The ongoing why the hell can’t I breathe right saga….

29 Apr

I’m getting tired of hearing my doctor try and pin everything on anxiety.

I’ve been having trouble breathing, on and off, since mid February. It came on without any cause so far as I can tell, and lasted well over 3 weeks. It went away. It came back. It went away and is now coming back again.

We did chest X-Rays, I’ve tried inhalers and acid reflux medication and ulcer medication. Nothing. We did blood work an EKG and Ativan, nothing.

Nothing helps. This irritating issue goes away on it’s own, comes back when it pleases. It seems to be vaguely connected to what I eat-I eat too much or too crappy, I bloat and the sick cycle starts again.

Now he’s talking about anxiety again, and how he thought trying an antidepressant might help.


I would feel anxious, wouldn’t I? I would feel like I used to, terrified and secretly worked up about everything? I would know, right?

He also mentioned possible IBS, maybe Celiac disease, and his own bafflement. Hence his falling back on anxiety, the good ole catch all. Can’t find something actually wrong with you? Must be teh crazy.

I am usually more than willing to accept that, but not this time. I feel no anxiety over anything in my life, aside from occasional work stress, I’m not stressed out.

He wants me to do a stress test anyway.

I didn’t even get around to mentioning the fact that my periods have gone insane. So I’m hoping my PAP comes back clear.

I’m just tired of not knowing, of worrying when this will come back and stay for however long it stays. Feeling like you’re suffocating for weeks on end just ain’t cool.

9 Responses to “The ongoing why the hell can’t I breathe right saga….”

  1. Carin April 29, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    I fucking hate when doctors do that. I firmly believe, although there is no proof of this, that I almost died four years ago because the pills I take to regulate my cortisol levels ceased to do their job. But since my doctor couldn’t find anything physical after a few tests, she insisted it was all in my head. Nope. Eventually, my endocrinologist decided to try a pill-change, and wow! I’m human again! But until he thought hmmm maybe it was worth a shot, I coudln’t get anywhere. Meanwhile, I’m getting weaker, I’m dealing with lots of diarrhea and other ugly things, and I’m pretty much stuck in my house. But it’s all in my head. Yeah, all in my damn head. I have a new family doctor now, and I pretty much made her agree that she would not blame it on head problems until she had done *every*thing she could think of, and a few things she couldn’t.

    A stress test measures physical things too, right? I know they sent my dad for one to look at his heart. So maybe a stress test isn’t such a bad idea.

    I really hope they figure out this breathing thing. Medical mysteries suck. And oh, can I kick that doctor? Again? And again? And again?

  2. thordora April 29, 2008 at 12:07 pm #

    He tries, but I’m beginning to get the impression that we got one of the doctors who barely passed. He’s very eager to hand out pills, and I don’t want pills. I want a reason for why things are happening. And like you said, if everything else is ruled out, then fine, it’s in my head. But don’t assume that because I’m already nuts that everything else will be due to the nuts.

    I wish I could get a new doctor. In his defense, he does seem to be doing due dilligence this time.

  3. Jennifer April 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    What about allergies?

  4. thordora April 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    He hasn’t even brought it up. Nor did I think about it. Ok, I thought about the hive allergies, but I didn’t bring it up.

    more than any other doctor I’ve ever had, he always makes me feel like I’m making shit up or lying or something. Not on purpose, I just feel like he isn’t really listening.

  5. Carin April 29, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    I hate that. They never do or say anything that confirms it, but you’re left with that feeling. Then you wonder if that’s due to head, and round and round we go on a carousel of not good.

    The only way I got a new doctor was because I finished school and the one at the university wouldn’t see me after that. Otherwise I’d still be seeing the doctor I nicknamed Dr. Dipshit. I really hope you can figure this out. Shitty doctors handing out pills.

  6. Marcy April 29, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    I realize that you’re dealing with this during the day, but your post made me think of my mother-in-law who had some sleep tests done. They were focused on breathing issues — wonder if something like that would be helpful for you.

  7. radical mama April 29, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    That sucks.

    Everyone I know who has breathing problems like the one you have described also has allergies and asthma.

  8. Emily May 3, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease, so ask your doctor to check for antibodies in the blood. The other thing you could try is just giving a gluten-free diet a whirl and seeing if it makes a big difference. It won’t hurt you to try it and it’s a lot cheaper than anything doctor-related, but you’d have to stick with it for 2 weeks to really figure out if it’s Celiac Disease.

    IBS is sort of a catch-all for “we don’t know what’s wrong with you but SOMETHING is”.

    But also keep in mind that your body can translate mental anxiety into physical symptoms WITHOUT sharing with you that you are highly stressed out. It’s one of the funkier things that can happen.

  9. thordora May 3, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    I’ve been in that position before-my last year of high school I was dealing with a LOT, and i had tension headaches. At the time, I didn’t think I was dealing with stress, but a few years later I realized that an alcoholic father, trying to intergrate into a biological family that was much bigger than mine and and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and not fail my last year was a little stressful.

    Thankfully, I have no stressors at the moment. Normal, working mother stressors, but that’s it. My bipolar is mostly controlled. My job is secure and becoming easier with a second “me”. Which is why I find the anxiety bit highly suspect….

    The total utter exhaustion I have lately and the general insanity of my periods are two things I didn’t mention to him-I end up feeling like I’m just making stuff up around this guy. I just have this weird feeling that there’s something in the abdominal region causing issues, and it’s the one thing he hasn’t checked.

    I have bloodwork to do for Celiac and my liver of all things-just waiting for the stress test appt before I go do it.

    I figured as much with the IBS thing.

    Thank you so much for your advice. I don’t even care what it is that’s wrong-I just want to know what.

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