t have too much trouble expelling air, but altitude and any walking with any elevation does a number on me. So far I have not had to use oxygen. As I said, I consider myself very lucky.

      • #21556
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Carol,
        That is great! I’m so glad your doctors and YOU figured out what works well and best for your body. It’s amazing to me how all of us are so different in our diagnosis yet have so many similarities! I love the connections here.

    • #21559
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Brittney, are you out of the hispital and your infection clear? Hope you are home with your cute BB and your boyfriend and if not I hope you will be very soon!!

      • #21567
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Hi Carol,
        Yes! Luckily I am out of the hospital and my infection around my tube site seems to be doing a lot better. It was really hard to manage at first because when the infection was really bad I couldn’t tolerate the tube feeds even with my pain medication. I am starting to tube feeding again after going back and forth with thoughts about it and my own feelings towards it but I know that I have to regain some strength back and the tube feeds is really my only source of nutrition right now that I can actually count since I am still vomiting up the majority of what I eat. I hope one day to not rely as MUCH on tube feeds and just use it as a supplement, but for now this is what I have to deal with and have to work towards accepting that.

    • #21572
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Brittney, I am so relieved you are out of the hospital and HOME. My heart goes out to you for all you have to and do endure! Wishing you soon will be able to nourish yourself without vomiting and without feeding tubes! Lots of love!

      • #21574
        Brittany Foster
        Keymaster

        Carol,
        Thank you so much. That’s definitely my goal is just to be able to eat SOME by mouth, even if it has to be blended up or ground up. Having everything come up is just terrible because it feels like I can’t even enjoy what I at least try to eat anymore. But one day I hope to be able to do soft foods with some more ease and hopefully the new medication can take some effect within the next few weeks so I can enjoy some of my Thanksgiving food! That has always been my favorite holiday.

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