Still doin stuff for starbyface
CarolineFCY
last online: 07/21, 22:01
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What do I do to survive the three weeks until my gastro appointment (optional: what's wrong with me)

Situation from the beginning:

Late December: Just finished last semester of college. Amusing myself with paranormal YouTube videos. Decide to film self sleeping. Discover I have obstructive sleep apnea. Sleepless panic for a couple of days.

January: Dysphagia (still kind of a thing). Throat and soft palate feel swollen, constrictive. Can occasionally feel uvula on back of tongue. Nobody seems to think it's enlarged. Survive off of Go-Gurt, milkshakes, refried beans, grits. Nibble cautiously at everything else. Some heaviness/burning in chest (heartburn). Start treating self with apple cider vinegar and sleeping on couch.

February: Little less swollen throat. More heartburn, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath. First panic attack ever -- during church. Finally get insurance cards. Get blood tests, they only show that I'm slightly anemic. Go to nurse practitioner, she brings up anemia/gastritis/tachycardia. Start eating more malto-meal, juice, burgers, chicken, probiotic milkshakes, and taking more walks.

March: Middle of chest starts getting uncomfortable, especially when I take deep breaths. Lump in throat sometimes. Finally see an ENT in mid-March. He suggests it's silent reflux and anxiety, points me towards 10mg of Nexium daily for 4-6 weeks. I start taking the equate version -- causes dry mouth, briefly exacerbates/brings back lump in throat, adds MAJOR BRAIN FOG to my life as well as depression. Start getting sensitive to sounds and stimulus (tv, movies, YouTube), repeatedly hyperventilate during Black Panther, feel like I need to think about breathing. Once Nexium starts waking me up in the middle of the night with a burning sensation that spreads to my brain, I get off of it. After only 6 days of use. (idc what my family says, rebound reflux can happen after only 6 days of use) Get a wedge pillow from Walmart. Brain feels dizzy and oxygen-deprived. Start googling symptoms. Buy an oximeter. Call Mom in a panic because it occasionally reads at 76-92. Start waking up every 2-3 hours and sometimes find myself unable to get back to sleep. Take melatonin. Doesn't work, vision suspiciously narrows and eyes begin to hurt so I start believing I have glaucoma. Headaches set in, hurts to focus. Continued brain fog and often zoning out. Ashwaghandha does not help. Major dry mouth. Brain shivers and then brain burning!

April: Mom and sister diagnose me with anxiety. Start sort of sleeping through the night again (only waking up 1-2 times). Nausea and food/water aversion set in. See NP again -- I've lost 12 pounds in two months. Official anxiety diagnosis. Prescribed anxiety meds (25mg Hydroxyzine Hcl) upon request. Not sure they do much. See therapist, she's nice, I manage to drink water distractedly while talking to her. Ears begin to occasionally feel weird when I eat or drink (pressure? popping?). Eating begins to feel like a breathing pause/obstruction. I ate one (1) cup of cooked rice and got brain fog. Had food at church yesterday (a few bites of cheese ravioli with some sauce, buttered bread roll) and started feeling bad, brain-wise. Last night, a headache worsened when I tried to eat a burger. Family still refuses to believe I need to see a neurologist.

Current symptoms: Slight fatigue. Chest uncomfortable, raw. Not fun to do deep breaths, or laugh. Afraid to feel certain emotions (amusement, empathy, etc) because it aggravates the raw part. Continued food aversion. Brain vaguely uncomfortable from focusing on making this post. Mouth breathing feels... bad... Like imagine a vertical river (breathing) and there's one stone in the throat part of the river and one in the chest, diverting the flow of the water. Brain is not /dizzy/ exactly, but muzzy. At night when I wake up sometimes I'll find that one digit (right pinky finger, right big toe) is numb with pins and needles. In fact, my feet get pins and needles more often these days. I'm not drinking a whole lot of fluids, but my urine isn't dark and my skin isn't dry... so I can't tell if I'm dehydrated or not.

