I am a 23 year old female, non-drinker, non-smoker.
Let me start off by saying that since I was a young teenager, I started having stomach issues. Not always but fairly often, close to after eating a meal, I would get a somewhat overwhelming burning sensation in my stomach that would cause me to sweat a little. This would come normally in two waves. I could either relieve it by going to the bathroom, which generally consisted of loose, acidic stool, or my stomach would do a gurgly thing and the pain would pass, though I would still feel the need to go to the bathroom. I never felt particularly weakened by this. It was I assumed due to stress and bad diet, though I could eat something one day and be fine, then eat it again another day and get the stomach pains. This continues to this day. Also, I have back and neck pain that I've had since I was young, which I assumed was from lack of exercise, stress (I can be a very anxious person), bad diet, and also I HAD somewhat large breasts so (not trying to be dirty)...and poor sleeping habits, I might sleep for four-five hours at a time and then wake up, and the be up every few hours after that. I also experience what I think are palpitations, a feeling of my heart jumping in my throat.
Then, a couple of months ago, I had what I assumed was the flu. I was tired, had a scratchy throat, cough and a little bit of nausea (nausea passed once I got off work). I remember it being a little more overwhelming than usual, but I wasn't hysterically worried. Then, a couple of days into this, I was out with my mother, still feeling somewhat weakened and we had lunch at Zellers (yuck I know) and then went a few other places and while at the grocery store I got what I thought was my usually stomach pains. But this time, they didn't let up. So I went inside and felt a little better walking around but then it worsened again until I had to ask a cashier if there was a bathroom anywhere. I only just made it and had diarrhea. The pain left of course. Then we got home and I had to go again. I was somewhat concerned, but I wrote it off as being sensitive because I was ill. Nothing really came of this, I felt back to normal a few days later.
I should mention that, at this time, I had started commuting to my job 2 hours there and 2 hours back everyday by bus and it required me to get up very early. So there was that stressor in my life. Then a week or so after this we started night shifts for the holidays (I work in retail).
During the first week of night shifts, I went for a routine check up. Had blood work and urine done, and every time I have a check-up I mention the stomach issues to my doc, who when I first mentioned the problem he gave me a PPI which didn't work. So yeah he always said to stay away from the fatty foods.
Then a few weeks after that, near the end of November, I started with the scratchy throat and a runny nose and fatigue again. I assumed, because I had been with my God-son the day before who had been struggling with a cold, that I had simply caught his cold. Five days or so into it, it seemed to be going away. I should mention that during this I also started my period. I generally don't start to have cramps until I start bleeding. I had lower back pains one day before my period started which, I knew my period was coming up, so I assumed was just cramps that came early because I was going through an illness. It passed within an hour or so. I usually get cramps with my period that are so bad I vomit, so I was taking ibuprofen, more so this time than I have ever have.
Then the fifth day, after dinner, I had the burning stomach pains again and this time didn't make it to the bathroom before a little came out. Then when I did go, it was dark and oily and watery diarrhea. And it just kept coming until nothing but mucus and acid was coming out. I felt a few times like I might throw up but never did, and had more frequent palpitations, both possibly just anxiety. And directly after the bout of diarrhea, my throat burned a lot. I thought I was dehydrated, had some water and went to bed. Didn't feel much better the next day and stayed home from work. Tried working the next two days after that and it was a great, great struggle felt very weak and tired, couldn't eat much, and someone commented that it looked like I had lost weight which was alarming. The burning throat persisted with a terrible taste in my mouth. I went to a walk-in clinic and they did a throat swab and gave me amoxicillin, which he said I didn't HAVE to take because it was probably a virus and would probably clear up on its own. I took two and felt horrible so I stopped taking them. I also had some tylenol throughout this and had been taking Maalox for my stomach.
I went to my family doctor the next day and he said that there was an especially vicious stomach flu going around, which didn't really make sense to me because I hadn't been around anyone who had any stomach issues and had even been around a small baby before the diarrhea came but when I still had the fatigue and throat issues, and the baby is fine. My dad had a similar illness that hung on for a few weeks with nausea and fatigue and weakness but he was still able to go to work a few days later and hes in his sixties with a compromised immune system due to Addison's disease and anyway I hadn't seem him for weeks before the symptoms started and the first day I did see him was the day the diarrhea came. My doc said the throat thing was probably reflux, and gave me the PPI again, Nexium. He recommended a liquid diet for five days.
I tried for a week with little change and very very poor sleep. My liquid diet extended to ten days and the pounds dropped off further. I had stopped going to work since the doctor visit. Went back to the doctor, he said again, this thing can take weeks to clear up. He poked my stomach, didn't feel any bulges or swellings, and said if I had an ulcer, I wouldn't be able to stand him poking my stomach like that. He gave me a different PPI which I am still on, Prevacid.
Went back again a few days later after still no improvement. He again evaluated my symptoms, did some poking, listened to my heart and other than a hard heart beat he said he can't seem to find anything wrong. He gave me Ativan to try and relax me since he thought I was stressing myself out. I didn't take it initially. He also gave me a form to get an ultrasound done on my liver, pancreas and gall bladder, and a barium swallow. Went back to him AGAIN when the results came in and as far as I know the ultrasound revealed nothing. The barium swallow revealed a small hiatal hernia with severe reflux. He said this explained some of the aches and pains I had been having in the chest area as well as the reflux, though he stressed that the reflux was listed as severe which generally wouldn't be so severe with a small hernia and again, assumed I had stressed myself out.
So since then I have had muscle aches and joint pain like I've never experienced in my life - not horrific, but more relentless than anything I've experienced. Still have the fatigue and weakness, though I try and get up every day and do things like a bit of laundry, tidying up a little, dishes, bathing, with no change in the weakness. I have a strange pain beneath my ribs on the upper left side of my abdomen which feels almost like pins and needles and I can only feel when I move a certain way, like if I'm bent forward. I have this inescapable anxiety, again like I've never experienced before its just constant. I did try the Ativan but it did nothing for me and its not something I want to get hooked on. And just in the past day or so, my skin feels as though it is sunburnt, though there is no rash, especially on my arms and my torso. I'm also pretty sure I'm still losing weight, though I've stopped weighing myself because it just contributes to my anxiety.
What could this be? Am I reacting to the Prevacid? Because these symptoms became more severe after starting it, and I didn't even have the skin issues until a few days ago, and this is six weeks into this so called "virus" and probably four weeks into taking the Prevacid. Is it possible to start reacting to a drug so late in the game? Could it be mono? I know mono is usually indicated by a sore throat, which I haven't really had other than the throat and sinus problems I'm experiencing from the reflux. But then I also have the pain in my upper left abdomen where I know the spleen is located there and I know the spleen can be affected by mono. But then other things are located there too so...
I'm going back to the doctor again later this week. I just really don't want it to be something horrible, like a malignancy or a disease...I am very scared. Any thoughts?
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