Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Help! Worried About Infective Endocarditis...

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: djfitt
  • July 19, 2009
  • 03:27 AM

Hi there. Hopefully someone here of knowledge will be more interested than the multiple doctors I have seen in the past few weeks. Due to the intricate and extensive nature of everything that has happened I am going to give as much information as possible upfront.

This all started spring break of this year. I am a 23 yr old male. I have led a perfect life health wise (with the exception of breaking my leg in the same spot twice and a significant amount of concussions). I have been sick only 3 times since turning 18. So anyways. I go to Arizona for spring break to enjoy some nice weather and relax (I work very hard). I got there and went on to have the worst flu I've ever had. It was 75-80 degrees the whole time and I was shivering, it was bad. I had a horrible cough, and a fever. I flew home and the cough took about a month to heal fully. This is im sure due to the fact I was a daily cannabis smoker. I smoked in order to help with the anxiety I've dealt with for 5 years. I never smoked much as I have always been very health conscious. To me I saw this as medicating, not for fun. When I returned home from the Arizona trip, and noticed how long it was taking the cough to fully go away, I decided I needed to try and give up the smoking and see if I was capable of handling my many stresses and anxieties naturally. I stopped smoking May 2nd.

This period of time was a very tough one for me because it was probably the most stressed I'd ever been. Dealing with a bad living situation, a court case in which I was (admitted by the judge) grouped with the people I lived with and tried accordingly, and work going horribly. I also was dealing with the "oddly appearing" withdrawals during cessation. I say "oddly appearing" because I wasn't a hardcore user and had stopped for breaks of weeks at a time many times over the two years I smoked. This time however, I was having "withdrawals" of the heaviest and longest tenured smokers there are. Either that or everything I have experienced is what is coming to a head now. I had to take a leave of absence from working to try and fight through this and return things to normalcy.

These "withdrawals" I speak of include horrid insomnia (I slept 3 hours the whole first week), abdominal pain (mild achy pain), kidney soreness that would come and go, stomach bloating, I'd go from being constipated to diarrhea seamlessly and quickly at that. Headaches, canker sores, etc. I also had elevated levels of anxiety and some mild depression. I figured this was all psychological because I didn't have my security blanket anymore. I kept trying to push through it, working out even more frequently than usual, as well as I starting to eat healthier than prior to. I was really trying to make a good change in my life, despite it not being an easy one to make.

Not working at this point now I decided I needed to move back home with my family. My hope was that having them around and a supporting living environment instead of a bad one, would expedite the healing process and returning life to normal. During the time of moving I would describe the way I felt like I had a low level flu. This was 3+ weeks after stopping. Upon moving back home some things did improve.

At this point is where things get really confusing now. On the time line of this all we are at about 3 weeks to a month after cessation. This being almost two full months after the AZ vacation. I now started having bad digestive issues. I had diarrhea for a long period of time. I was finally able to get to sleep fairly quickly and consistently but was only able to sleep three hours at a time now. I'd awake suddenly and violently every time. This improved and by 40 days after quitting, I considered myself to be feeling fully well; both mentally and physically.

I had one good week where everything seemed back to normal. I was feeling great. I was working out again and running 2+ miles a night, laughing and enjoying my parents company. I was able to start working on some of my music again as well. This all made me happy and was enjoying life knowing I had nothing me help in doing so.

After a week of everything being normal things digressed. The diarrhea came back. This was not typical diarrhea I had prior though, it looked like a bunch of strands. I was not able to eat fats, especially milk. They would go right through me. I was having pills (vitamin c/centrum supplement) go through me and be wholly intact in my stools. I started getting very small samples of petechiae. They were very tiny and on my chest. They faded within 1-2 days. I also was getting burst capillaries in various seemingly random places. These also faded in the same time frame. There are a few instances that have not gone away and are raised and almost flourescent pink colored. Seems this all may be more stress induced but I wanted to include everything. At this time I started to notice my gums starting to recede as well. As someone with very good oral care this was strange. Also strange was that there was no pain associated with the receding and my gums were firm and pink as they should be. I thought it was a possibility this could ALL be linked together but didn't think much of it. I then remembered a friend of mine making fun of me for how much tuna I was eating (was overweight age 19-22 so was getting back into shape). I weighed 215 at my most. I am 5'8". I dropped down in a period of about 5-6 months to 155-160. I was very proud of myself for this. Anyway back to the point at hand. I ate tuna nightly 4-5 times a week because of its low amount of calories and fats and high amounts of protein. I thought the whole mercury poisoning from fish thing was an urban legend. Due to everything that had been happening though, I decided to go in and get a hair follicle test done to see if it was mercury poisoning. I was actually hoping it was as it would fit the pieces of the puzzle together. I was ingesting that amount of tuna for a period of 9-11 months.