I know you guys aren't doctors, but I don't get to see my gastro until early May. Support and suggestions would be great. Whether they be about what my condition might be, or what I can do to hold on a little longer. Maybe if you know firsthand what Urgent Care can do for a person? Because my mom keeps saying they won't be able to do anything for me. "Breathing exercises" haven't been helpful because they draw attention to the chest rawness. My brain has also convinced me I'm at death's door, it's just going reaaaaally slowly.

I guess what scares me the most besides the breathing thing is the food and drink aversion. I've had chicken, half a nutrition shake, a multivitamin, and a cup of water today. But the motivation to refill my cup is just not there. I keep thinking of the way it feels in my throat and chest, and the weird gulpy sensation that doesn't feel/sound normal.

Sorry for the length. Typing this out was bad for my head but it was a good distraction.

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Since writing this post CarolineFCY may have helped people, but has not within the last four (4) days.
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feel, start, breathing, chest, throat
Replies (20)
Helpbot
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If you are contemplating suicide, hurting yourself, or you are seriously depressed: please, seek professional help!

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Still doin stuff for starbyface
(6 minutes after post)
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Thanks, @HelpBot but the hotline has only told me to go to the ER. :/

CarolineFCY invited 1 user .
Happy earth
(28 minutes after post)
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That sounds awful. What's the worst that can happen if you go to urgent care? If they can't do anything, you lose the money you pay for the visit, but if they can do something for you, you get your life back. I think you should go.

Still doin stuff for starbyface
(40 minutes after post)
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That's a compelling argument! I wish my family felt that way. I'm not sure what they even do or treat at urgent care... Labs, x-rays? Chest x-rays? Urinalysis? They do more than just check vitals, right?

1581744157174 1581744149313 miss bot
last online: 03/19, 3:49
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(3 hours after post)
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You do everything in your power to get well and don't take "no" for an answer. We can only give moral support but you know you can come here to vent anytime you feel the need. But the will power to get this done is already inside you. Just keep reminding yourself of that. If need be, in a very loud voice.

T7oab4
(12 hours after post)
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Hi Caroline! I've often wished there was a dr House clinic or something! And honestly it pisses me off when they say it's psychological without having done all the necessary tests (happened to me recently.), for two reasons. First, they can't be sure and second, you can't relax and it will bother you until you've done all the tests and made sure it's not physical. I too would suggest you to visit a hospital. You've got nothing to lose. Oh, and despite your mothers good intentions, I assume she's not a doctor, nor does she feel what you feel. A neurologist might be exactly what you need, he is the one that can tell whether it really is physical or not.

Still doin stuff for starbyface
(16 hours after post)
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soco wrote:
You do everything in your power to get well and don't take "no" for an answer. We can only give moral support but you know you can come here to vent anytime you feel the need. But the will power to get this done is already inside you. Just keep reminding yourself of that. If need be, in a very loud voice.

Moral support very much appreciated! Unfortunately, loud voice (even feat. sobbing) does not work on mother or sister. Trying not to take no for an answer results in a shrill, thin tone from Mom. I've begged to go to urgent care multiple times. Last night, she said she wouldn't take me and I'd have to go myself. I don't think I have the energy or mental faculties to drive to the nearest open one, and besides I don't know if they can help me.

Kalinihta wrote:
Hi Caroline! I've often wished there was a dr House clinic or something! And honestly it pisses me off when they say it's psychological without having done all the necessary tests (happened to me recently.), for two reasons. First, they can't be sure and second, you can't relax and it will bother you until you've done all the tests and made sure it's not physical. I too would suggest you to visit a hospital. You've got nothing to lose. Oh, and despite your mothers good intentions, I assume she's not a doctor, nor does she feel what you feel. A neurologist might be exactly what you need, he is the one that can tell whether it really is physical or not.

Hi, thank you so much for your empathy and support! It means a lot. Unfortunately I just called my mom /again/ with a desperate pleading case for the neurologist, and she again denied I need one. She told me again I would need to get a referral, and she didn't think my symptoms fit the bill for one. She and my sister just keep pointing to health anxiety. (Hey, uh, family? Cause and effect, chicken, egg, etc.) Just sent my NP a note about it, though. Hoping for the best.

