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Guest Julia59

Anxiety about lung x-ray results.

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Guest Julia59

Here goes----I had to post this.

A while back I had some coughing---a dry cough---kind of forced and a feeling of congestion in the right upper quarter of my right chest. I also feel it in my right upper back. I called my PCP and he told me to come in and see him.

When I saw him I told him I thought it may be related to my chiari/cervical spine instbility/stenosis. It feels like maybe a pinched nerve. He said he wanted to put me on antibiotics anyway. He also gave me a prescription for a lung x-ray and ox level. He said wait to see how I do on the antibiotics before I take the lung x-ray. I went on the ceftin for the 7 days he prescribed---at 250mgs twice a day. I did fine on the antibiotic and it seemd to help with the cough as it seemed to go away.

The following week I had a cardiac stress ECHO to rule out that as my source of pain in my chest. That test came out normal.

Meanwhile I called the PCP and asked him if he still wanted me to get the lung x-ray. The stress echo was near the hospital I usually go to for testing. He told me to have the x-ray taken just to be on the safe side.

Later that week I got a really bad cold that moved into my chest over the weekend. By Monday I thought I would just sit tight and let the cold run it's course. Later on Moday afternooon I got a call from my Docs office telling me there were markings consistant with a viral bronchial problem---or possible obstructive disease. I was puzzled as this was BEFORE I got my cold. Now i'll get even worse. I though I was better---only to find out I wasn't. They said double up on the dose of same antibiotics I was on previously for double the time. I didn't start the dose until the next day.

I did fine on the first two doses Tuesday, but Wednesday morning I had a bad reaction. Diarrhea and extremely shakey---and I was so weak I couldn't stand. I was pretty scared so I washed my hair over the tub and took my morning bath sitting because I was afraid I would pass out. I usually shower. My shaking subsided and I felt a little better. The diarrhea was only one spell. I called the Docs office and told them of the reaction. They said stop the antibiotic now---and bring in a stool sample to the office right away. I said I may not be able to do that since the diarrhea stopped. Then they said don't worry about bringing in the sample then----but stop the antibiotic.

They said they would talk to the Doc and call me later. Then I get a call telling me to see a pulminologist! They got me in in a week. I went last Tuesday and was told by the pulminologist that I had some white shadows or markings that may or may not be anything. He told me he wasn't concerned, but scheduled me for a pulminary function test anyway. Then he said he would get my lung x-ray from 2002 that I had before my cervical spine surgery and compare the two. If he saw changes he would call me before my appointment on January 5th.

My problem is that I still feel congested and I am still coughing---and I have a nasty taste in my mouth. The pain is on the right side and it's still on the upper right back and radiates to the front shoulder. This could be from my cervical spine issues----but i'm not sure if it could be caused by my lung. This x-ray was taken before this last cold which turned into bronchitis. Anyway---I have great anxiety on weather or not to call the Doc again and report how I feel---as this could just be my usualy pain from my cervical spine'chiari issues. Chiari--CAN CAUSE BREATHING PROBLEMS. Oh--I also had a dislocated shoulder blade a while back and the pain kind of feels the same as that when it happened. I need a little advice---------------I'm tired of the problems i've been having lately. I need a break!

I'M AFRAID OF THE BIG C.....................[/B]

Julie :0)

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julie,

i hear you on needing a break! can't we just have 'vacations' from being sick sometimes????

i don't know anything about what is going on or what any of the tests mean...

but wanted to say...remember to BREATHE! it is easy to jump ahead and jump to conclusions...and i am the queen of that.

try to stay in the moment and not jump ahead to the 'what ifs' too much...easier said than done. but i am saying this affectionately, k? not in a harsh way...

by the way...did you read in my post the other day about taking ambien in the morning? i thought about you b/c even WITH my pill holders i messed up! oh well, i got sleep which i sure need! b/c i'm not getting it these past few nights. you know, those nights of staring at the ceiling listening to the BBC world news? well, i'm up on the news at least! :)

keep us posted k? sending good thoughts...

emily

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Oh, m'gosh, Julie, you need a VACATION from all this! Truly! It's been one thing after another for you, and that is NO FUN! I'm so sorry ...

What a relief it will be for you to know the truth about what is going on so you can stop guessing--and spinning things forward to the unthinkable. (Do you have any risk factors, by the way? Were/are you a smoker, for example?)

I'm serious about that vacation thing, tho. So many people have reported a lessoning of symptoms while away from home for a few days. Any chance that can be you? Get yourself to a warm beach or something...

If not, maybe rent Beach Blanket Bingo? (Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon are always good for a few laughs, no? :) ) Something to take your mind from your troubles awhile.

