Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Advice needed !

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 27 Replies
  • Posted By: Tootsie
  • February 1, 2009
  • 00:02 PM

I would be greatful for advice as im not sure if im doing the right thing.

Im 48yr Female & smoke about 10 to 15 cigarettes a day (i know i have to stop) I dont drink alcohol. I weigh 11st 6lb

This coming Tuesday im having a procedure done "Transoesophageal echocardiogram" the reason they are doing this is because for some reason my oxygen levels plumit, recorded levels at 82,84 and 87%

Others tests have been done on my heart, a bit of flowing back at one of my valves but nothing major for real concern.

Ive had lung function tests done, a fairly basic one done at my doctors surgery which the results where good, ive had a more advanced one done at the hospital of which i havent got result yet, but i expect it to be good.

My doctors & consultant are great & doing all to get to the bottom of this, so no complaints there.

Why i need advice is im really pushing myself on with work & i cant get to speak to my own doctor or consultant to ask them about this right now.

Im working on a very important conservation project but im exhausted, im climbing 30ft scaffolding, up & down approx 12 times a day. Standing for long periods in same position for 13hrs, moving 1 step every 4 mins or so, only getting the chance to sit for about 20mins throughout the whole day.

The problem that has now arose is my feet & ankles have swollen badly, the skin looks really weird & shines, pains in my feet & legs, there is a band around both ankles but the left one is worse, it looks like a dent all the way round like something has been tied tightly around each ankle, this is about 7inchs above ankle bone. This band is not new, its been there a long time but thought i should say about it.

Other health issues & medication taken.

Im hyperthyroid, i take 125mgs thyroxin daily.

I suffer with (TN) Trigemenial Neurlgia, i take amitriptylin, baclofen and also on a betablocker.

I also have oxygen supplied at home but this was given to me to help me through pain, it was not known that my oxygen levels where plumiting when they give me this, it was given as a trial as there was reports that migrain pain was being helped with oxygen treatment.
It was a new Pain consultant that recommended this as he did not believe that i truely had TN, he was going back down the same road that id already been down with past consultants.

I went back privately to my previous Pain consultant, I already knew by this time my oxygen levels where dropping (this was because i recieved emergency treatment at hospital for bad pain attack where they measured my sats) i explained this to Pain consultant, he was concerned about this & also thought i was very blue looking, he then measured my sats & oxygen level at this time was 87%, thats how all these further tests are now being done.

Sorry if this seems long but i thought it may be relevant.

I have a tendency to push myself through things & keep going when others may stop.

I dont want to work myself into an early grave as my father done.

"Workalcholic" and "get on with it" is in-breed in me


I also had a major health issue when i was 28yrs old, i spent 4 wks in hospital, nearly died twice, this stemmed for Pelvic Inflamitory Disease that was not treated, I was rushed through emergency surgery where they removed my falopian tube that was braking down, i became septic & shock where my blood pressure dropped to 30/40 again this is probably not relevant but will maybe show how i push myself on when i need to stop.

I cant afford not to work, so ive gotta work something out, as i dont want to kick the bucket either.


Any advice would be appreciated, am i putting myself at risk ?

"Blaze" take a brake ......:eek:

Please excuse any spelling or grammer mistakes......lol:D

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27 Replies:

