Sick of being sick

Chris

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Ok, I'm just kind of at the end of my rope. Two years ago, I started feeling sick. Not minor sick, real sick. A shooting pain in the side, tense in the chest; and pain elsewhere. Anyway, it went on long enough that I went through a few hospital visits. That kind of bad.

Out of all of it, one thing was left: a cough. A cough I literally couldn't shake. Now, almost 3 years later, I still have the cough. And my chest gets so tense that I have moments where it's hard to breathe.

To be honest, outside of spending more then ten grand on medical care and multiple doctors, I'm not sure what I'm getting out off this.

Hospital viewed it as something basically infection a few years ago, gave me Doxycyclin.

My regular doctor agreed.

For the next year, I spent 290 days of that year rotating between Cipro 500MG per day to Doxycyclin to Zithromiacin.

When the pain and shooting problems didn't go away, I was prescribed Neurontin. Then, I was sent to two different specialists. One who recommended more excercise and diet changes - which I've done, and I'm well within my recommended BMI (5'9", 143lbs) and the other thought I might have GERD which was creating the cough. So, he prescribed Nexium.

Oddly, the Nexium made the whole matter seemingly worse.

So, first doctor says "must just be a hard to beat infection" go back on Doxy. Go back to hospital, can't breath after Doxy runs out - doxy makes no difference. Now, I'm coughing so hard I'm puking volumes. Hospital. Get put on Cipro again.

Jeez. At this point, nothing has even remotely addressed the base problem, cough still hangs around except now it's harder to breath then ever before. I've seen a lung/nose/throat specialist who looked at me for 15M (and a few hundred bucks) just to get the Nexium, which resulted in nothing. I'm not sure what the Neurotin does but dull the pain, and even it doesn't work so hot.

Blah. Since I wasn't getting anywhere with doctors, I went to labsafe.com, and have tried almost every test to see if anything turned up.. nothing. Now I'm just stumped.

I'm trying to think of any risk variables. I work with a lot of Non-for-profit drug & rehab shelters, so I had worried about tb exposure, but I've taken the skin test and no negative results. And other then that, my risk factors are pretty low to almost anything I can think of.

Blah. I'm just sick of being sick, honestly.
 

Alon Goldberg

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Have you examined the environment where you are living? Such as dust, mites, bedbugs? When all else fails, it could be something very obvious in your surroundings, to which your body is having a reaction.

Do you find you cough more at home? Or perhaps there is something in your environment at work?
 

Chris

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Nope. Follows me wherever I go. Went to Miami for two weeks, it was the same there. Same in Seattle. In a new house now, followed me along here.

Blah. Went to the hospital as I cough till I'm getting blood in it. Their answer: go back on Zithromax and add predisone, which I've done both before.. two or three times.

Moments like this is when I wish I had "House"
 

willyTass

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mycoplasma serology??

High res CT Chest??

Sarcoidosis screens??

Bronchoscopy and biopsy??

Early morning sputums for TB??
 

Chu Gai

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Homeopath remedies...I hope not!

I understand your comment about 'House'. I think though you're beeing and have been treated by generic doctors whose digging skills are limited. Best I can suggest is to try doctors higher up on the food chain that might be affiliated with some presigious institutions.
 

Chris

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No nothing homeopathic or not reported. I did used to drink tea with honey, but stopped a year ago

Have had the CT and another scan

Blah. Literally I walk into an office they do an oxygen test and I'm out of there in 15 minutes as they just hand me scripts.

I've asked about a tb check, since one of my clients is a homeless shelter, but since I've had two negative skin tests they won't do the sputum test.

Who knows
 

Marianne

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May 18, 2000
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Maybe you should try going to a "holistic" practitioner. They tend to look at the "whole person" rather than the individual symptoms. There are many holistic practitioners who trained as MDs originally. Some Physicians can be so fixated on their speciality that they don't see other possibilities.

Case in point: Several years ago my husband had a strange illness and the doctor he saw thought it might be cancer so he referred him to a cancer specialist. That doctor decided it was lymphoma and said he should start chemo right away. My husband wanted a second opinion and it turned out he had a weird virus and was treated with Prednisone. He is fine now.
 

Chu Gai

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After the 2nd opinion Marianne, your husband now had two, very different diagnosis. How did he decide which of the two was correct? Did he seek a 3rd of 4th opinion?
 

Marianne

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I don't remember the full details but I know his test results ended up at the "Armed Forces Institute of Pathology" and they came up with the diagnosis. Maybe Gregory House was there then!

I don't want to get off the subject regarding Chris's illness - just wanted to make the point that sometimes doctors don't see the wood for the trees.
 

Chris

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I get that. Every person I sees has a different opinion of what's going on. I've logged more then 20 completely different diagnosis. And many of them from the same practitioners who just rethink it when one set of drugs doesn't get any results.

Anyway, at least I don't feel it's infectious; my wife & kids have been with me through the whole thing and none of them have any of the issues.
 

nolesrule

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Have you tried chiropractic care or accupuncture? They assist with problems of the nervous system that can cause mysterious symptoms sometimes due to compression or misfiring of nerves.
 

PhillJones

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It's probably nopt a bad idea to try something a bit alternative.