Being uninsured at the time because I no longer was working, I went to the local urgent care. The dr looked at me like I was crazy and seemingly had no interest in actually helping me to figure out what was going on. I denied a blood test because not having insurance or a lot of money at the time, I came in to get the hair follicle test (which was expensive) and then change the plan of action accordingly following the results of it. That was no fun at all. I have short hair and I sat there for 2 hours as the nurse tweezed out hair after hair. We finally got about 1-200 hairs with the follicles still attached. They said it would take about a week for the results to come back. In the mean time my digestion was getting better slowly and I stopped getting the burst capillaries and petechiae.

They called me 9 days later and told me that they "couldn't get a reading from my sample". I thought this was ridiculous. He offered for me to come back in to do it again (though he said I'd be charged again lol). I just said screw it and figured if it got worse I'd deal with it accordingly.

The gums continued to slowly recede. I upped oral care even further and bought a gum disease supplement online called OraMD to help in slowing and stopping the recession of the gums. It seemed to start helping for the first week or so. At this point also my digestion basically returned to normal. I started adding more fats slowly back into my diet, and eventually also brought milk back in. I no longer have any issues with diarrhea (except when I hit my threshold with vitamin c).

All of a sudden the gums started losing more tissue faster and faster. I called my cousin who is a dentist and spoke with him about them. He was dumbfounded by what was going on (but obviously its hard/impossible to correctly diagnose over the phone). I still had no bleeding. I forgot to add that one of the things that made me originally think I may have had mercury poisoning was that I woke up one day with a horrible metallic taste in my mouth. Alongside this the upper region of gums on the top teeth and the lower region of my gums on the bottom teeth were inflamed. The gum area in the brushing path was still firm and pink. I also noticed no discomfort or pain at this point. Now we are almost to present day.

Last week I started losing tissue rapidly. I also had my first bout of pain. My whole mouth swelled up. I also had a nasty nasty taste in my mouth, it was sooooo gross. I figured that an infection started. I have a broken/possibly dead bottom right molar and my wisdom tooth there tried to grow in at an angle over the top of that tooth. I'm guessing the infection started because it's near impossible to get all of the bacteria from the area between the dead tooth and the angled wisdom tooth. The very odd thing has been that when I wake up in the morning my teeth feel not too bad. I'll eat breakfast and immediately brush and mouthwash, and as soon as I do so they progressively get more and more inflamed and sore as the day goes on. At night it was getting unbearable. So I decided I needed to get into the dentist asap and get some antibiotics to kill the infection. I scheduled an appt the other day for this next tuesday.

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4 Replies:

  • (I hit the limit on length of post so here is the rest of the post)In the meantime last night the pain just got too bothersome. On top of that early this morning I woke up for some reason and was laying in bed trying to go back to sleep when this random wave hit me. I was laying down face first so I could feel my heart beating off of my bed. It was normal. All of a sudden the wave hit and for a period of 5-10 seconds my heart just went rapid. Being an anxiety sufferer for years I originally thought it could have been that. But when I get anxiety and especially panic attacks, it doesn't last that short of a time span. Also I had no feelings of anxiety or stress at all I was completely fine. I went and spoke with my dad and we went to a second urgent care. This dr was much more helpful. Very nice guy. He said there was definite gingivitis but that it didn't look too bad. I explained it's not how bad it is that's been worrying me, but how quickly it has gotten to that point. I also shared the heart issue with him. I've noticed it several times over the past week but usually im only half conscious so never gave it too much thought. He said very straightforward that I would definitely get a fever if the infection had spread anywhere. I asked about sepsis and infective endocarditis. These are both serious complications so I wanted to make sure I didn't have them so I could relax. He prescribed me with a bottle of chlorhexidrine and I went home. The good news is immediately the stuff he prescribed worked great. I almost instantly felt the difference. The gums are doing much better imo at the moment. I went back to bed to take a nap since I didn't get a full nights sleep. I woke up and was lying there and the wave feeling came back. I didn't jump up like normal this time because I wanted to see if it would keep happening or how long it did happen for. The feeling would go on for about 5 seconds then my heart would go back to normal, then ramp right back up again. It happened 4 or 5 times before I went and spoke with my parents about it again.I am very very worried right now. I have worked very hard in my life to make something out of nothing. I would be crushed if I wasn't able to see the results of all that hard work. I have sacrificed a lot of things normal people at this age do and enjoy in order to get in the position I'm currently in.I apologize for the long post but I wanted to list all known information so that someone may be able to help me. I know if the infection has spread the speed at which treatment begins can determine a lot in the end result. Thank you for taking the time to read this and trying to help me.Hope everyone has a good day.(I'll check this multiple times throughout the day so if you have further questions let me know)-Michael
    djfitt 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Anybody have any advice???
    djfitt 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Unless you have an underlying heart valve abnormality and have undergone a dental procedure (in which prophylaxis would probably be given), the possibility of infective endocarditis is quite low.
    m3dh31p 69 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had gone through chemotherapy 2 years back after that my hair regrowth after 3 months but since last 6 months it again start receding hair line now i am worried whether it is the side effects of the therapy or its normal has anyone faced the same problem after the therapy.how to stop a receding hairline
    how2stopreceding 1 Replies Flag this Response
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