My sister is sick

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worried sister
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/8/2010 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
My sister is 37 and for the last year and a half has had the following symptoms:

Chest pain under her ribs (if she leans forward, it eases a little)
Stabbing pain in her chest
Constant pressure on her chest (like something is sitting on her)
Fast Pulse
High blood pressure (recent development, as in the last 3-4 months)
Extreme Fatigue - is getting worse as this progresses
Is extremely affected by altitude changes


They originally diagnosed her with Pleuritis (not sure about the spelling), and more recently with possible RA in her chest. There have been many possibles in between. They have done x-rays and MRIs of her chest. Her lungs are clear, no fluid. The doctors can hear a "scratching" sound with a stethoscope.

Everything is a "possible" diagnosis as any and all blood tests come back with only showing that there is inflammation in her body somewhere (we presume in her chest cavity), white blood count is a little high.

She has seen the family doctor, several emergency room doctors (when her breathing has restricted to the point of not being able to catch her breath. This is caused by an increase in chest pressure occassionaly), a neurologist, a heart and lung specialist, and a few others. The RA specialist didn't want to see her as he said that all the tests that he would run have already been done, but "felt that RA could be a possibility."

We are out of answers. The worst thing has just come up this week. There was someone else in our community, in his 50's who we were told by his family members died 2 weeks ago, after living with these same symptoms for 3 years. He also had the "guessing" diagnosis, as no one could figure out what was wrong. He died from suffocation.

I am not willing to let this go without giving it all I can. I figure that if there was one other person out there with this, there has to be others. Please, please, please help me find some answers if you can.

She is currently working 3 days a week, and more often than not falls asleep while sitting at her desk. She has fallen asleep while driving. She does not have sleep apnea, that has been ruled out. She is just exhausted. She is sleeping a total of 11 hours a night, then at least 6 hours a day on her days off.

Current medications
Tramadol/Nortptyline
Naproxen
Metoprolol
Ambien (because the pain is so bad at night)

wearyRAsufferer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2329
   Posted 5/9/2010 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry -I do not have any knowledge or explanations for you but it does sound like something that needs answers. Prayers going up that a diagnosis and remedy is found!

worried sister
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/9/2010 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you. All prayers are most welcomed and needed.

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 5/10/2010 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Was costochondritis mentioned? But why that would cause high white blood cells is beyond me. Sounds as if there must be some infection in there somewhere.

I got costochondritis after a bout of pneumonia, it was horrendously hard to breathe I had to sleep sitting up and every breath hurt, they have to medicate you to get you to breath properly and in the end after several courses of antibiotics my rheumy injected cortisone into all my hotspots, about 5 injections finally settled it for me.

I don't know if this helps at all. We are not drs and it sounds as if there may be a couple of things going on for your sister at the same time. You need a lateral thinking doctor to try and solve it.

Best of luck, sorry I couldn't help, golitho

worried sister
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/10/2010 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
That has not ever been mentioned. She has a doctor's appointment on Thursday tho, and I will be sure to give her this information to take to him. Thank you SO much. Any suggestions are a big help since everyone seems to be at the end of the road at this point.

Again, thank you!

CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 5/11/2010 2:05 AM (GMT -7)   
This might sound odd, but has she tried something like Zantac for GERD? I went through the same exact symptoms about 1 1/2 years ago. Turned out a side effect to an RA drug that no one would admit to caused me to have high blood pressure and severe GERD that had symptoms I never knew could be associated with it (GERD). I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to catch my breath and have to run down the stairs to get the momentum to finally get the breathing going again.  Everytime the GERD would attack (which was almost non-stop in the beginning), my BP would go up, I'd have asthma attacks (I don't have asthma), I'd get horrible pains in either my stomach, chest, shoulder/neck...I thought I was having a heart attack, eventually I started having panic attacks when it would hit as well.
 
I went on a super-strict diet that helped, and finally stopped the meds I suspected was the culprit - it helped. But the Zantac was a life saver once I was clued in to try it. . . 20 minutes after I took it, a big wave of relief would start going through my body. The doctor put me on some program to help get the GERD under control where I could take up to so many Zantac a day (more than the bottle Rx'd) for up to 12 weeks.
 
good luck!
 


worried sister
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/11/2010 5:25 AM (GMT -7)   
That was the second diagnosis that she received. I had forgotten all about it until I read your post. They had her try three different meds for acid reflux in the very beginning of all this, but they didn't help at all. Thanks for the post tho and thanks for caring.

CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 5/11/2010 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Good luck and let us know what happens Thursday.
 
BTW, I was on Rx'd Nexium and it did nothing for me, Tums and Gasx did nothing...but Zantac max strength (over the counter 150 mg) did the trick.
 

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