Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Husband undiagnosed...pain in chest, GI problems, panic attacks..PLEASE HELP!!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: nrieffel
  • June 23, 2009
  • 05:22 AM

So it all started in around November of 2008. My husband was complaining of chest pain and heart palpaltations. I happened to have a stethoscope (not sure why :rolleyes:) and I took his bpm and it was at 146...yeah, per minute. It scared me so we went to the ER. (keep in mind that this whole thing has been EXTREMELY long and as to avoid boring you, I may leave a few hospital and doctor's visits out) Anyways, the ER phys. did a bunch of tests: EKG (which was done previously), chest and abdomen x-rays, CT scan, ultrasound, blood work. Everything came back completely normal. He was diagnosed with panic attacks and prescribed Klonopin.

Well, as those who take Klonopin know, first of all, it is only a temporary fix, and second, it isn't something you want to take everyday to calm the nerves because it can be extremely addictive. The Klonopin worked when he was having an attack, but there was other pain in his chest that moved accross to his lower right side (like a seat belt, as he described it). Of course, we went to the regular family doc and he gave alex some pain meds (Lortab) and sent him on his way.

We went back because my husband was having intestinal problems now like a burning sensation in his stomach and esoph. as well as some intestinal cramping and diarrhea. He was then diagnosed with GERD (gasto-esophogeal reflux disease) and given Protonix and Bentyl. Oh, he was also given Zoloft for the anxiety. Well, the protonix helped a little with the reflux or whatever was causing the pain, but the pain in the chest and right under his sternum persisted.

Once again, we went back and he was diagnosed with collitus and costo condritus (forgive my spelling, it's late and I'm too lazy to look it up! :p) and he was reffered to a Gastroenterologist. We were excited because we felt like we were getting somewhere. In short, the GI doc did an endoscopy and colonoscopy and found a mild bit of collitus. That's it. So once again, here's some Protonix and Lortab...hope ya feel better!

THEN, we went back to the doc...like the 9th or 10th time, and my husband told him he felt bad pain right under his sternum...it was squishy when touched and stuck out a little bit. I, of course, did some research and was relieved to find that he most likely had a hiatal hernia. I say relived because it was an answer. Something tangible and treatable. Well the doc looked back through his notes from the GI doc and said, oh yeah, you do but it is very small. He then said that he was completely out of answers for us (as did the GI doc) and sent us to a surgeon to discuss the hernia. Went to the surgeon (awesome doctor, by the way) and he told us that his hernia was too small to treat with surgery and that it would, in no way, cause that much pain. He also mentioned the fact that my husband didn't have costo condritus because it would cause WORSE pain and that he had only seen it 2 times in his 30 years of being a thorasic surgeon. He then mentioned that it may ALL be stress. I think it is possible because my husband is the type of person that bottles everything up inside and never talks about it. I also know, from being a psych major, that the mind has extreme control over the body (hence phantom limbs and phantom pregnancy) and could have manifested this anxiety into physical pain. Well, my husband thinks its a bunch of you-know-what. So, he agreed to go to a therapist anyways, and that is our next step unless something else comes up.

But as of now, the pain is CONSTANT. He constantly sleeps, misses work, he is extremely angry and frustrated because of not having any definitive answers, his personality has changed from the happy, go-lucky guy he was. He is currently taking Klonopin for the panic attacks (which he does have, but I think they are a symptom of the real diagnosis), Lortab for pain, Protonix for the collitus, Zoloft for anxiety (which doesn't do anything he says, except for keep him from getting light-headed because those were the withdrawal symptoms when he tried to stop taking it), Naprocin to calm down the inflamation in the cartilage between his ribs which is what the costo condritus apparently is, Bentyl occasionaly....I think that's it but I may be missing some. He hates medicine and would LOVE to get rid of even a few of the meds. Not to mention it costs 60-80 bucks a month on top of the thousands we have in med bills for visits, procedures, tests, etc etc...

Basically, we are both exhausted from this whole process and I miss my husband. We haven't even been married a year and this is the time we should be enjoying eachother and considering children. We are both young (he is 26) and should be out doing things. If ANYONE has ANY ideas, it would be GREATLY appreciated! :)

Thank you so much for reading this!
N.R. :confused:

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