General Question

AllyMay's avatar

Ever have the doctors not listen or help you? Can anyone relate to these symptoms?

Asked by AllyMay (239points) June 3rd, 2009

My husband is in the Canadian Air Force and his so called medical care of the military is NOT helping at all. They aren’t listening to him and they seem to be guesstimating what’s wrong with him while trying a few tests here and there. But now he’s really REALLY tired needing to sleep a lot just to get enough energy to make it through the day. He gets these “attacks” of something that started once a year (about 5 years ago)and then recently 2–3 times a week and has snowballed over the past couple months into a few times a day and he’s just exhausted. He’s 30 yrs old, 5’11” and 230lbs (stocky) and they told him to lose 50lbs and THEN they will let him off the high blood pressure pills the recently put him on (one of their half ass solutions that’s not working). Its now worse today so his boss called the MIR (military docs office) and the “nurse” (med tech) said until he starts to take his meds they won’t help him (this is BS, because I see him take his meds. I can’t call to vouch for him because he tells me he could get charged with insulting that rank.. sounds stupid if you ask me) and this is only some of the problems from them. In short his symptoms are:
Upset stomach with a lump feeling in his chest that leads to
Can’t breathe well (like through a straw) that leads to
Nauseous-ness and feeling faint (never actually gets sick or faints)
And now fatigue (but when he eats he feels better for about an hour but then deteriorates)

They tried and tested for:
Ulcers (came out negative)
Bad Stomach bacteria (came out negative)
Candida (was a waste of time)
Tested 24hrs worth of Urine (answer comes back June 12)
They did an ECG came out negative
Full blood work came out negative
– He’s athletic and plays a lot of hockey; he used to feel better once he got playing the game, but not anymore. I feel they are pushing him aside because they feel he is a nuisance, but I’m extremely worried about him, the next big attack I’m taking him to a regular hospital to the ER (which is they only case they can see a regular doctor in the military). I’m 8months pregnant and can’t do much around the house and we have a 4 yr old girl too, I need him healthy. I know I can’t get any medical diagnosis but at least can anyone relate to these symptoms? Or have any insight? I feel I’ve hit a wall (I’ve Googled the crap out of all his symptoms, but to no avail).
wow, sorry for the length, this is the short version

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26 Answers

loser's avatar

Can you get him checked by a non-military doctor? Do you take his blood pressure daily to keep track of it?

crisw's avatar

Has he had any type of psychological evaluation? Has he been in situations which could cause post-traumatic stress disorder?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

sending lurve and good thoughts your way!

AllyMay's avatar

@ loser – he’s had this blood pressure kit at home and he has to take it 3 times a day, and its usually normal (no more than 129/70) and the only way he can see an non military doctor is with an emergency at an emerg (which Im might have to resort too at this point if he lets me)
@crisw – no stressful situations, unless he’s just getting to old to be able to handle his every day activities. I have panic attacks, but his arent like them they -come on even if he’s sleeping.
@ thanks La Chica! I really need it.

Judi's avatar

I did This once. It cost a few bucks, but you end up with a comprehensive report to take to your doctor. They ask questions that doctors don’t think of. (It take over an hour to complete the questionnaire.) If you decide to do it, get copies of your lab results as they can plug that info in as well.

AllyMay's avatar

@Judi -awesome I’ll make him do that tonight (well not MAKE him but nag until he does it lol)

mammal's avatar

try a very strict diet, and detox

Judi's avatar

The full report with a doctor’s assessment is $77.00 US.)Have any lab reprots available, and have his blood preasure available

wundayatta's avatar

Lyme disease?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

shilolo's avatar

No offense, but the “doctors” listed on their site aren’t exactly the creme-de-la creme of medicine. Two naturopathic “doctors”, two chiropractors, and one MD who doesn’t appear to be a practicing internist. @AllyMay Your husband’s problem(s) require the insight and time of someone versed in internal medicine. No computer algorithm will sort it out, and you should also know that that website is mainly promoting naturopathic-holistic approaches. It is unfortunate that the assumption is being made that being young and in the military precludes him from having a serious condition. When I have a few moments, I will try to review his case and think through what are other possibilities.

Judi's avatar

@shilolo ; I wasn’t suggesting she do this in lieu of her doctor, just that it may glean some info that the doctors missed.

shilolo's avatar

@Judi I understand you completely, but I was just pointing out the background to that site, which is in my opinion, is a bit shady. If a computer algorithm really could replace doctors, then I think we would have been replaced already (like ATMs and bank tellers). There really is no substitute for a careful history and physical exam, which a computer isn’t able to provide.
@AllyMay Do you have the resources to go out of the military medical system to have him examined by a private physician?

