Sick of being ignored by doctors

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Joined: 08/24/05
Posts: 316
Sick of being ignored by doctors

I just need to vent a little bit. During my pregnancy with DS3, I started experiencing some dizziness, lightheadedness, and weird tingling- like my feet would go to sleep only I would be walking so that's just silly.

I assumed it was from pregnancy. Maybe a pinched nerve or from my anemia. I'm usually anemic when pregnant but fine when not pregnant but my anemia got so bad in the last pregnancy that I needed iron transfusions weekly for the last 5 weeks because my body was not absorbing the iron from the supplements at all.

After he was born however, my symptoms never went away. It was minor and easy to ignore up until last summer. When it got worse, there were also palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

Now, my father is only in his forties and during my pregnancy with Xander, he had a quadruple bypass surgery. :jawdrop: So when I started complaining about chest problems, he freaked out and told me to demand a cardio workup- just in case. I didn't have to demand anything because with the given history and the complaints, the doctor I saw was also concerned and ordered an EKG, a chest x-ray, and some blood work. In the end, everything looked awesome. My cholesterol is fantastic and he even said that given how high my good cholesterol is, he didn't feel bad telling me that chances are, I will absolutely never have a heart attack.

After all of that, we had some insurance changes and I ended up changing doctors.

When the new doctor heard my symptoms and family history, she wanted to send me to a cardio just in case the other doctor had missed anything. She also ran a few other tests. After some awesome lab results, ekg's, chest x-ray's, an MRI of my brain, a very annoying stress test on a tread mill that made me feel like I was dying, an echo, etc., they decided that my heart is beautiful. I have a slight mitral valve prolapse but not anything that would cause my symptoms. I tested negative to all the tests she ran and my MRI indicated that it was likely not a neuro problem.

During my cardio visit, the wonderful PA tried to pin all my problems on my weight and the sedentary lifestyle he decided existed (it doesn't). He couldn't seem to grasp that I gained 12 lbs because I feel sick and not the other way around or that I have 3 children who I constantly chase around/play with so I'm far from sedentary.

My primary dr was less proactive after that. I suspect it was because she didn't know where to go next.

FF to now, I've been complaining to the mw in my ob's office and all I've been met with is, "Well we don't usually do anything unless you actually faint". :confused: Then when I saw the OB, I complained again. She suggested compression stockings because I have (and always have) low BP and if that's the reason then it should push the blood back up from my feet. After a week, there was zero change so I complained again. This time, the mw told me to see the cardio again, ordered my glucose test and a CBC.

My glucose results were good but my hemoglobin was low so I'm taking an iron supplement again. I fear that she's going to say, "AHA! We found the problem!" except that last time my iron was checked, and I was still sick, it was great.

I'm torn on the cardio issue. They were very thorough last time so I feel like it's a fruitless attempt to just shut me up but at the same time, I guess my dad was told that his heart was awesome and then 10 months later he was under the knife due to a very small anomaly that was missed the first time around. For that, I'm thankful that they're looking again but it just feels like everyone keeps looking at the same thing instead of considering other causes.

My life has become less than enjoyable. I cannot walk through the store anymore without feeling faint. I cannot do activities with my family that involve being on my feet. I've essentially been forced to put myself on bed-rest if I want to feel even somewhat normal but of course that's not a real option when I have errands to run and kids to drive to and from school. I need to feel better but it feels like the people capable of helping me just don't even care.

*sigh* I'd really like to just sit back and enjoy this pregnancy.

On the plus side, even when I feel really bad, this little guy is kicking up a storm so he's always reassuring me that at least he is ok. Smile

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

I hope you get to feeling better soon. Was it just the feeling faint that never stopped? Or did the tingling feet thing never stop as well?

From childhood through my early twenties I had problems with feeling faint and dizzy all the time. Sometimes I'd be faint enough that my vision would black out (I never lost consciousness), so I saw a doctor about it because I was afraid that would happen while I was commuting to or from work. I had also gone from having them just when I stood up to having them while sitting or lying in bed.

The first doctor I saw sent me to a neurologist to be tested for a form of epilepsy. The neurologist performed the test but informed me from the beginning that he did not think that was the problem. In his experience, it meant that I didn't have enough salt in my diet. Without enough salt, my blood was too thin, and that made my body think, but not show, low BP. I had been raised to avoid salt, so it was plausible. Basically, he told me to have Chinese for dinner and call him in the morning. I stopped avoiding salt, and my dizzy spells have been very rare ever since.

I talked to my MW about it a couple months ago, and she told me that salt is important for regulating blood chemistry and circulation especially for pregnant women, and is even considered a low-tech treatment for women who have elevated BP in pregnancy.

I'm not saying this is what's going on with you, but it's the kind of possibility that most doctors won't look at and most laypeople wouldn't think of, so I thought I'd bring it up.

Like I said, I really hope you and your doctors get this figured out soon, because I know it's no fun. ((HUGS))

Joined: 08/24/05
Posts: 316

None of the symptoms went away at any point.

My cardio appointment was today and even though they promised me they wouldn't make me see the rude PA that I saw before but I still saw him- which just made me angry during the whole visit anyway.

Despite being angry and having 2 of my 3 boys bouncing off the exam room walls, my BP was still 93/56. He said that b/c of how thorough they were, they're not going to run any more tests but they're going to send a note to the mw and my primary to assert that my heart is not the issue. He doesn't think anything can be done for me besides increased fluids, compression stockings and adjusting my salt intake. It sounded like he was telling me to watch my salt (since he's a condescending man and likes to make everything my fault anyway) but the paper I got upon check out literally says "Increase fluid/salt intake" so I'm going to double check but I think he was saying what you're saying harper.

That's kind of what I had been doing on my own anyway since nobody would help me and I know my BP is lower. It's also the only thing that makes sense. All of this started during my pregnancy with DS3...which is around the time of my dads open heart surgery. My dad scared me so bad that I started watching my own salt intake and I quit I removed TWO blood pressure raising things at once and then started to have issues. I didn't make that connection until a few months ago.

It just sucks because I quit smoking and started eating healthier and could have very well done this to myself- I mean, that's just weird lol. In some odd way, I may feel better if I was still eating junk food and smoking. It's like I was pulled into the twilight zone when I think about that.

More salt it is- unless a medical professional wants to give me a better solution. I also stopped avoiding caffeine as hardcore as I was since getting pregnant. I'm still trying to stay under 200mg/day but I'm letting myself have some since that can raise blood pressure too. Of course, so far it hasn't helped but we shall see where it goes.

The cardio PA really irked me though. He basically said that it sounds like normal pregnancy symptoms and will go away after I have the baby- completely ignoring the fact that it's been there for like 3 years. He's just annoying and there was a reason that I specifically told them not to schedule me with him and they scheduled me with the dr but I got stuck with the PA anyway.