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  • Frustrated about Allergies!!!

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    Old 10-14-2001, 12:44 AM   #1
    heyrae32
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    Angry Frustrated about Allergies!!!

    Hi, I'm new to this site and need to vent a little about my allergies, so, please bear with me as this may be a bit long....

    In April, 2000, I took a plane ride back east and within a few weeks after returning home from the plane ride, I noticed I could hear my breathing through my ears and my ears would pop, which was weird to me. My symptoms were not that bad at first. Then, within a few weeks, I started feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and felt like I would pass out. This freaked me out to the point that I would panic over it. My heart would race and I could hardly breathe from it (typical panic attack from what I've learned). I went back and forth from emergency rooms to my physician and ALL of them said I was just having panic attacks - of course, because I am female. They would give me Ativan and send me on my way. Well, the Ativan helped a bit because it would keep me calm but it did not alleviate my symptoms completely. After a month or so on the Ativan, this intense pressure kept happening in my head. It felt like a tight band around my head and it drove me nuts. I kept going back to my doctor and he kept telling me it was from the panic attacks and told me to keep taking the Ativan. Stupid me - I listened to him!! Well, after 6 months of taking the Ativan, my symptoms got worse and I had to keep taking more and more of it to get any relief. I had to go on disability twice for 6 weeks at a time within that 6 month period because I could not function at all - it was debilitating. I finally did some research on the net and found out that the Ativan may indeed be making my symptoms worse. I went to my doctor and he told me that it was "all in my head" and I needed to see a shrink. After talking to several people about my symptoms and the Ativan, it was all clear that I had to STOP the Ativan immediately. So, I did - cold turkey. Ooops - that landed me in the hospital and then in rehab for a few days which led to detox to get off the Ativan. Nevertheless, I went through the worst experience of my life getting off the Ativan, but was determined to get off of it and I did (it has been over a year now since I took any of that crap). And, I haven't had a panic attack since so I guess I didn't have a panic disorder as my doctor suggested. After that episode, I quickly changed doctors. My symptoms were no better except for the fact that I wasn't panicking over the way I was feeling because I new I wasn't dying or anything (mind over matter I guess) from it. I still had intense pressure in my head, my ears popped and clicked constantly, my jaws hurt terribly, my jaws popped, clicked, and grinded, I could still hear my voice through my ears, I could still hear my breathing through my ears, and I couldn't keep my head up for long periods of time. I was pretty much bedridden. This new doctor told me he thought my symptoms were related to allergies. I didn't believe him because I didn't have a stuffy nose, no runny nose, no watery eyes, no itchy eyes, no sneezing, etc.. (all the typical allergy stuff), but he put me on Claritan so I tried it. It helped for a few days, but the symptoms did NOT go away. I went back and demanded to be sent to an ENT. I saw the ENT and he did a CT Scan of my sinuses which came out clear (as I thought) so he sent me back to my doctor stating again, that he thought my symptoms were related to stress or anxiety (what a bunch of crap). Now, it's about April, 2001, by this time and my symptoms were still the same - excruciating daily and I was unable to function at all (a little over 1 year from when it all started). I went back to my doctor with the normal CT Scan results and he still was convinced my symptoms were from allergies so he put me on Claritan D this time and Nasonex. I started that and it did help a little bit but not entirely. In the meantime, I did some research again on the net and found out about TMJ and the symptoms I had were similar to TMJ symptoms. I went to my Dentist and he said I definitely had TMJ and made a splint for me to wear in my mouth at night. The splint helped with the jaw pain, but the intense pressure in my head was still there, my ears still popped and clicked, my ears were constantly clogged up, and I could still hear my breathing and voice through my ears. I went back to my doctor and demanded to see a Neurologist thinking maybe he could help. He didn't help. He told me I had fibromyalgia (which, of course, I didn't have) and sent me back to my doctor. He wanted me to take antidepressants for my problems, but I refused. I was not depressed - I was in pain. And, even if I was depressed, it was only from feeling desperate and hopeless that there was something seriously wrong with me and no doctor in the world could tell me what it was or why it was for that matter. I felt like nobody understood what I was feeling and I had this horrible disease that no one on this earth had ever heard of. Hell, I had been to numerous doctors, an ENT, and a Neurologist and none of them could explain to me what was wrong with me. I ended up in the emergency room, yet again, because I couldn't take the symptoms any longer in June, 2001. I saw a doctor that looked no more than the age of 12 (fresh out of med school). I figured, great, here we go again, another doctor that is not going to know what the hell is wrong with me. I explained my symptoms yet again (at this point, I felt like I should just record my symptoms on tape and play them over and over again so I don't have to repeat them constantly). He listened to me intently and said he would take some blood work to rule out any circulatory problems. That came back negative and he came over and told me that either I had Meningitis or that I had Myofascial Headaches. He said since my symptoms were persistent and had gone on for so long he doubted that I had Meningitis, but he would do a spinal tap on me if I would like him to. I refused. I knew a little bit about that disease and knew there was no way that I had that. He said I had Myofascial Headaches from what I described and said I should take muscle relaxants for them for a little while. He gave me a pain shot and a prescription for muscle relaxants and sent me on my way. I didn't believe that they would be of any help, but I decided I would take them anyway. Amazingly enough, the muscle relaxants took away the intense pressure in my head. The tight band around my head was gone for the first time in over 1 year. I was shocked and amazed that this "junior" doctor knew what the heck was wrong with me and none of the veteran doctors or specialists for that matter could tell me what the heck it was. The muscle relaxants did not help with my other symptoms though (my ears were still clogged up, I could still hear my breathing/voice through my ears, my ears would pop and click, the back of my head hurt and was sore to the touch, my neck below my ears were swollen and painful, and I still could not keep my head up for long periods of time). I went back to my doctor and he still was convinced my symptoms were allergy related and kept telling me to take the Claritin D and the Nasonex and to rinse with Ocean Nasal spray. I have been doing this on a daily basis since then and I do get temporary relief for a day at at time once in a while, but my symptoms never fully go away and I am very frustrated about it. I have gone back to my doctor this week and he told me there is nothing he can do for me. He now says I have Eustaschian Tube Dysfunction related to allergies and the medication he has prescribed is the only treatment for what I have. This is very frustrating because I feel as though my hearing has diminished. I demanded a hearing test and it revealed I did have slight diminished hearing in my right ear, but not to worry about it. What!! This is scary to me since I am only 32 years old and I have always had great hearing up until my symptoms started last year. If my hearing has diminished even a tiny amount in one year, what is my hearing going to be like in five years? I am at a loss as to what I can do. From what I have read on this website, there are numerous other people out there with the same exact symptoms as me and everyone is frustrated with the medications they have been given for it. Can anyone out there give me any advice or suggestions on what I can do to make my symptoms go away or at least provide some sort of relief for them? Is there any possible cure out there? Has anyone else noticed any hearing loss from their allergies? I know this has been very long and I appreciate anyone taking the time to read my venting, but I am frustrated and really want my life back. I feel as though I have no quality of life with the symptoms I experience on a daily basis and I want to feel better and would like to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me someday. Please write back - any suggestions/advice are welcome. Again, thanks for letting me vent.

