You will have to excuse my wall-o-text, I am one who has a need for detail and never have been good at summing things up. Thought I do feel all of the information I will provide has a link to what has been going on with me.
Within the last year I have been in and out of the clinic numerous times. The doctors here... are not satisfying my need to know and I do not believe that I have been correctly diagnosed. Any information or a direction that anyone could point me in would be greatly appreciated.
I am 21 years old and live in rural South Dakota.
In February of 2008 I started a new job at a factory that builds medical devices (tens units, electrodes and other things of that type). A few months after I started is when all my recent troubles started. Every day I went to work I would feel sick.
At first I had allergy-like symptoms. My face around my mouth would go numb and tingle, my mouth would become extremely dry and it would be hard for me to breathe. I would develop this really thick Flem-like substance in the back of my throat and it was hard to swallow. I would have horrible headaches and felt light headed constantly as well as severe stomach aches and sharp pains in my lower abdomen. On about half a dozen occasions I would develop this 'itch' in odd places... the inside of my upper lip, the corners of my eyes, inside my nostrils and in my vaginal area which almost felt like a yeast infection. Every time it happened I would itch in all those places simultaneously. Taking meds like benadryl helped alleviate when it happened.
Through a fellow employee I discovered that in my department we had a machine, that just before I started, they had moved from another area of the plant. This machine is used to laser etch serial numbers into our plastic cases for our devices. We use it every day for hours at end.. sometimes the entire day nonstop. Since moving it, they have yet to vent this machine. It is required that it is vented... but its not. The smell in the area it is in is just horrible and I started to notice the closer I was to it the sicker I felt. I couldn't even stand near it for more then a few minutes without feeling extremely light headed.
Other people started to complain about having headaches all the time so I went to the office and expressed my concerns that it was making me sick to our human resources manager. She called our plant manager and I told me what I had been experiencing as well as what others told me they were going through as well. I also talked to two other supervisors as well and nothing seemed to get done. Every time they would give me some excuse about how they were to busy to vent it out.. or that they weren't sure it was going to stay there so they didn't want to cut a hole in the wall until they were positive. Whenever we had inspectors from the FDA or ISO they would run the machine nonstop the week before to stock up on cases so it wasn't running while they were there. Needless to say it is January.. almost a year later and it is still not vented. Although, about 4-5 months ago they did attach this... charcoal filter on it and this did alleviate some of the allergy-like symptoms I was experiencing.
Around the time they installed the charcoal filter on the machine I started to have constant dull lower abdomen pain. I also was late on my period. After a week of the pain not going away I went to the doctor. This was basically the second time I've ever been to this clinic/hospital (the first was when I had my gallbladder removed on my 20th birthday) so I just had the scheduler pick a doctor that fit my time frame for an appointment.
Clinic 1 - Doctor R.
First of all let me say I had to wait an hour in the waiting room after the time my appointment was to begin and then another 30 mins in the doctors room before he came in.. which highly disgusted me. I explained to him the pain I was having.. I even pointed out exactly where it was. It is on the right side of lower abdomen, if you were to draw a diagonal line between my hip and crotch it would be almost dead center of that line. On occasion the other side would hurt as well but 90% of the time it was just the right side. He didn't really seem like he was listening to me at all and sent me right to xrays. When I was back in the exam room he told me that the large majority of abdomen pains were from constipation (though I told him I had been going to the bathroom just fine and my xrays showed no buildup) and he sent me home with a prescription for some laxative.
Needless to say that a few days later I still had the same pain so I went back to the clinic and this time I went to see the doctor that both my mother and father see.
Clinic 1 - Doctor J.
Throughout the many times I went to this clinic I found that I had to sit and wait well over my scheduled appointment time... obviously they over book or something ><. This time I waited about 45 mins.
At first this doctor seemed a bit more... caring and like he wanted to help me figure out what was wrong. I told him about what Doctor R. had diagnosed and he gave me a strange look. In a nice way, he basically told me that Doctor R. was retarded and that the pain I was experiencing was in the area of my reproductive organs. He preformed a pap smear (my first) and also examined my ovaries. He told me they were developed ok but it was obvious that they were what was hurting. They were very sore and hurt when he pressed on them which it was highly possible that I had ovarian cysts. He scheduled me to come back in a few days to have an ultrasound done on them.
The nurse told me I needed to drink 4-6 6oz glasses of water an hour before for my ultrasound. I did so and wow.. was it painful for me. Even having a single glass of waters worth in my bladder was enough to turn the dull pain into sharp intensifying pain and even after going to the bathroom the pain would stay for an hour or so before returning to the dull pain. And now I had 6 times that much in me! The lady doing my ultrasound was very... rude and somewhat mean to me. A few minutes in she told me that I had to leave and come back another day because my bladder wasn't full enough. She told me I needed to drink 8-12 8oz glasses of water... yikes.
So a week later (the soonest they could reschedule me..) here I am in extreme pain from this overly full bladder. The first ultrasound they got me in as soon as I got to the clinic.. but this time I had to wait at least 20 mins x_X I was squirming in my chair and debating whether or not it was worth the pain I was going through. This time she was pleased with the amount of fluid in my bladder and told me she had accurate pictures.
I had to wait another week to see my doctor for the results. He told me that my ultrasounds came back with no abnormalities. And that no cysts were visible. He told me that they were probably so small that they weren't able to pick them up on the ultrasound and that they would go away within a few weeks and then he sent me home.
A few days after my last appointment I had his nurse call me while at work to tell me that they had messed up my pap smear and that I needed to come back in to have another one done. Well Doctor J. was on vacation so I couldn't schedule it for almost 2 weeks later.
Went back for that.. he asked me if the pain was still there and around that time it had actually lessened for about a week. He examined my ovaries again while he was doing my pap smear and they weren't as swollen and tender. He seemed to lose his interest in finding out what was wrong with me and didn't seem to believe me that something was still wrong.
Not even a week after that I had my period (it was almost 2 months late) and the pain started again. This time it was more severe. I also had the worst cramps I've ever experienced during this period.. it was horrible. My mother told me that being put on the pill could help regulate all of this and also helps ovarian cysts go away so I called and left a message for Doctor J. Nurse asking if I had to have another examination to be put on the pill. She called me back and told me that Doctor J. had prescribed me some and I could go pick it up.
This is when things started to be really concerning for me. The first week of being on the pill was horrible. The pain in my ovaries increased 10x and I had really bad cramps along with it. One day at work my lower legs started to hurt.. severely. It was this aching pain that started at me knees. It was worse when I was sitting. I have somewhat of a high tolerance for pain and this had me in tears. Another day my left side about horizontal with my belly button started to have these sharp throbbing pains. I also had bruises all of my legs. I had never had anything like this happen to me before so I called Doctor J.s nurse and told her everything that was going on and that I thought it was because of the pill he prescribed me. She seemed quite concerned and told me she would call me back within an hour. When she did call me back she told me that Doctor J. said it wasn't related and that I needed to keep taking the pill.
I was a bit sick of him telling me things weren't related and then not trying to help me find out what was causing them. So I decided to get a second opinion. This time I went to the clinic in the town that I work in. (A smaller town and clinic/hospital then the one I was going to before.) I had met the doctor I scheduled an appointment with before. He was an ER doctor in the other hospital I was going to and he had attended my mother when I had to take her to the ER once.