Five months later - no diagnosis, more pain
Age 21 Female
Original symptoms: difficulty swallowing, felt like I was choking on food
Current symptoms: unable to swallow, sometimes now even choke on liquid, throat pain, gland/lymph node swelling
This all began with a sinus infection that I am prone to getting every few months. By the way, I had my tonsils removed in 4th grade. Anyway, my doctor treated this with a z-pack and once I finished the meds my congestion was still not any better. After this point I started to feel like I was choking on everything I ate. My doctor diagnosed me with pharyngitis and put me on what I remember to be predisolone and amoxycilin. These did not help, but I did develop thrush in my mouth which was extremely painful. This happened twice through the course and then after. After this batch, my doctor decided he could not help me and thought acid reflux might be my problem. I was sent to an ENT who scoped my throat and agreed. He put me on prevacid which I was allergic to (broke out in a rash and had difficulty breathing), so I was then put on zantac. I had been taking zantac for over a month with no result, I could only see my throat getting worst. All the while mind you – I am on a liquid diet along with mashed potatoes because that is the only thing I could manage. You would think these doctors would be concerned about my lack of nourishment…
After I saw the zantac wasn’t working and I could hardly ever get in touch with this doctor, I opted to get a second opinion from another ENT. This one also scoped me and agreed on acid reflux. He blood tested my thyroid levels as well as doing an ultrasound of my thyroid, everything came up clear. He told me to continue on the zantac and he’d “see me after the new year”. Uhhh…okay. But it’s not working buddy?
I went back to my original doctor after all of this clearly was not working. He asked me if I was depressed and I told him of course I am. I haven’t been able to eat for 4 months, wouldn’t you be?? I did not want him to link that to this problem. I do have a lot of stress in my life, and I also have suffered from anxiety my entire life. Anyway, he suggested that I go to a gastro and for him to have a look down there to see if he can pin point the problem. I went in for an endoscopy and he said he saw what could have been a mild infection in my esophagus – but after seeing the results came back negative. He said there was no blockage. The day before the endoscopy I was in severe pain. My throat was constantly stinging/burning and this lasted until the day after the endoscopy which was New year’s eve , where I ended up finally giving in and going to the ER. They just gave me a numbing agent which barely helped enough to get me to sleep. The pain subsided after a few days.
The gastro doctor then suggested I get a catscan done as well as a full round of bloodwork (yes…nobody else had done this until 5 months into the problem…do you believe it??). At this point my symptoms have become too much to handle. My glands and lymph nodes in my neck were very obviously swollen, it feels/felt like my throat was closing in. It’s even difficult to drink liquid without sometimes choking and gagging. Well, I went in for the catscan with contrast and bloodwork. The bloodwork all came out fine. The catscan showed that my lymph nodes in my neck were swollen. Obviously!!!
Just to my luck however, I now have a rash all over my body due to what I assume is an allergic reaction to the contrast. I have been taking benadryll but the rash and itchyness is still here. This is 5 months down the road by the way. I could not get an appointment with my regular physician until Wednesday next week and I really am to the point where I need some kind of relief from this. So I went into an urgent care facility and he was convinced that I have an infection and it was never treated with the right medication or dosage. So he prescribed me methylprednisolone and clindamycin (300mg/3 times per day) which I began taking yesterday.
Is this going to work? What is happening here? Should I stray away from these small town doctors and go into the city (I live upstate new York) and see another specialist? I am hopeless right now. I am 21 years old and I have to pull out of next semester at college which starts in less than 10 days because I can’t even manage to get out of bed. I am also in danger of losing my job because I’m in no condition to drive with constant headaches and lightheadedness from my newfounded low blood pressure, which I found out about the last two doctor visits. HELP! Please. Any ideas, anything would mean so much to me.