Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

What should I do next?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • October 11, 2007
  • 03:20 PM

Hi, I need some advice.

I'm very concerned because I noticed lumps on my right upper abdomen about 1 1/2 months ago. There are about 6 -7 and they are small. They are located right below my ribcage to about 3 inches below and go from about 2 inches right of my navel to my right side. They are not painful to the touch. I have a history of abdominal pain which was thought to be caused by scar tissue from a spinal fusion 10 years ago. The pain is dull and radiates from my mid-right abdomen but I can't pinpoint it by touch. This pain has become more uncomfortable in recent weeks (last week it was sharp - I thought I might be having an appendicitis attack - but it calmed down).

I didn't go to the doctor regarding this immediately because my young daughter fractured 2 vertebrae in a swimming accident around the same time I noticed them and then she came down with strep throat. Then I had my annual mammogram scheduled and they saw a mass and scheduled me for a biopsy, which turned out benign, but I do have 2 enlarged intramammary lymph nodes which they said they will watch. During all of this I caught my daughter's cold and became very ill (103.5 fever) and was diagnosed with pneumonia in my right lung. I forgot all about my lumps.

Last Monday, I went to the doctor to follow up on the pneumonia and I mentioned the lumps and the abdominal pain and the loss of appetite (I feel like I ate a Thanksgiving dinner after just a bowl of cereal). I also have pain in my back on the right side that seems to be right behind the area of the lumps. The doctor could feel the lumps, he said they are not cysts and are not in the skin - they are deeper than that. He said that they do not disappear when he had me "bear down". He then said that he has no idea what they are and to come back in a few months and we'll see if they've gotten any larger. He attributed the loss of appetite to the pneumonia (it did start at the same time) and the back pain to my crummy back.

I'm extremely uncomfortable with the whole "wait and see" advice since that's what they did with my back pain (never even got films until I couldn't walk) because I was "too young" for severe back problems.

I can't see another doctor (unless I pay) because I have HMO. I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist because I have a good rapport with her and she can order tests, but I can't get in for three weeks.

Any thoughts or advice?

P.S. I have 4 days left on a two week prescription of Avelox for the pneumonia and I'm still running a fever of 100.5. My doc said my lungs sounded clear at my follow up. I still have extreme fatigue - I assume from the pneumonia.

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2 Replies:

  • bumping because it was about to go to the 2nd page - I hope that's okay.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 11, 2007
    • 09:42 PM
    • 0
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  • Look at a diagram of the lymphatic system. You will see on the right side that there are lymph nodes extending along the waist from the spine. The liver also has some lymph nodes. I would think these lumps you have might be lymph nodes also. Especially since they're watching some on a mammogram, I would be very suspicious. If it were me, I would get a biopsy. Can your gynecologist move things along to get a biopsy of the mammary nodes in question? Also, you have lymph nodes around the appendix. You might have an appendix that is infected. What is your temperature. Get a blood count to see if you have an infection. Lymph nodes are small, oval structures found clustered in the neck, armpits, groin, and throughout the body. The lymph system responds to infections and foreign substances. There are several components consisting of lymph glands (nodes) and small vessels that link all the nodes and the spleen. Infection-fighting white blood cells also travel to the lymph nodes where they trap, attack, and destroy the foreign particles. Localized infections are confined to glands swelling in a limited area such as only in the neck with a throat infection.Lymph nodes enlarge when they fight harmful germs or as a reaction to other foreign material. The range of symptoms includes:* One or more swollen lumps.* Possible tenderness when touched.* May feel hard and not moveable. Swollen glands can cause pain and tenderness during colds, flu, sore throat, strep throat, or ear infections. Lymph nodes can also swell with diseases such as mononucleosis, Hodgkin's disease, cancer and HIV. Other reasons for swelling include:* Side effects from some seizure and thyroid drugs, sulfa drugs, iodine, and penicillin.* A collection of lymph fluid due to blockage (lymphedema) that may be caused by surgery, radiation treatment or cancers.* A tumor of the lymph gland.Enlarged, painful lymph glands are usually common reactions to infection. Seek medical evaluation for:* Multiple swollen nodes not associated with a specific site of infection. * A painless lump that feels hard.* Enlarged lymph glands that do not go back to normal within a few days. I would be very aggressive with my doctors until they find the source of the lumps. You've had a heap of trouble recently and I hope this problem is cleared up quickly.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies
    • October 13, 2007
    • 10:21 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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