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Old 02-06-2009, 03:32 AM   #1
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Unhappy Please Help Me! Looking for Doctor advice

Hello,
I need some advice for my mom. She is 51 years old. I will try to be as thorough as possible so I can direct her to the right thing. In August, she had a foot operation done on her foot for bunyons. Since the foot operation, it has not healed. She has since had two other operations to try and get it to heal. She has been treated for gout, and has had several uric acid tests which have checked out OK. She is on a very high amount of thyroid medication, she suffers from migraines, loss of energy, anemia, fibromyalgia and has had a full hysterctomy. In the past she has had gastric bypass surgery, 3 hernia operations (one of which she was forced to have a tummy tuck because the hernia op would not heal, and she had a hole the size of a softball in her abdomen-infection ate through her abdominal wall).
As of right now, she is on medication for angina and high blood pressure. NO ONE has been able to find out why her foot wont heal and she keeps getting infections. In October while her foot was open she contracted MRSA, which has snce healed and all tests after have shown negative.
She has been tested for diabetes and lupus which have come back normal.
Last week, her cervix started bleeding (she has had a hysterectomy and all that is left is her cervix).
I suggested she try seeing an endocrinologist to test for other adrenal diseases, but her GP wont refer her as she feels she can handle her thyroid issue, but I have concern that this isnt the cause. I also suggested she see an oncologist to rule out cancer as a cause but no one will take her case.
Is there a doctor who specializes in 'hard to solve' cases?
My mom is scared she will die before anyone finds out what is wrong with her. She has seen a neurologist, infectious disease specialist, heart specialist, and her orthopedic foot doctor and no one can find an answer. Everyone seems to be treating each individual symptom instead of trying to find an overall cause. So she is being treated as such-for each symptom/disease. My mom has also been acting out of character-doing things not normal, like throwing things out that shouldnt be or putting things in strange places- last week she put her foot bandages in the toilet!
I am really worried as it appears she isnt getting the help she needs and she is so young!!

Right now her foot is infected again and has an open wound about 2 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. She has been on constant antibiotics to no avail.
She is scheduled to see her gyno next week about the cervix, but i am wondering if this is all conected?
To sum it up she is presenting with:
angina
anemia
open wound not healing
recurring infection
thyroid disease out of control (i cant recall how much medicine she is on, but it is an astronomical amount!)
Gout (on/off as uric acid tests have been OK)
Migraines
Severe fatigue
Acting out of character
joint/body pain
cervical bleeding

Anyone who can offer test suggestions to have done, or anyone who is in the Ohio area that is willing to see her or recommend a doctor that sees difficult cases, please respond. Im really worried !!

 
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:20 AM   #2
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herekittykitty HB User
Re: Please Help Me! Looking for Doctor advice

This may be a long shot, but try listing all of the symptoms she has in a search engine and see what diseases come up and then start researching the diseases that come up one by one and see if any of those fit. Specialists are normally just going to treat the symptom in their specialty.

I'm sorry I couldn't help anymore than that, and I know it's very frustrating.

Also, try an internist. They are more likely to piece together seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Last edited by herekittykitty; 02-06-2009 at 03:54 PM. Reason: To add something

 
Old 02-06-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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Re: Please Help Me! Looking for Doctor advice

I'm just a layperson, but a layperson who happens to have low thyroid, so I know a fair bit about what the condition can do.

It sounds as if her thyroid levels may be way out of whack. Low thyroid can cause most of the symptoms she's having, including slow wound healing, anemia, and mental confusion. The fact that you say she takes a "astronomical" dose of thyroid medicine makes me wonder if she's actually absorbing any of it. If she had gastric bypass, that might be a reason that would prevent her from absorbing her daily dose. It would be a wise idea for her to see an endocrinologist, who should check her free T4 and free T3 levels to make sure they are within the upper half of their ranges. I suspect her GP is only watching her TSH, which is NOT enough to monitor, considering how many, many hypothyroid symptoms she's having. Have your mom request a photocopy of her latest thyroid test results. If you post them on the Thyroid Healthboard, someone there can help you interpret them to see exactly how good or bad they are and whether her GP really can handle her thyroid.

She may not have enough mental wherewithal at this moment to act in her own best interest and get that referral she needs. She needs a close relative - like you or a spouse - to act as her medical advocate. Don't accept 'no' for an answer. Demand a referral.

I once read some advice here about how to get what you want from a reluctant GP. Tell him/her to write the refusal and the reason for it in the medical record and ask for a photocopy of that refusal. The patient has a right to copies of all medical records by law. The MD in question will get nervous about a potential malpractice suit, so the patient will usually get the referral instead of the photocopy.

If I'm right, and she is suffering from the severe form of hypothyroidism known as myxedema, she has little time to lose. Don't sit on this. Get her help as soon as you can.

I hope you'll report what happens next. I'll worry about your mom unless I know she's getting some real help.

Last edited by midwest1; 02-06-2009 at 10:37 PM.

 
Old 02-08-2009, 04:27 AM   #4
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britgurl HB User
Re: Please Help Me! Looking for Doctor advice

thanks for the suggestions...here is her thyroid results- i will also post these on the thyroid board and see what i get back...


TSH 9.850 0.400-5.500 uU/mL H
General Information
Collected:

1/15/2009 12:58 PM
Resulted:

1/15/2009 9:56 PM
Ordered By:

Final result

Free T4 0.7 0.7-1.8 ng/dL
General Information
Collected:

1/15/2009 12:58 PM
Resulted:

1/15/2009 10:49 PM

Final result

The free T4 is normal but the THS is way off.
(this is what was on her copy of her record)

 
Old 02-08-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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Re: Please Help Me! Looking for Doctor advice

I will reply to your Thyroid board post. Look there.

 
Old 02-08-2009, 11:47 AM   #6
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Re: Please Help Me! Looking for Doctor advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by britgurl View Post
.... NO ONE has been able to find out why her foot wont heal and she keeps getting infections.
Has she been on any steriods during her illness?

Bethsheba

 
Old 02-11-2009, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: Please Help Me! Looking for Doctor advice

Shame on the doctor who does not know when to seek an expert opinion. Does her insurance require a referral or are you able to simply call an endocrinologist and have her seen?

If she is beginning to show signs of what is called mental status changes and you are not able to impress upon her primary care doctor, than by all means take her to the emergency room. They will certainly see her and hopefully get you a referral for the proper medical professional.

Good luck and keep us informed about her condition.

 
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