Take 'er easy,

merrill

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Oh boy. I would be scared too. But lung cancer is usually more insidious than that, isn't it? I would think you would have other symptoms ... although I suppose it's hard to sort out all the symptoms from your POTS & Chiari.

I just hope you get better soon and that it's nothing serious. Take care.

Amy

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I wouldn't worry about cancer unless you are coughing up a lot of blood and you are older than 60 and smoked most of your life or worked around asbestos day in day out. Other warning signs are fatigue (which we POTS patients know too well), major weight loss, loss of apetite, nausea and votmiting, but those a general, just because you have one or two of them does not mean you have cancer.

People often decide to visit the doctor only after they have been bothered by certain complaints over a period of time. Individuals who have lung cancer frequently experience symptoms such as:

Cough

Shortness of breath (which is also a POTS symptom)

Wheezing

Constant Chest pain (chest pain, not constant, is a POTS symptom)

Hemoptysis (bloody, coughed-up sputum)

Loss of appetite

Weight loss (which is also something that occurs with POTS, it happened to me)

Pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs)

From reading your symptoms I would say that the odds of you having lung cancer are about 0.01%

Edited by Timbo

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Guest Julia59

I know i'm jumping the gun a bit with the cancer thing----but those white shadows---May---or may not be something according to the pulminologist.

Yes, I smoked for about 15 years. I quit in 1990 and have hated being associated with smoke from that point on. It's like I never smoked. I can't believe I ever did---as much as I hate being around it now. I had tachycardia spells and a sort of what I would think a mild POTS spell althought I didn't know it then, and the cigarettes only made things worse---so I quit.

I didn't smoke more then 5 a day at the time because my husband hated it. So it was cold Turkey---and it was not a big deal to quit. I averaged a pack---sometimes only a half pack a day before I started dating my husband in 1986. I was known to smoke almost a whole pack in one night if i went out and drank a few beers. Then all the second hand smoke in the bar. My mother smoked for 50 years, and my dad smoked for around 25 years. He quit before I could remember---I must have been around 6 at the time. Can you believe he started at AGE 10!?

I'm proud of the fact that I have never had the desire to smoke again.

I do have a lot of pain in the right upper quarter of my back and I also have stabbing pains in my chest in the front upper chest and a couple on the left. I'm still coughing. I feel something pinched back there----sort of how it felt when I dislocated my right shoulder blade. It might just be a combo of both left over symptoms from my cold and I may have a partial dislocation causing all thie discomfort.

If I get worse, i'll call the pulminologist and see if we can speed things up a bit.

Thanks for the support everyone! It truly means a lot. :P

Julie :0)

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Julie, try not to think about all the possible bad things--until they tell you it's a bad thing. I know, easier said (typed) than done. But, it ***** up so much of your mental and PHYSICAL energy. If you end up finding out that there is something bad that you need to fight, you'll need every bit of your mental and physical strength and focus. And, if it's NOT anything to worry about, think of all that more relaxed time you've banked to keep yourself healthy.

Hang in there! :P

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Sounds like the same thing I had the last two weeks. Bronchitis became chest pain and trouble breathing. It turns out that i had pneumonia. A short course of antibiotics, breathing treatments and an inhaler every four hours has helped A LOT!!!!! I had a fever and bad taste in my mouth for two weeks. The anitbiotics killed me too. i got IV fluids and that helped. Go to the ER. It will help your worries and they can do all those tests at once + they freak when they hear difficulty breathing and cough. You need to get the junk in your lungs out. Anyway, I got a pulmonary function test, chest X-Ray, and other things, the whole workup, plus fluids in the ER. It was only 6 hours and they did not have me sit in a waiting room for a single minute of that. I brought my holiday cards and ipod and chatted with my nervous mom. It would help you to repeat the X-ray to at least calm down. They will admit you if they think it is serious and then none of this waiting at home garbage. Some drs just are too lazy or too scared of lawsuit to even bother. Usually it is the lazy thing. I was having horrible chest pain different from the usual POTS stuff. I went to the ER because it was Thanksgiving weekend and my doc's office took a five-day weekend, (nice, right) and the urgent care closed do to budget issues. It was a smart thing for me to do. Pick a good ER though, like a teaching hospital. I am not better yet, it is a long recovery, but you need to start somewhere. Bad taste in the mouth usually equals bacterial infection, by the way. I had spotting on my lungs. I hope that helps?

Leah

PS. You could have nothing but a nasty cold, who knows. You might not have what I have. They said at the ER that they were having a huge number of cases of healthy, young people with this same thing, so unhealthy people like us....

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Leah's right that if you have coughing, stuff in your lungs...they'll likely give you some big-hitter meds via iv. When I had pneumonia, I was admitted for 5 days of IV antibiotics and respiratory therapy. Was a nuiciance, but I was SO glad I went because the coughing was killing me (I fractured ribs from the cough, and blew blood vessels in my face and eyes).