I'd do a bit of Chi-Gong if it was me, but continue with mainstream medicine.

So the symptoms are, persistant cough, chest pain and shooting pains in the extremities? Is it you're legs and arms?

I remember having a persistant cough as a kid. They tried multiple antibiotics to no avail and then put me on a pill that either expanded my bronchial tubes or relaxed some muscle somewhere, I'm a bit fuzzy on the details. The Doctor refered to it as a more 'mechanical' solution to the problem. I was about 9 at the time I think so can't remember much. He said it was a vicious circle type of problem, that the cough caused the problem which caused the cough etc. Anyway, it worked.

Here's me just guessing:
I think the pain might be the key. Is it caused by the cough or is it a symptom of the same thing? Perhaps you've damaged some muscles in your chest and that's causing the pain? I think somebody's already mentioned a hi-res CT to check for physical damage. That would also rule out TB BTW. When I got a job at Mass General, the standard diagnostic tool, if a person failed a skin test, was a simple chest X-ray.

Another thought I had is, maybe it's neurological. I work in neurology (I'm a physicist not an MD, so don't take me too seriously), so I see nerves everywhere so to speak, but stranger things have happened. I know somebody who nearly starved to death after their Vagus (sp?) nerve got damaged during surgery. That one fooled all the doctors untill my boss weighed in and diagnosed it.
 

Joe S

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A guy at work swears by Olive Leaf Extract and Oil of Oregano to get rid of cough and congestion. I recently bought some to try this season and I've been taking a little each day, but it's too early to tell if it will be effective. The Oil of Oregano is really nasty tasting and sticks with you.

He has investigated these products and has his preferred suppliers. He says he had a medical problem that kept him in bed for 6 years -no energy- and that doctors just treated the symptoms, not the disease, which was Sarcoidosis. Anyway, he did recommend Olive Leaf Extract for congestion.
 

Chris

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The predisone kinda helps but it doesn't stop it. As to neurological, I've thought of that. Years ago I had my head crushed in with a baseball bat (got mugged) and for several years I had all sorts of strange 'phantom' type pains. But that's been years ago.

Right now I picked up the most recent order; Zithro, predisone, tussinexqA

I don't really think its neurological. When I cough a lot I will cough up lots of 'slime' I mean buckets of it. Always clear but very thick. (Maybe that's tmi)
 

PhillJones

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Well the good news is, you're too old fo Cystic Fibrosis

When you say you thought of that, have you seen a neurologist?

Neurological, deosn't just mean your brain, it equally doesn't mean intractable either. It could be a spinal issue or cranial nerve issue. Somebody has already mentioned a chiropractor, which I think might be a good idea. Perhaps one of those load-bearing X-rays they do could reveal problems with your nerves being trapped or something.

If the Predisone kinda helped, maybe you've either got an alergy or you're asthmatic?

Have you had a chest X-ray to check for rib fractures. Maybe you cracked one while coughing and it won't heal because of the cough. Perhaps the symptoms are co-incidental.

Again, all conjecture but I think you're open to random ideas and wild speculation at this stage.
 

Chris

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Oddly (but interesting) this time the Presidone is helping.. BIG TIME. I mean, it's a nite and day difference. It's a much heavier script for it then I had before, but it is a noticable difference.
 

JoeyR

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First off Chris sorry that your sick and havent gotten better, but your not alone.........................

My mom was sick off and on in the early 90's and has gotten progressively worst...

Also during the 90's my grandmother on my father's side saw 7 different doctors at 6 different hospitals at the last hospital she finally died......................of a ruptured appendix from appendicitis

I dont know if its because we have some many diseases and ailments today, or because "science has learned so much" or "medicine has gotten better", but it seems the doctors of today dont hold a candle to the doctors of yesterday. When I was a kid our family doctor was a medic from World War II, Dr. Fenton, that man could look at you, check your heartbeat and breathing with a stethescope, flip out the tongue depresser, take another look at you and say you have "such and such". There was no need for a second opinion because he was always right..............

About 8 years ago I woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible pain under the lower part of my ribcage on the right side. I'm cheap so when I woke up my wife and asked her to bring me to the emergency room she got so scared because she knew I was screwed up if I was going to the ER. They ran a bunch of tests and told me I either had gall stones or kidney stones. Ran more tests no stones kidney or gall. Had an ultrasound they couldnt find anything either, was told I had acid reflux, heartburn, every battery, given this medicine and that and nothing helped so I started experimenting myself. I noticed that when I worked out of town and ate out or usually ate out in general I usually would have the pain. Started taking different meds on my own then one day saw a Tagament commercial, tried it and is the only thing I have found that takes care of the pain, everything the doctors prescribed never worked. I have friends with different problems/illnesses with the same problems, I know its not much but your are not alone when dealing with inept physicians.
 

Marianne

Supporting Actor
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I'm not a doctor (and I don't play one on TV) (and I didn't stay in a Holiday In Express last night) but this is what I know (from watching House!).

Prednisone suppresses your immune system - so if you have a bacterial or viral infection it will get worse if you are on Prednisone. If you have a problem where your immune system is overreacting (allergy, asthma, etc.) you should improve when taking Prednisone.
 

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