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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified Physician
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My husband was sick for about 2 months this Fall with an

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My husband was sick for about 2 months this Fall with an upper respiratory infection. His only symptom was an annoying, bothersome cough in which he would cough up yellow phlegm for weeks and weeks. After about a month, he decided to see a doctor who prescribed amoxycillin and performed a chest x-ray. The x-ray checked out clear and the amoxycillin never worked. So he went back again and this time the doctor prescribed a z-pak instead. But he didn't really see a huge difference with that pill either. The illness just gradually started going away on its own AFTER a few weeks of stopping the z-pak. Now, he has no cough or phlegm at all but a new problem has emerged. Now, when he talks or breathes through his nose, he will have these spontaneous episodes throughout the day where he will lose his breath briefly and he will have to stop talking for a moment before he can regain his composure. In addition, when these episodes come about, he says that he has this sensation of his skin feeling extremely dry like it is going to crack open at any moment. But if he puts his hands in the sink under running water, the episode will go away. Very, very strange. And in addition to all of that, when he breathes through his nose everything smells like smoke to him. He can very faintly smell things regularly, but some days he can't even smell things like Clorox. With all that said, he changed doctors and went to a new doctor this past Wednesday. The doctor thinks that it is either one of two things: 1)something mechanical--such as an acid reflux problem or GERD disease or 2) an underlying infection. So he prescribed a higher powered antibiotic and some prescription strength acid reflux medicine. My husband decided to hold off on taking the antibiotics just yet since we have a hard time believing it is an infection. (I mean, he's already taken two rounds of antibiotics already to no avail.) He has been on the acid reflux medicine for 5 days now and has noticed no change. What do you think this problem is and do you think we should start the antibiotics given the information I have just given you? Just really need a second opinion right now on what to do. If you agree with his doctor at least state why you agree with him. Thanks for the help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 5 years ago.
Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and am ready to help.

it doesn't sound like an infection either.

if he was my patient, I would get a brain MRI scan just to make sure he doesn't have something in the frontal lobe brain causing the smell changes and the occational stops in speech and his hand symptoms.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

See, I was thinking the same thing. MY husband mentioned getting an MRI to his doctor but his doctor said that he is not convinced he needs one yet since the episodes he has come and go. He said that if he was having a brain issue the symptoms affecting his speech would be constant. But I have a problem with that because people that have early Parkinson's disease for instance, have intermittent shaking problems throughout the day and that's a "brain" problem.

Have you ever seen a patient with type of problem? Do you think it is a tumor? Olfactory nerve damage?

Expert:  Dr. David replied 5 years ago.
not necessarily. small masses can cause sporatic neurological symptoms in the brain. and you want to catch things while they are small and only causing sporatic symptoms.

I think the chances of a brain tumor causing symptoms like this are low, but possible. that would be the most important thing I would want to make sure is not there.

I'm glad we where thinking the same thing.

great minds think alike.
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Expert:  Dr. David replied 5 years ago.
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