Hang in there!!!! Nina

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Guest Julia59

Right now my cough is not constant. I just feel a fullness in my right lung. And when I cough, it's forced----and I feel like I can't get enough air at times. I called my Docs office regarding this---and they are kind of blowing me off. First they called to give me the results of my lung x-ray which I already knew---THEY ARE THE ONES WHO TOLD ME! I told the nurse or whoever it was that they stopped the antibiotics after only three doses which was the second time I was on them----this is when the dose was doubled. They are supposed to call with CBC results on Monday. I suggested they do that blood test to see if I had an underlying infection.

I guess I have to push the issue sometimes.

I got quite a bad reaction on the doubled dose of ceftin. It also feels like i'm retaining urine. It's weird----i'm not putting out much, and i'm drinking a lot of fluids. You can hear it sloshing around in my gut. I am so bloated and I can't get my rings off. All this stuff accelerated after my traction. I also put a call into Dr. Grubb's office to see what they would think is best to treat this respiratory problem. He knows my POTS issues and can help me get through this---providing he is not swamped. Between the brain fog from the POTS and the ADD---i'm probably confusing all the nurses i'm talking to. First of all they don't understand dysautonomia/chiari---then I don't help matters with my jumbled mind trying to relate all this information.

I'm hanging in there and not overdoing it. I'll find out more on Monday. I am very sensitive to meds-----and my concern is a POTS set back. But on the other hand, if I don't treat this problem----i'll have a POTS set back. I never have been one to be taken very seriously by some of these docs. Hopefully Grubbs office will respond. I think they will take this seriously. The problem is that he does not need calls for such things---my PCP should be able to handle this. Apparently they are a bit confused. I should be seen by this Doc---but instead I have only phone communication about this whole thing.

If I start to feel real bad---i'll go to ER. Right now---i'm just waiting for Monday.

PERHAPS A LITTLE HOUNDS TOOTH SOUP---------LOL

Thanks for all the advice----and SUPPORT!

Julie :0)

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I'm thinking of you Julie. Still following your story with great interest. Sorry I haven't been around much as usual. I have been focusing on getting off of my meds which has been a problem. One of the main w/d symptoms is neck and shoulder pain, and since you and I had similar surgeries its hard for me to know what's really causing the pain.

Like you, I guess all I can do is be patient. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers your way Julie. I know you will be fine. You are nothing less than a true fighter. All my best,

Dan

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Guest Julia59

Thanks again everyone! And Dan thanks for your thoughts and prayers. It gives me a great deal of comfort to have the support of all of you. :D

I'm feeling better in the respiratory department. I still feel somewhat congested, but I think things are progressing toward getting over this virus. I am expecting a call from my PCPs office today for the CBC test results. I don't think my PCP is overly concerned, otherwise he would have called much sooner. But you know how some of the office staff at the Docs office can be. They had called me back giving me my lung x-ray results---after I had called about the CBC results on Friday. They had already called me previously, maybe two weeks ago with the lung x-ray results. Apparently they are having mixed signal issues. The Doc may be trying help me while the staff is getting things mixed up. I wish the Doc would just call, so we can get things straight.

Goodness----do they know what they are doing?! A while back when I thought I might be able to go back to work part time---I applied at many doctor's offices and medical facilities. I know I can do a better job then some of these people I have dealt with in the clerical/medical/medical billing field. Yet I had such trouble getting interviews. Only twice it came down to two people, me and another applicant, of course it was the other that was hired. I don't want you all to think i'm some kind of expert in the field, because all you need is common sense for some of this stuff. Basically, the right hand needs to know what the left hand is doing.

Every time I have to talk with a doctors office there always seems to be some kind of misunderstanding of some sort. So hopefully they won't call giving me

Joe Schmo's CBC results----LOL

Thanks again---I feel like i'm doing better----knock on wood.

Julie :0)

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Julie,

My favorite is when they get mad at you for asking them to do their job! As if my health and my life were less important than the phone call they were making to their friend. Of course, some doc's offices have great receptionists. My new rheumie has a sweet, helpful receptionist. My PCP has a person who does not know the alphabet and another receptionist who always tries to tell me that there is some reason or another why my doc does not feel like seeing me when I am there for my appt. (either I am 30 seconds late or I called too recently or she just does not feel like filing my stuff). Anyway, I hope you continue to feel better. I am still waiting to be able to breathe well myself. Good news is that they usually flag bad tests results and call you on their own within like a week. The receptionists might have nothing to do with the nurses and the nurses might or might not call to tell you stuff soon. I usually have them mail me the results when I get blood tests. I write it down on the form at the lab or at the doc's office. I am just sick of not hearing about bad things until two months later.

Leah

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