Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interesting case

It is never a good place to be when a doctor says you have an "interesting case."

This phrase appears to be code for "we have no idea what is going on so we're going to continue to look." Today was a visit to the ENT to determine if there was evidence of reflux. Apparently reflux is the third most common cause of a chronic cough and/or breathing issues. Who knew? Reflux causes inflammation and the cough is in response to that irritation. Of course when a doctor asks you if you have reflux and you don't, every subsequent meal seems to generate some level of heartburn. I was also advised to take some preventative antacids, just in case reflux was the cause.

The antacid didn't seem to do anything and when the ENT looked down my throat he found no evidence of reflux. Another dead end.

But with an interesting case, it cannot end there. He did find a few abnormalities. First,  he saw I have nasal polyps. I've had them in the past and they come and go normally in response to some sort of allergy. When they were really bad in the past, I've had them surgically removed. I haven't had to have the surgery for over 20 years so I though I was good. I don't consider them really bad now since they do not obstruct my nasal airflow. The doctor  recommended a CAT scan to see how extensive they are. He said this may be the cause of the cough and breathing as the polyps may be obstructing sinus draining causing irritation. He recommended more detailed, up to date, allergy testing. My sense is that when winter really kicks in I'll magically be cured. Of course, I don't want to repeat this next summer.

The strangest thing he found was that one of my vocal cords wasn't working right. Can't tell if this was a symptom, cause, or result of my breathing and coughing. Even so it wouldn't be a visit to the doctor if he didn't call for more tests.

In the meantime, I'm starting some training with the goal of really training November 1.  My diet has remained poor so there is no surprise that I gained a little over a pound in the last month. I have to get back into the exercise mindset and found spin classes work. Next up is swimming.  When I told my coach was I was doing he asked how I felt. I told him I felt out of shape.

That, he said, we can fix.


TriMOEngr said...

Yikes on the "interesting case". I've come to be pretty frustrated with the test and guess methodology not that I have some kind of brilliant idea on how NOT to do this in the medical field. My husband has reflux diagnosed after he had major chest pain and all the cardiac tests came back fine. They said "Try this pill and call us if you still have the pain." It fixed it for the most part so they figured they were right. Who knows. I hope you can find some answers sooner than later. I can't imagine. I've felt pretty out of shape the last several workouts too - I'm hoping getting a bit more consistent will help me with that feeling too.

Kate Geisen said...

And that's exactly why my husband refuses to go to the dr. And I keep his insurance up to date and try not to worry too much.

I hope winter clears things up...that might be diagnostically helpful, too.

Carly said...

Good luck, I hope they are able to help you soon. Those tests are no fun.

It is funny because I had the same appointment yesterday being the "interesting case" of the day.

CautiouslyAudacious said...

No fun! Hope they figure out soon...

Ransick said...

Interesting case is a bummer for sure.once the doctor guessed that my wife might have cat scratch fever, she didn't but it was fun to air guitar a little Ted Nugent every time I said it :-).

Hope you get it worked out before spring.