- CASE FILE
Possible immune system/allergy disease or disorder or multiple conditions converging, doctors are confused.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
For over 15 years now I've had random issues with swallowing. Food would get stuck in my throat for no real reason, and I would feel like it wasn't going down and I would choke and have to vomit to get it out. This happened maybe once every few months though at most. That was until about 2.5 years ago when it started to happen more frequently. Just before it started happening more frequently, I ended up having gallstones for the first time in my life, and had to have my gallbladder removed. Shortly after having my gallbladder removed, I started having the more frequent swallowing issues, also this is the time where I first started to experience itching all over my body and it seemed to get worse and worse. My skin also was having more increased sensitivity, I would scratch an itch and it would leave raised red marks for hours afterwards. Holding my purse or lunch bag on my arm would do the same thing, or my husband giving me a hug and his skin touching against my neck or face. I went to the doctor for the itching, and the skin oddities, they referred me to an allergist who after a quick exam said I had a disease known as Dermatographia or skin writing disease. The itching however she was not sure on and just said likely due to age and changes in the body. She had me take claritin regularly for the skin writing disease. When the itching became worse, I went to another doctor who did some blood work for allergen testing and some skin allergy tests. He came back and said I was allergic to pork, lamb, cats, dogs, weeds, and pollen. This was weird because I had never heard of anyone having an allergy to pork, and when I have ate bacon and ham all my life without issue, this made no sense to me. He had me double my dose of claritin and add in Allegra. A few months later I started having blurred vision at random points which I thought was odd because my eyesight has always been perfect. I have never needed glasses ever in my life. As the vision issues continued and became more frequent over a week time frame, I made an appointment with the eye doctor who said I needed glasses and gave me a prescription. It seemed to work, at least for about 2 weeks, when suddenly my eyes were blurry again with the glasses on and I was seeing better with them off. After a month or so, I made another eye doctor appointment with a different doctor, who tested my vision again and was surprised because the prescription I had was not at all what my eyes were at. So I got my second pair of glasses ever. I thought maybe it was a fluke and the original doctor gave me the wrong prescription or made a mistake, but less than a year later I was back at the eye doctor again because I was having similar issues, seeing better without the glasses than with them. He says my eyes have changed again, and tells me that I don't need glasses for close up anymore, and I get a third prescription. This one was good for maybe 3 weeks, then I couldn't see right again close up, so I went back to the pair before the newest one. I also went to a retina specialist who checked my eyes, found nothing, and told me that I need to check my blood sugar levels when I'm having blurred vision because he was SURE it was a blood sugar issue. I got a kit, tested my blood every time I felt blurry vision and it was always normal, my tests for diabetes have all come back negative. I kept going back and forth between my multiple pairs of glasses, and things continued to get stranger. I started to have dizzy spells, and nausea, which my doctor said was likely an inner ear issue, something with crystals inside of the ear canal. I dealt with most of these issues because they were bothersome but not debilitating and I assumed it was just age since no doctors were able to give a real diagnosis that explained everything. Well as the swallowing issues continued to increase, I started having extreme fatigue at the start of this year, and this was debilitating because I was fighting not to fall asleep at work, even during conversations and meetings. I was feeling sick, nauseated, dizzy, and having aching all over my body. My doctor said it was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome most likely, and there wasn't much really that could be done, take vitamins and exercise, eat healthy, etc. I was given a referral to a gastrologist who put in for a endoscope exam and biopsy of my esophagus to check into the swallowing issues. They found esophills or white blood cells in my esophagus, and told me that I have Esophillic Esophagitis which is from my understanding, a type of allergy/immune system disease that was just found about 10 years ago. The treatment for this they're unsure about since it's so new, they are just trying methods that are used to treat GERD for it. I have extreme sensitivities to medications, and the medications they gave me were giving me horrible headaches, more than usual. That's another issue I started having, headaches, but the eye doctor thinks they are from the issues with my eyes since I can't stick with a set pair of glasses. Anyways, I started to get a lot worse, and went through about 2 weeks where I could barely hold anything down even water. I was nauseated almost 24/7, unable to sleep well, headaches and body aches all over, and vomiting constantly. I went back to another allergist after the gastro doctor said it wasn't the EoE causing it, and more blood work and skin tests were done, to which I had an extreme delayed reaction to ragweed which resulted in my entire upper arm swelling, which did not happen 2 yrs ago when I had the same test done. My skin reacted to all of the food poke tests they did on my back because of the Dermatographia, the doctor said, so she could not determine much from it. My blood work showed pork, lamb, potatoes, peanuts, and dairy as all allergens so she had me cut them all out completely from my diet. I started to feel less nauseated, and can now hold food down, but I still have aches, headaches, dizziness, and the Dermatographia skin issues, I also bruise extremely easy and usually have bruises that I can't explain show up. My eyes got worse again, and I went to my eye doctor last week and he did not believe me that I had been tested for diabetes and that my blood sugar was fine, because after the exam he said my eyes changed again, and this time along with it, my astigmatism had more than doubled in both eyes from where it was exactly a year ago. He looked at my retinas and could not believe that there was nothing wrong w/them that he could see, since he was sure it was diabetes. So after finding nothing he was left confused again, and with no idea why my eyes keep changing so much in 2.5 yrs, from never needing glasses in my life to going thru 4 pairs of prescriptions for my eyes along with all these other issues. My doctors can't explain and keep treating me for all these different conditions but I can't believe that these are not all related. I mean, it seems unrealistic to me to suddenly have multiple conditions appear all within the same time frame and them not be related. I just want to get better, I'm tired of never knowing how I will feel from day to day, one day I'm fine, the next I'm fatigued and aching and sick and unable to function. This is now interfering in my life, and I'm scared that I'm not getting better and not getting real answers.