Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Six weeks of severe chest pain, seromas in breasts, high white blood cell count...

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: LilyElaine
  • October 31, 2013
  • 11:54 AM

Hello, and thank you to anyone who will take the time to read this and can possibly shed some light on an otherwise dreary situation I call my current existence!
An overview of the recent history of events (which I believe may or be of relevance), is as follows;

With no trauma or identifiable cause whatsoever, on the 15th of September (2013), I awoke in the middle of the night to a great deal of pain in my right breast and pectoral muscle.
Over the following two days, my right breast swelled to twice its normal size, and the pain significantly worsened - a deep, dull ache was constantly present, with intermittent sharp shooting pains in the breast tissue.
N.B. I had a bilateral mastopexy and augmentation 5 years ago (almost to the day this began) with an uneventful recovery period.
Due to this history, I contacted the surgeon who completed the procedure, and upon consultation, advised I wear a bra 24/7 to minimize any motion which could exacerbate the condition and that I have an MRI completed in three week’s time. In the duration leading up to the MRI appointment (completed around the 10th of October), the swelling in my right breast almost completely reduced, but the shooting pains worsened. These pains then began in my left breast also (without swelling, however), and then my sternum and ribs; a GP dubbed the bone/joint pain 'Costochondritis', which presents in me every day in around a dozen 'phases', each phase going on for around half an hour, and coming in waves of severe pain which (I would imagine, though have no prior history) resembles that of a heart attack - at times it feels as though bolts of electricity or steel rods are ripping through my chest cavity and breasts, and occasionaly into my armpit/s or to the back of my ribs. The sternum also feels incredibly tender - almost as though it is bruised.
Whilst waiting for the MRI and desperately seeking answers, a GP conducted full blood tests to determine whether there may be a sub-grade infection (though I had showed no signs of this), or any other possible cause for the symptoms. The results denied the possibility of infection, but my white blood cell count (Eosinophil, I believe was the particular type, but forgive me if I have mis-spelt this!) was found to be mildly elevated above the normal range.
My glands in my armpits and neck have been tender also, and I have been nauseous throughout this period and to date.
The MRI showed that I have seromas in both of my breasts. Though they did no contrast for scans of my actual breast tissue - only the actual implants, despite my expressing the pain I have in the tissues and that I had recognized harder, more fibrous bands of tissue above the sub-pectoral implant.
Upon a mere glimpse only of the MRI report (the scans were not even removed from the envelope) and a quick and painful examination of my breasts, my surgeon, and another surgeon I saw for a second opinion, both said that the issue has nothing to do with my implants, and as this is not their area of specialty they could not be of any great assistance - both have suggested I return to my GP in two weeks time (to allow for the GP's receipt of their correspondence), and 'explore other avenues', but had no suggestions as to what they might be. Both stated that the seromas may have spontaneously developed, though we're each doubtful this should occur 5 years post-operatively without any mechanical trauma, they each believe the Costochondritis has just randomly occurred, my hormones are imbalanced causing the breast 'tenderness' (did I express already they are a little more than just tender?!), and effectively, all of these three things have occurred entirely spontaneously and independently of one another - but cannot explain the high white blood cell count and tenderness in my lymph nodes in conjunction to any of this either.
Both of the surgeons also seemed convinced I am pregnant, which in their view, explained everything (go figure?), despite my conveying I have had three negative pregnancy tests and also have an innate (and I would imagine, obvious) understanding that;
1. These symptoms are more than side effects of pregnancy and hormonal imbalance, and,
2. I am being put in a 'too hard basket'; one which could be shifted to many a doorway before I find someone capable and willing to assist me in finding out an underlying cause so I can treat the problem as a whole, not just dull one of many symptoms.
This is now the six week mark, throughout the course of which my condition has progressively worsened and I still have not been given any answer.
As at the 31st of October, I am now experiencing a tight and dull ache, like a ball of pressure behind my sternum, and have heard bubbling sounds (which I can hear and the vibrations of which I can feel through my skin) in the lower right side of my lung, near the sternum.
I have just seen a paramedic who could not hear anything via a stethoscope (though the bubbling noise did not occur during the examination), checked my heart by ECG, which appears normal, and the oxygenation level in my blood is at 99%, so there are no signs of something severely sinister at present. The bubbling has still been intermittently occurring post the examination.
I should note, the pain and bubbling could not be described as gastrointestinal; I suffered acid reflux for most of my life, so am very familiar with the symptoms which could identify that. At 19 years old, I underwent a laparoscopic 'Nissen's' fundoplication, which has completely stopped any sign or symptom at all of reflux, oesophageal ulcers etc. My diet has been clean and nutrient-dense, and I have eliminated any unnecessary toxins or chemicals from my food, drink and cosmetics (without going overboard to a point of paranoia), with intention to optimise my health to assist my body to repair itself to the best of its ability, but I need some direction, as I cannot live like this much longer. Literally, I fear!
Please, if you can help me in anyway, grant me some insight! I will be eternally grateful!

Many Thanks,


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