Saturday, 20 August 2011

X-Ray Results: No Infection, But Something Worse

For the past years that I have had the symptoms, I figured that they were unrelated to my stressful life, and that I likely had something infecting the lungs or similar. A CT scan last year showed that my sinuses are clear, and last Wednesday's X-ray of my lungs show that they are clear too. Despite this I suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Hyperventilation
  • Constant feeling of being cold
  • Extreme nausea
  • Abdominal cramping (very often after eating)
  • Stabbing pain in the chest, making breathing painful
  • Frequent headaches
  • Strong pain in limbs, rendering them almost paralyzed
  • Dizziness
  • Coughing up sputum
  • Difficulty swallowing

This list is virtually identical to the one for 'Panic attacks and panic disorder' at the Mayo Clinic site [1]. The additional symptoms can be further explained by the fact that untreated PTSD - which I have - has a tendency to undermine and weaken the immune system, even leading to auto-immune diseases in some cases.

An intersex friend of mine, also a hermaphrodite, warned me for Toxic Shock Syndrome [3] and Endometriosis [4], both of which almost led to total organ shutdown for her, which then led her to find out about her intersex condition. The severe stabbing pains I regularly experience in my lower abdomen may be related to endometriosis or a similar condition. I have experienced said abdominal pain since early puberty, and regularly had to endure it. At times the only way to deal with it is to lie down and do nothing but grind my teeth and wait for it to pass. As a child I once thought I was dying, it was that bad. I had to be carried into the car to go to the doctor. Sadly by the time that we arrived there it had already passed and I got accused of just pretending to skip school.

At any rate it has become overwhelmingly clear at this point that if I don't get real, proper medical help soon, there's a good chance I'll end up on the Intensive Care due to something as fun as cascade organ failure, an auto-immune disease or something else equally fun. It's hard to tell at this point which symptoms are being caused by the PTSD complications, which by my intersex condition and which by other, external diseases taking advantage of my weakened immune system.

On Monday I have an appointment with my current family doctor again, this one seems to possess a lot of common sense and was the one who got me that x-ray of my lungs to rule out lung infection. Hopefully he can see the wisdom of pursuing more examinations, and I don't get waved away like my usual family doctor does. Fortunately that one is on vacation right now.

The effect of this all on my emotional stability isn't very positive. I had hoped that I would just get some antibiotics for a lung infection and that'd be the end of it. Instead I'm facing a number of complications and possible other diseases, each of which is enough to take me out, but which combined would be as good as a death sentence. I'm beyond merely terrified. Maybe mortified. To face death like this, and in the knowledge that the people around me who can save me are unlikely to help.




Samantha said...

I was the same as a child and never found what the cause was. I have all the same symptoms now too. panic disorder had already been diagnosed but for the stomach problems this had really made me think. I'm going to look into this too.

Maya Posch said...

Let me know what you find, Samantha. I'll keep updating my blog with any new findings. Hopefully I'll get the proper help from my doctor on Monday. Not sure where else to turn otherwise.