Happy earth
(20 hours after post)
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It might be psychosomatic or related to anxiety, but maybe not. Is there anyone else who can give you a ride?

Still doin stuff for starbyface
(21 hours after post)
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To urgent care? I think I actually might be capable of driving there myself after all, but... I figure I ought to wait until after I discuss my symptoms with my therapist today.

Thinking I'll also call that gastro place again, and ask them if they can let me know if any earlier appointments open up. Worked with the dentist last Tuesday!

Little nervous, though. Food aversion's making me kinda skinny. I'll try to just power through food and accept the brain fog for now.

Sherlock by olga tereshenko d9qdidc
(1 day after post)
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A cautionary tale.

We had a lovely person on the old Help.com. She had some real medical problems. The medical doctors in her area were idiots. One of them spread a false report about her, so she wasn't taken seriously by the other doctors. I advised her to go to the Mayo Clinic.

She died. And her death was directly attributable to the incompetent doctors she had seen.

The moral of this story is to not be satisfied with unsatisfactory results. Just as there are incompetent auto mechanics, and electricians and plumbers, there are also incompetent doctors. Around 200,000 Americans die each year because of doctors' incompetence. Let that sink in for a minute or two.

When you sense that your doctor is a boob, RUN--don't walk--away. *****Boobs will kill you. As the old saying goes, "Lawyers hang their mistakes, while doctors simply send theirs to the cemetery."

I do not think the urgent care centers are equipped to really help you. What you need is a gastroenterology specialist. May is almost here!

Don't sweat life, kid. Nobody is going to eat you! I sense you need to learn to relax, to quit overthinking things and getting worked up about them. There is probably a physical basis--a jittery digestive system can make you anxious.

And remember this, kid: worrying about crap doesn't do anything to fix tomorrow--it just takes away today's peace.

You hang in there!

1581744157174 1581744149313 miss bot
last online: 03/19, 3:49
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(1 day after post)
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Sherlock wrote:
A cautionary tale.

We had a lovely person on the old Help.com. She had some real medical problems. The medical doctors in her area were idiots. One of them spread a false report about her, so she wasn't taken seriously by the other doctors. I advised her to go to the Mayo Clinic.

She died. And her death was directly attributable to the incompetent doctors she had seen.

The moral of this story is to not be satisfied with unsatisfactory results. Just as there are incompetent auto mechanics, and electricians and plumbers, there are also incompetent doctors. Around 200,000 Americans die each year because of doctors' incompetence. Let that sink in for a minute or two.

When you sense that your doctor is a boob, RUN--don't walk--away. *****Boobs will kill you. As the old saying goes, "Lawyers hang their mistakes, while doctors simply send theirs to the cemetery."

I do not think the urgent care centers are equipped to really help you. What you need is a gastroenterology specialist. May is almost here!

Don't sweat life, kid. Nobody is going to eat you! I sense you need to learn to relax, to quit overthinking things and getting worked up about them. There is probably a physical basis--a jittery digestive system can make you anxious.

And remember this, kid: worrying about crap doesn't do anything to fix tomorrow--it just takes away today's peace.

You hang in there!

Was this Daft Punk, Sherlock? There was discussion at one time to have an In Memorium page both here and helptogo at one point. How 'bout it @Rockster160

Roccoflip
(1 day after post)
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Responding via shout so as not to detract from the topic at hand

Still doin stuff for starbyface
(1 day after post)
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Sherlock wrote:
A cautionary tale.

We had a lovely person on the old Help.com. She had some real medical problems. The medical doctors in her area were idiots. One of them spread a false report about her, so she wasn't taken seriously by the other doctors. I advised her to go to the Mayo Clinic.

She died. And her death was directly attributable to the incompetent doctors she had seen.

The moral of this story is to not be satisfied with unsatisfactory results. Just as there are incompetent auto mechanics, and electricians and plumbers, there are also incompetent doctors. Around 200,000 Americans die each year because of doctors' incompetence. Let that sink in for a minute or two.

