OK, I'll try to make this as short as short as possible :)
December 2013: My voice started to change. Not bad at first, it would just "skip" now and then.
September 2014: Voice skipping was far more frequent. I also had a real bad cold, and "stuff" kept coming up in my throat, especially in the morning. I thought that maybe I had bronchitis or something. Didn't go to the doctor. I don't have health insurance.
It was also then that I was starting to have problems breathing through my nose. I thought it was because of the bad cold I had.
December 2014: The "stuff" was still coming up in my throat every day. I discovered a large lump at the base of my neck.
February 2015: Ultrasound was done. 35 mm tumor on my thyroid.
April 2015: Biopsy done, it came back negative for cancer. I was still having serious trouble breathing through my nose, and still stuff coming up in my throat all the time. Endocrinologist suggested we wait for surgery and see if this tumor grows. He didn't believe my breathing problems or my voice problems were caused by the tumor. He referred me to an ENT for further investigation.
May 2015: I had so much trouble breathing that I had to go to the ER, just 3 days before my appointment with the ENT. They did a CT scan in the ER and said the tumor was pushing against my windpipe, but I'd be safe waiting for the ENT appointment 3 days later.
ENT looked in my nose / throat with some tube. She said I had swollen vocal cords due to acid reflux. After seeing the CT scan, she scheduled surgery right away, for the beginning of June.
End of May... Breathing got worse. ENT reviewed the CT scan and got a second opinions, turns out the tumor extended into my chest. Surgery was cancelled, and I was sent to a hospital in a different city where they were better equipped to perform the now complicated surgery.
June 2015. Thyroid and tumor were removed. The surgery was successful.
This is now 5 months ago. After the surgery I thought oh goodie, I'll be able to breathe again! Wrong......
Five months later: I still can't breathe through my nose, my voice is worse than ever, and I still have "stuff" coming up in my throat every day. My neck is swollen, I have nearly constant pain in my right ear, and seem to have developed tinnitus. I've had a gastroscopy, which confirmed acid reflux, but not severe.
I was prescribed nexium 20 mg. ($33). Didn't help. They switched it to 40 mg, and suddenly it cost $200, I refused it but got a refill on the 20 mg so I started taking 2. Didn't help though. When I went for my second refill, they wanted $513, even though the original and the first refill were $33. I wasn't going to pay $513 for something that wasn't helping anyway, and I switched to over the counter omeprazole. Doesn't help either.
I do everything I'm supposed to do. Head-end of the bed elevated, no caffeine, chocolate, tomato-based products, no fatty foods or big meals, no mint, etc... nothing helps.
All together almost two years and $39,000 later since this started, I STILL can't breathe through my nose, I still have that stuff coming up in my throat, my voice has gotten a lot worse, my right ear now hurts almost constantly, my neck is swollen...
Wait, that's not all, the best is yet to come.
The ENT does not want to give me an appointment, she is convinced that these issues are a result of the surgery and she insists I see the surgeon.
The surgeon's office does not want to give me an appointment because they don't believe that my issues are a result of the surgery. They are right, because all of this started before the surgery and of all the medical people I have seen, the surgeon is the one I trust most of all. He was amazing.
The medical center where I usually go, it's useless to go there. They have yet to be successful referring me anywhere because I don't have health insurance. So far I have spent $39,000 in medical costs in the past 2 years and I'm not a step further. All my medical bills are paid, and yet it seems impossible to get an appointment anywhere.
Desperate, I am turning to the internet now.
My question: Can all of my symptoms be caused by acid reflux? If so, why is it not getting better even though I do all the right things?
Any idea or suggestions on what I should do next, if anything?
Post Edited (page3) : 11/19/2015 6:59:46 PM (GMT-7)