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Lung area stays sore
Jan 9, 2001

Hello! And I thank you in advance for such a wonderful website. I've been diagnosed with COPD in 1999. Diagnosed with HIV in 1991. It has progressed really fast and continues to do so. I am on 02 oxygen and uses combivent and Flovent inhalers. These treatments do help out somewhat.

But what I can't understand is why my doc. refuses to put me on any HIV meds. She says its because I still have a good count,(cd4 568 - v.l. 35,000). My rib cage or somewhere in my lung area (right at the bottom of my bra line continuosly hurts. In Sept. of 1999 I had to start wearing my bras 24/7,(I have lg br), because whenever I would take it off, the weight of my breast pulling downward would make me have excrutiating spasmlike pains. Only keeping my bra on eliminates this minimully. My doc knows of this problem and we discussing me getting a sportsbra. Due to the time limit of our visits, we couldn;t get further into this, but I don;t think that a regular sportsbra is the rightkind. Could you please shed some light on this. I am in so much pain. With or without the bra. Of course breast reduction is out.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Of course I can't know exactly what is going on to cause this discomfort, but what you are describing seems to be reduced by wearing a bra all the time. I think that you should be certain that it is the weight of your breasts that is the cause, and not something that affects your lungs or chest wall. Hopefully, a chest X-ray or CT scan have been done recently to rule out those possibilities. If that is the case then I think your best bet is to go to a department store that has real fitters in the lingerie department, and get some assistance from one of these skilled women. A sportsbra may or may not be the best choice, but I suggest that you rely on their expertise, as they have a lot of experience fitting buxom women.

The other issue is therapy for your HIV. If you are interested in treatment, you should press your doctor to discuss this further with you. If she dismisses the subject because she thinks that "you don't need that yet", then consider finding a new doctor. In my view, HIV therapy has to be tailored to individual needs and concerns. Although your T cells are good, your viral load is moderate. Good luck!


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