- CASE FILE
Chronic Fatigue, shortness of breath, heat intolerance, pain in upper abdomen/ribs. Progressively worsening for the past 6 years
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
In November 2012, I was 6’4”, 240 lbs, worked out 4-5 times a week & considered myself in good health.
My wife & I took a trip to Bora Bora for our 30th wedding anniversary. During our stay, I noticed that snorkeling or holding my breath underwater seemed more difficult than it should be.
When I returned home, I found that my regular workout was very hard to do & progressively getting worse.
I started getting pain/discomfort in my upper abdomen. My general practitioner concluded I was suffering from low testosterone, for the fatigue & referred me to a sleep apnea specialist for the abdominal pain & shortness of breath.
After 7 months of worsening pain & 4 other referrals to specialists, I ended up in the ER for severe abdominal pain. They immediately determined it was my gall bladder and it was removed. It was necrotic & pre-gangrenous. The surgeon referred to it as a “ticking time bomb” in my chest.
After that, the fatigue & shortness of breath continued, with no diagnosis. The abdominal pain returned after 3-4 days.
For the next 4 years, I managed the pain, fatigue & shortness of breath with an occasional trip to a doctor (cardiologist, pulmonologist, nephrologist etc), when it got worse, just to see if someone might have an idea.
In 2017, I went back to an ER, in pain & unable to eat or drink. They wanted to give me a pain med & send me home, with the advice “to see my doctor on Monday”. My wife insisted that they do some testing & they agreed to do an MRI. What they told me was the scan revealed a large mass on my pancreas & they were referring me to Baylor medical for further testing.
I went to Baylor and had an endoscopic ultrasound. The results were 90% positive that it was not a mass, just an enflamed/swollen pancreas. No explanation of how or why was given. They then recommended I do a sleep apnea study.......
In January, of this year, I decided to see another cardiologist. He offered the diagnosis of Heart Failure Preserved Ejection Fraction & recommended further testing, but he subsequently lost his license to practice medicine.
The cardiologist, that I saw as a replacement, did not agree with the previous diagnosis. He offered no ideas of his own, but recommended I get an appointment at the Mayo Clinic because no one in this area was competent enough to diagnose my condition......
I spent 3 weeks at the Mayo Clinic, in Phoenix, seeing a variety of specialists and completing all of the tests they could manage to order in the time given, but still no definitive answer as to what it might be.
So here I am, 6+ years into a undiagnosed condition that has me unable to do the things I like, in pain & hating the medical community for it’s lack of knowledge or compassion.