When you sense that your doctor is a boob, RUN--don't walk--away. *****Boobs will kill you. As the old saying goes, "Lawyers hang their mistakes, while doctors simply send theirs to the cemetery."

I do not think the urgent care centers are equipped to really help you. What you need is a gastroenterology specialist. May is almost here!

Don't sweat life, kid. Nobody is going to eat you! I sense you need to learn to relax, to quit overthinking things and getting worked up about them. There is probably a physical basis--a jittery digestive system can make you anxious.

And remember this, kid: worrying about crap doesn't do anything to fix tomorrow--it just takes away today's peace.

You hang in there!

That cautionary tale is exactly why I'm frustrated with just being diagnosed with anxiety. My brain should not get weird/foggy/pressured when I eat anything. My vision should not feel... limited. My chest should not feel like this. But when I complain about my symptoms, my mom and sister dismiss it as anxiety or health anxiety. I want lab tests -- blood, urine -- but Mom tells me they need something to look for.

I'll try to hang in there, but it's not looking good.

Sherlock by olga tereshenko d9qdidc
(3 days after post)
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Just hang in there! Do not be silenced--there IS something causing all of those symptoms!

If--perchance--you had a gastrointestinal candida infection, part of what you ate would be converted to alcohol. Yes, you could not touch a drop and get drunk!

What happens if you drink a nice, big cup of coffee?

T7oab4
(3 days after post)
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Sherlock wrote:
Just hang in there! Do not be silenced--there IS something causing all of those symptoms!

If--perchance--you had a gastrointestinal candida infection, part of what you ate would be converted to alcohol. Yes, you could not touch a drop and get drunk!

What happens if you drink a nice, big cup of coffee?

there's an easy (not 100% accurate though) way to find out whether she has candida or not. https://youtu.be/OYS1i9HW5fg

T7oab4
(4 weeks after post)
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Hey Caroline! Any good news from the doctor?

Still doin stuff for starbyface
(1 month after post)
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Hey, thanks for asking!

Pro: He said he didn't think there was anything too bad going on.

Cons: He suggested and scheduled an upper GI endoscopy but my mom and sister encouraged me to cancel it because it was expensive. He also suggested a barium swallow but we still haven't done that. I did get a blood test and my hemoglobin is 11.3 with a ferritin level of 4.1 (acceptable range is 4.6-204.0) so I'm a little nervous about that. Especially since I'm still dealing with some dysphagia.

But! I am going back to the ENT on the 21st, hopefully for a laryngoscopy. Which would hopefully prove to the "it's just anxiety" crowd that it's not just anxiety.

Still pretty dizzy though. Hope ferritin levels don't usually deplete super fast.

T7oab4
(1 month after post)
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So, you're slightly anemic, which sounds logical since you've got dysphagia. Nothing to worry about. Ferritin levels take some time to change.
I'd suggest you do all the tests YOU feel necessary, so you'll be absolutely sure about the results and have absolutely no doubt about your health.
Keep us updated.

Still doin stuff for starbyface
(1 month after post)
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Thanks so much, I'll do that. Iron supplements can irritate ulcers and stomach acid so I'm not looking forward to its effect on acid reflux, but maybe I can pick up some Slow-Fe this afternoon. Definitely intend on ordering an esophagram (despite reports of its disgusting taste๐Ÿ˜ท) so I can get that done if needed after the ENT visit.

Can't wait for 2018 to not be painful!

T7oab4
(1 month after post)
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CarolineFCY wrote:
Thanks so much, I'll do that. Iron supplements can irritate ulcers and stomach acid so I'm not looking forward to its effect on acid reflux, but maybe I can pick up some Slow-Fe this afternoon. Definitely intend on ordering an esophagram (despite reports of its disgusting taste๐Ÿ˜ท) so I can get that done if needed after the ENT visit.

Can't wait for 2018 to not be painful!

I don't know much about the barium swallow, but I believe, if you haven't done it already, you should also search about foods that turn alkaline in the stomach. You'd be surprised. For example lemon turns alkaline, while milk turns slightly acidic.

A
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