AllyMay's avatar

@shilolo – he can only see a privat physician or a specialist if he is refered to one by the MIR. We’ve asked but they said no. the other way is if its an emergency we can go to the ER and hope for the best there. He doesnt have a health card so he has to use his military ID which means we can’t just go sneak off to a doc willing to treat him because it would get back and he’d be in deep trouble.

basp's avatar

Could it be heart problems? I have had some heart problems and experienced the fatigue, nausia, shortness of breathe, etc. I don’t mean to alarm you, and hope everything works out for the best.

hearkat's avatar

@daloon: I was also considering some auto-immune type of illness.

@AllyMay: Has he had a bronchoscopy or any other workup of his respiratory system? Does he have sleep apnea or snoring at night? I also shared @crisw‘s concern that there may be a psychological component to it… he’s never been overseas or in a combat situation?

Here in the US, the soldiers are examined on base, but then referred by the military to see private physicians off-base. It’s a shame that they are restricting him in Canada. Even if you were allowed off base, he’d have to wait a while before he could get an appointment, anyway (from what I’ve heard).

avvooooooo's avatar

Candida would be a waste of time. I’m surprised that they even tested for it. I just had a light case of thrush after getting my tonsils out, nothing that’s related to this from anything I read would make sense to test for in this situation. Weird.

Has he been checked out psychologically for panic attacks? I know this might sound a little odd, but many of the things you describe sound like they could be a panic attack, especially feeling like he’s not able to breathe. I’m not sure if the pieces line up like this for anyone else, but I’d be interested to know if he has ever had any kind of psychiatric treatment. There are any number of things that can lead to panic attacks, not just hugely traumatic events. It might be something worth looking into.

Darwin's avatar

I don’t know how accurate this site is but when I put in the symptoms you list I end up with heart attack or pernicious anemia as possibilities.

However, I can tell you from my own medical history that the combination of fatigue, knot in my throat so I couldn’t eat, and shortness of breath plus dizzyness was the result of anxiety. I also had tingling of my extremities and a feeling as if my blood sugar was low (although it was not). A prescription for Xanax and some counseling made all the difference in the world for me. It also helped me when my husband came home (he had been hospitalized for 12 weeks in a military facility 150 miles from home and I was holding down the fort with a 6-month old, a 2 1/2 year old, and a full-time job.)

Have you and he considered keeping a diary, noting the events happening before and during one of his attacks, and including diet, work incidents, and sleep patterns, and documenting blood pressure and medication? That may help discern a pattern that could help figure out what is happening.

avvooooooo's avatar

@hearkat Someone wouldn’t need to be in something as stressful as a combat situation to trigger panic attacks or even PTSD. There are quite a number of things that are less obvious that could trigger these kinds of issues.

hearkat's avatar

@avvooooooo: Yes, I am aware of that. But since @AllyMay suffers panic attacks herself and is married to this man, I think she’d be aware of any other issues he may have that could cause anxiety, and she has already denied those.

YARNLADY's avatar

Are you absolutely sure about seeing an outside doctor? I can understand the military won’t pay for it, but do they really say he can’t consult a doctor at this own expense or he’ll get in trouble? That isn’t the way it works in the US military.

avvooooooo's avatar

@hearkat Panic attacks can vary from person to person. I’ve never heard of them occuring when someone is sleeping, but I would imagine that dreams would be capable of setting off an attack if one was prone to having frequent attacks. It can be a vicious cycle where one worries about the next attack to the point of setting off another attack. In this case, there needn’t be an outside source of anxiety. This is merely one possibilty, but its something that needs to be looked at along with the major medical issues. Again, panic attacks can be different for different people. For example, some people feel like they’re having a heart attack, some people feel like they can’t breathe, freeze, and feel like if they move something bad will happen… It depends on the person what form panic attacks take. Worth looking into.

AllyMay's avatar

@avvooooooo He’s a pretty solid person when it comes to dealing with stress, he usually keeps me grounded when I have an attack. But ya Panic attacks are different for everyone so it very well could be that, if this is mental he will have to take a medication thats considered a dependant which will prevent him from doing “tours of duty” and the fact that being a soldier is so important to him he would be devistated. They did offer the base physc to rule that out but he hasnt gone yet.

@Yarnlady – I am absolutely sure, I doubt all the docs in the Canadian military are jerks, but they really are out here on the East Coast. The US deff gets treated WAY better (I guess we are too nice to do something about it).

@basp – he’s had 2 ECG’s done to his heart.. but to me thats not enough, Im worried its either his Heart or his Brain (mental, panic anxiety)

- and he’s done no combat or overseas..yet. I am going to start keeping track of his attacks – I got home today after work and he said he had a bad attack – his stomach hurt and couldnt breath but he popped a Zantacs and it went away.. which is bizzar because he had a bad attack yesterday morning and tried the Zantacs and it did nothing BUT it was just his breathing and dizzyness that was the issue no stomach pains. Thanks to you all I really appretiate your input (and sorry for all the spelling errors its been a long day and I have baby brain)

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Track time, place, duration, exact symptom in sequence, preceding activity, remedy.

AllyMay's avatar

@PandoraBoxx I told him this morning,we have to start tracking it. we should of been doing that from the get go, but better late than never. Thanks Pandoraboxx!

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