  • sorry, Hypothroid not Hyper.........:eek: silly me....:D
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 1, 2009
    • 00:59 PM
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  • Well, I'm not certain that you need anyone here to tell you whether you are pushing yourself to an unreasonable extent in this instance. Your past experiences appear to adequately demonstrate that tendency. The condition with your legs is known as pitting edema and you need to contact your primary care physician and be evaluated for placement on diuretic therapy to reduce the fluid in your lower limbs. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 1, 2009
    • 07:29 PM
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  • Dr Cottle is as usual absolutely right. Pitting oedema if not treated can with time give leg ulcers, which are very difficult to treat. You are also at risk for deep venous thrombosis. I’m sorry to tell you this, I didn’t mean to scare you. Also when you are standing still, please try using your calf muscles as much as possible, by going up and down on your toes. Quitting smoking would of course improve the circulation in your legs, sorry for pestering. Take it easy with your work, take care of your legs and good luck with everything! :)
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • February 1, 2009
    • 08:39 PM
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  • Thank you Dr Cottle & Felsen for taking the time, i appreciate your advice. One more question if i may. Do you think that this is most likely caused by my work or could it also be connected to the problem im having with my oxygen levels dropping possibly due to a heart problem ? or could it be both ? I will follow advice given & call my Doctor. Thank you both again. :)
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 1, 2009
    • 09:41 PM
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  • My answer is both. But it can very well mostly be a heart problem, because swollen legs (or a wet cough from lungs) are a typical sign for a heart condition. Let us know what the doctor says, it nice with feed back. Take care! :)
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • February 1, 2009
    • 10:27 PM
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  • Well the good news is that i dont have a wet cough, just an annoying ticklish one. I decided to take today off work & made an appointment this morning with my Doctor so i'll let you know what she says. Thank you Felsen for your time & advice. Regards :)
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 2, 2009
    • 09:33 AM
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  • Good news again, my Doctor believes this has been induced by my work, due to the fact that the swelling is reducing on its own with feet up & rest. She said if it was due to a heart problem resting alone would not have been enough. My chest is clear & no other symptoms. She give me support stockings & told me to keep moving my legs to prevent DVT. Ive slept alot today which was much needed & im going to be more careful with work. Tomorrow i have my Transoesophageal Echocardiogram so hopefully i can get to the bottom of my oxygen sats problem, probably have to wait for results, have to get a few other results also, but i'm hopeful ;) Thanks again Best Regards :)
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 2, 2009
    • 07:16 PM
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  • Good news, Tootsie. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the ECG. Let us know what it says. :)
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • February 2, 2009
    • 09:33 PM
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  • I will indeed...... Kind regards :)
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 2, 2009
    • 09:49 PM
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  • Good news, Tootsie. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the ECG. Let us know what it says. :) Hi Felsen, just when i see you online. I got all my results back & all is good, even went through the test without sedation....:cool:.....did gag a bit on that big thing i had to swallow though don't know what ya call it, but anyway, all was good so im putting it down to bad breathing habits (not mentioning the smoking, cough cough....lol ) I will get around to stopping.......eventually....lol Best wishes :)
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 08:45 PM
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  • Tootsie, it’s really good news that your heart is OK, I’m glad to hear it. And you were brave to swallow the scope. Usually you need sedation for this type of procedure. But have they concluded why your oxygen levels are plummeting? Are they still plummeting? How are your ankles? Do the support stockings work? And I do agree that you need to quit smoking. We need you around!! :)
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 09:19 PM
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  • lol yes the support stockings worked (real sexy) lol Yes my oxygen levels are still dipping, ive had to go on the oxygen at night, my TN is flaring up, ive been doing the deep controlled breathing to try & ride it out but alas ive had to resort back to the oxygen but i am limiting my time on it (lecture from my daughter about over doing it) i wasn't aware before that over-use of it can be bad also. Anyway, I did discuss it with my cardiologist (he's lovely) & he really feels that it could be possible that i simply have bad breathing habits like shallow breathing, I have become more aware of it all lately, this may seem strange but I can remember doing this when i was young (due to kind of hiding or not wanting to be found) it now seems to have come the norm for me, but I'm working on it........:D What a habit to pick...........lol :eek: I hope you are well ?:) Oh i forgot to say, I have taken a bit of time off work, It was wrecking me & certainly not helping with the TN so im trying to chill & amuse myself.....lol
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 09:43 PM
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  • Tootsie, I havn’t thought of the habit of shallow breathing. Try to take a deep breath from time to time, it’s important to fill the whole lung with air to prevent bacteria growth, I think. Unfortunately I don’t know much about TN and oxygen. I’m glad that you are taking it easy with your work and that your legs are better. Good luck with everything, Tootsie! :)
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 10:10 PM
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  • I know it is a strange one.....:eek: Thanks for your help Felsen. Good luck to you too....:)
    Tootsie 628 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 10:22 PM
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  • Sounds like some type of edema? Maybe your doctor can prescribe a diuretic and limit the salt intake. :)
    Carrlexzi 36 Replies
    • February 28, 2009
    • 08:42 PM
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  • Hi carrlexzi, Thank you for replying, luckly it is now resolved & back to normal, It was more work induced so with rest & wearing support stockings that was enough to do the trick. Best wishes........:)
    Tootsie 628 Replies Flag this Response
  • As usual,Dr.Cottle is exactly right.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • As usual,Dr.Cottle is exactly right. Indeed he is.......:)
