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Hypochondria or real symptoms??
An_249339 posted:
I am a female 42. Had rheumatic fever as a child. Have always had immune system problems and a heart murmur as a result. I am concerned that I am becoming a hypochondriac. How do you know if it is real or imaginary? Here's the story. Been diagnosed with: human papillomavirus (pre-cancerous cells removed from cervix), endometriosis, adenomyosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (had a several laparoscopies to remove endo tissue prior to a hysterectomy with Oophorectomy surgery), pilonidal cyst (surgeon insisted on 5 surgeries draining & packing with gauze that took several weeks to heal- not fun! I finally said no more and deal with the recurrences on my own), three ulcers, had gallbladder removed, diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy (cause unknown). I have no problems that run in my family such as cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure. Both of my parents died of cancer. My WBC has been running a little high consistently for over 1 year. Between 11-15. Neutrophil absolute(?) high as well. Cause unknown. On top of it all I am bipolar, ptsd, major depressive and have been hospitalized 3x for suicide attempts.
Now...(WHEW!) The reason I laid all that out is to give a background of the actual illnesses I have had. I was not looking for anything when I was diagnosed with these things, believe me. I just get really sick really easy! I have been seeing this doc since moving here in early 2011. I have been trying to get him to listen to me about my symptoms and he throws pills at me and then poo poos me. I don't get it. So I am thinking maybe it's me? I am having daily headaches, super tired (exhausted), lack of appetite, lost almost 35 pounds, off and on crippling body pain that lasts for days. Lump as round as a 50 cent piece on back of my neck (not tested) that has been there for over 1 year, new, hard marble size lump under jaw (towards ear direction) that first appeared in June. I was in the hospital (don't ask) in June and they put me on antibiotics said it was lymph node. It didn't go away. On my latest visit to him, I rehashed my old symptoms AGAIN (I really hate pill pushers!) and pointed out my lymph node(?). He felt under my jaw and said " Yes, you have larger salivary glands than most people." That was that. Salivary glands. He mentioned that I am not a typical patient where A+B =C. He listened to my heart and asked if I knew I had a heart murmur. (well, DUH! all my life!) He sent me to have an ultrasound echo. He emailed me the results: "Your echo-cardiogram did not show any major problems. You do have some mild stiffening of your aortic valve (AKA aortic valve stenosis) which is the exit door out of the left side of the heart. Nothing to do about this right now. This is usually congenital and does not relate to lifestyle, that is cannot be caused by diet or lack of exercise, etc. This is something we'll probably need to watch every couple of years. We can discuss in more detail at your next regular visit." Is this something I should see a cardiologist about? Why did he ignore all my other symptoms? Am I being a nut bag? How do you know if it is real or imagined?
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
I'm not an MD, but I do know that enlarged lymph nodes are usually associated with some infection or immune problem and are usually located near the site of the problem. Seems to me someone should have taken a look at the lumps you have and, maybe, sent you to another specialist for further evaluation.

If you feel you're not being heard and you get nothing but pills with no direction, it may be time for a second opinion. As I said, I'm not an MD, but some things need more evaluation and you may even have some problems related to the meds you've been given.

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