35 yrs ago I was thought to have histoplasmosis or a fungal infection in the lungs which is endemic to river valleys e.g. Ohio River (Kentucky). After 3 weeks of incredible pain (chest; arms; night sweats; chills; etc) the pericardital rub exhibited. It was audible even to me without a stethoscope and sounded like two sheets of sand paper rubbing together with every heart beat. This was FINALLY the clue the MD's needed to make the diagnosis. I was already in congestive heart failure, but steroids eventually "cured" it. When I tried to wean off of the prednisone it took me a year and a half to do so.
Post script ...I was told I would have been dead within 24 hrs had I not been admitted to the hospital when I was.
Second misdiagnosis -- cecal volvulous -- or twisted colon. Seven yrs ago I presented with a "distended" feeling of flatulent build up. In other words, I thought I had gas. Upon trying several home remedies including an enema, and positioning myself (butt up in air to relieve the pressure) NOTHING seemed to help. This happened 4 times within about a 3 month spread. :confused: The last time it presented, I was given an xray at a local ER (having waited for the obligatory 5 + hrs :mad:) only to be told I was constipated and to drink an ENTIRE bottle of PHILIPS MILK OF MAGNESIA. This not only exascerbated the symptoms, but I finally could stand the pain no longer and could hardly dial 9-1-1. The ER ordered a barium enema for contrast and what the ensuing xrays revealed were STILL in contention.
The on call general surgeon decided to open me up. She had never seen, and only read about my situation, after-the-fact, however. My ASCENDING colon had distended from the normal 3 cm (about the size of a quarter) to that of a dinner plate (28 cm) and had, what she referred to as serosal tearing (the outer layer of 5 layers of the colon) much like a BALLPARK frank ready to burst on the BBQ. She told me later, that had I not had that surgery, I would have either died or become extremely ill by that afternoon! The twist of the colon trapped all fecal matter BEHIND it. Those periodic twists over 3 months would ultimately twist back to its normal position. This last time, however, adhesions or scar tissue possibly from a recent hysterectomy caused this "floppy colon" to adhere to this glue like adhesion. As days went on, this distended colon was in jeopardy of bursting. Later it was shown that I had gangrenous colon tissue as well as the eminent "bursting point". My surgeon told me that she had to encase the compromised colon in towels so if it did burst, the contents would hopefully be trapped by the towels. She also reassigned the small intestine to the transverse colon.
Post script: The surgeon also told me...she literally went to battle with the ER doc who advised her to withhold the surgery as I was "...dying from colon cancer and had already matastisized ...that surgery would be in vain..."
I literally owe my life to her and her seeming stubborn nature. As it turns out, she was a holy terror (a good thing!!!) and when she entered my ward the nurses would duck and cover as she was not to be reckoned with!!! I heard her yelling and screaming on more occasions than one in the hospital and again at her office when a mastectomy patient had been discharged too early and needed further procedure(s). I'd say she's more than an MD...she was mine and others' "guardian angel" to who I literally owe my life. Cecal volvulous affects only about 1% if the population and it is thought that West Africans and Ukrainians are, for some reason, at risk more than the general population! I am Polish heritage, so perhaps this is consistent with the Ukraine connection. I understand, also, that dogs and horses present with this more often than humans!!! (hummmmmm?!!!):rolleyes:
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