My sister is sick

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worried sister
New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/9/2010 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
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 occasionally), 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
Ambien (because the pain is so bad at night)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9289
   Posted 5/9/2010 10:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sister,

I'm so sorry your sister is in such misery. The one thing I would do is get yourself to a teaching/university hospital. They are on the cutting edge of medical technology and will not give up until they do everything known to help ... and then some. In the Fibro 101 thread at the top of this listing is that thread. But here's the link so you don't have to look. Call the one nearest you and ask about getting in touch with a physician who can help . These folks are all about helping people with hard to diagnose cases.

Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
Albert Einstein

(> <) Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, PTSD, UC, Diabetic on insulin, collapsed disk, arthritis scattered around and a few other delights.

worried sister
New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/10/2010 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for that information. I know that she has explored some options, and her and our family doc talked about one out of state but money is an issue for her. I am not sure if they talked about the one closest to us. When they were discussing it tho the main concern was pain management, but my concerns are so much bigger now.

Thank you again.
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