    Tootsie 628 Replies Flag this Response
  • Okay folk just incase anyone is wondering what is going on this topic of decussion has been taken over here for obvious reasons. Its in responce to someone else's ramblings, started by her may I add not me. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Fannou, First of all once again in your ignorance YOU have started this arguement in a thread where the guy is obviously very ill, but i am telling you now that it is highly unlikely that he has LYME. I know he will focus on the argument & will have taken nothing else in. You called him "Crazy" not me. You obviously know nothing about mental illness & YOU have done more harm than good. You say you want to help, you haven't the slightest idea how to do that. A little knowledge is very dangerous & you do not know how to use it. The simple reason that I mention Mental Illness is because I know quite a bit about it, also if you fully took notice of all his replys & how much time WE spent on talking to him, through all that, it was becoming very apparnt that there was something badly wrong. You jumped in with your plus two's & pushed lyme when it had already been talked about, It was becoming very obvious what was going on,then You attack me. Maybe you do want to help but I am telling you now you do not know how to do that. I have already told you MANY people on here are from all over the world not just america, you don't even know that. The way you DIAGNOIS people is WRONG ! you have been told that before. You quote stuff then dont want to back it up, when your backed into a corner then you don't want to answer, & want to stop, then say you dont want to fight when you started it. No one would have any problem with you if you had some wisdom, You could suggest things or find out what part of the world they are in, you could ask if they where bitten, but you see every symptom as lyme, quite frankly this has all been said & done before, people are genuinely trying to get help & you are forcing this stuff on all. You think you have suffered...............you know nothing yet. Now i suggest you answer Harmonium question here.
    Tootsie 628 Replies Flag this Response
  • Just wanted to say hello over here. :)You have gotten some really good advice, I hope it is all working. Just one or two points to add....You say you have trouble pushing yourself too much? I see people with this issue all the time (I'm a massage therapist). It really causes many problems from what I've seen. While you are off of work, is it possible for you to learn to slow down a bit? To learn some relaxation techniques? When we go go go all the time....out bodies prepare in a fight-or-flight way at all times. The sympathetic nervous system is constantly activated....leading to all kinds of issues including edema and high-blood pressure. It's like your body, on a cellular level or neurochemical level....well, it never gets a break. It will decrease your life span to live like this all the time---really, slowing down and giving your body a chance for the parasympathetic response to kick in can have soooo many benefits. Your muscles are likely to hurt, especially the shoulder girdle and your butt muscles. When we are stressed, our breathing gets very shallow. This causes too much strain on the muscles in your neck--they are supposed to help us breathe, not do all the work. Not only that, but by not fully inflating our lungs, we don't get that much needed oxygen-rich blood to all areas like would be optimal. This respiratory acidosis can have great effects on the over-all pH of your body. Carbon dioxide does not get eliminated from the blood as it should, and your body tries to compensate. This is all more work for your body than is necessary and is a common reason for general fatigue. Deep breathing is also a great way to activate the parasympathetic response. Try this breathing exercise:1. lie down or sit someplace comfortable in a dimly lit room--maybe even with relaxing music playing (I like classical for this). 2. place one hand on your stomach, right below your rib cage (where it forms that 'v-like' spot, right over your diaphragm. 3. Inhale slowly from your nose. Try to count to 5-6 as you inhale. Your hand should move up before your chest.3. Pause for just a 1-2 count before you exhale. This will help 'teach' your body what you want from it...will help activate the natural response.4. Exhale slowly but forcefully from your mouth. Repeat all steps several times per day. Each time you do the exercise, try to increase the count. Like, go from a 5-6 count on the inhale working your way up to a 35-40 count or as high as you can go. Be careful though, your body is not use to this. If you get lightheaded or begin tingling in your hands, stop and return to normal breathing. Don't do this with the oxygen you are using, just regular air. If you do this exercise regularly, before you know it you will be more conscious of your breathing and breathing deeper will come more naturally to you. It sounds silly, but while you are doing the breathing exercise, think to yourself "in with the good, out with the bad". It really does make me feel better to do this.....it's almost like you can re-train your subconscious by using your conscious mind to the full advantage. Positive self-talk works! You can also train your body to relax. Begin on the couch again.....slowly clench and release all of your muscles as tightly as you can. Work in a very systematic fashion from your feet (yes, you can clench the muscles in your feet) to your neck. You want to learn very cognitively what it feels like when your muscles are tight and when they are relaxed. This helps your body, and your mind, learn when you are bracing and can help you quit doing so. Much of the time we don't even realize when we are holding stress in our muscles! Stretching (properly) is another great way to release the tension held in our bodies and get everything (including the lymphatic system, responsible for clearing out that edema) moving and flowing properly.I wish you luck and success with all your symptoms!! :DFannou, I am not trying to 'pick on you' at all. I feel we, as responders to people here with very genuine issues, have a responsibility to ensure that the information given is factual and relevant to their stated problems. The fact that you suggest Lyme for imlostandscared without knowing where they are from or if they have had exposure--in fact, dismissing exposure-- makes me wonder if you are 'qualified' at all to post to others here. It's fine to suggest whatever you think the problem is....but you cannot tell them 'definitely' or 'this WILL help you'--you cannot possibly know for sure, none of us can!! When you list facts or say that something you say is from the CDC website, then I go there and find contrary information.....it's like you are making stuff up simply to support your theories. Please cite your source and quote directly so that I can see if I am wrong. I'm not asking anything of you that I wouldn't or haven't done myself. I have not insulted you at all, yet you claim I am pulling stuff out of a hat that I don't know anything about. I quoted, I cited. Please, if what you are saying is true...there should be no issue supporting your argument. I am not attacking you---I am attacking your advice.
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
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