    Rae :-)

     
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    Old 10-14-2001, 06:54 AM   #2
    Cut-Throat
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    Hi,

    I read your whole story. I had a similar experience with doctors (i was on the medical merry go round for 2 years) not knowing what was going on. Strangely one of the clues that allerigies is your problem, is that it is difficult to diagnose.

    Read my story titled "lightheaded and ears ringing" it is a few posts down from here. The only relief that I ever got was from the very common Chlortrimeton - Over the counter, not recommended by doctors usually. I am still on it and have my life back as you say. I have been taking it for just about 3 years.

    You can try this simple safe OTC med, and see if it works for you. It has worked for several peole that post on this forum. Either way please post and let us know your results. You have nothing to lose and you will know either way in about 10 days.

    Good Luck,

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    Old 10-14-2001, 04:31 PM   #3
    heyrae32
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    Thank you for reading my story and replying. I went out and bought some of the Chlortrimeton and will begin taking it tomorrow. Hopefully, that will provide some relief. I bought the 4 hour and the 12 hour tablets. I thought I would start with the 4 hour tablets first to see how drowsy they make me. I can't be drowsy at work so I thought I would start with them and gradually move up to the 12 hour strength. I will let you know how it goes once I try them out. Thanks again, Rae.

     
    Old 10-26-2001, 08:16 AM   #4
    Natopheli
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    Heyrae, how's it goin??!!
    Nat

     
    Old 10-26-2001, 07:11 PM   #5
    heyrae32
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    Thumbs up

    It's been going great. I have finally gotten some relief since I started taking the Chlortrimeton. My ears are still plugged, but the fogginess in my head is gone and I'm feeling much better.

    Thanks for asking,

    Rae

     
    Old 10-30-2001, 01:11 PM   #6
    Natopheli
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    Cut throat...have you noticed any decrease in the effectiveness of Chlortrimeton since you started taking it? I'm on Zyrtec and I'm very happy with it, but I'm thinking Chlortrimeton's probably cheaper? Does it prevent allergies or is it just a decongestant? I wouldn't mind paying less for something that works as well for me as Zyrtec!!
    Nat

    Oh yeah..also..do you take it every day all year or just seasonally? Thanks

    [This message has been edited by Natopheli (edited 10-30-2001).]

     
    Old 10-30-2001, 02:39 PM   #7
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    Hi

    The C-trimeton has continued to work for me. I have taken it every day of the year for 3 years now. I don't think that any meds prevent allergies, but only diminish your body's reaction to them.

    I can tell I still have the allergy, because I still have a cough, clear my throat, and once in a while have a silght ringing in my ears.

    You should give it a try. It has been around a long while, is safe, is available over the counter. It may make you sleepy, which is a common side effect. It does not make me sleepy any more.

    Let us know of your experiment.

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    Old 10-31-2001, 11:22 AM   #8
    Natopheli
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    You mean my allergy med's not going to cure me of allergies forever??? Darn it... Just kidding. But ya know...prevent, cure, mask...I don't care as long as it keeps me from wanting to scratch my face off! I'm small, though, so I'm wary of allergy meds that cause drowsiness. So...Benedryl makes me bump into walls. On a scale of 0 to 10(10 being leaving facial imprints on walls when attempting to walk) where would you say Chlortrimeton ranks? Oh, and what does the OTC box look like? I seem to vaguely remember taking it a long time ago pre-surgery when nothing worked. Thanks yet again..
    Nat

     
    Old 10-31-2001, 12:45 PM   #9
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    Hi Nat,

    The C-Trimeton is the brand name, not the generic. Ask your pharmacy. This is a very familar drug. Keep in mind that buying it by the brand name in the drug store is not very cheap 50 cents a pill. But if it works for you, you can get a prescription and buy the generic from the drug store and it will only cost you 5 cents a pill.

    As far as ranking the C-trimteton goes, it would be of little use. You're just going to have to try it and see. The worst that would happen is you'd fall asleep. So, take it on a weekend when you're not working and at home. Let us know how it goes.

    Good Luck,

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