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Old 07-20-2008, 10:30 AM   #41
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Dear kat,
I also have long living females on both my father's and my mothers side.
But I do not live the life they live(d).
Fortunately I do not see docs as often as my husband has to, but when something feels wrong I go. Then it is my responsibility to do my own reserch and to decide to follow their advise or not.
So please see a doc on your issue and also see a gyn regularly.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:37 AM   #42
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I made a plan to go/schedule it next time. I'll stick to it.

Thanks for the perspectives!
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:50 PM   #43
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Just posting an update. I had psyched myself up to go the next time and prepared my info and questions for the doc.

There hasn't been a next time.

I can imagine some people might say see a doc anyway. It does not work that way in my experience. It would be useless without something to address. See, I am healthy, active, a hiker/mountain climber, and smile too much.

But I'll stick to it. If it happens again, I'll make an appointment. You convinced me!

Kate
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:16 PM   #44
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Yeah, make the appointment. I also didn't see any docs other than the dentist and the employer-required physical until I was 38. Then in the span of four years I had a stomach ulcer, two hernias and knee surgery. I refer to that period as the "40-year overhaul" because I've had no problems since, and my two sisters say that I'm "disgustingly healthy" because they're not.

So things can change.
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:51 PM   #45
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If it happens again, I'll make an appointment.
This past Saturday, I attended the funeral of a 47-year old cousin who spent her last six hours debating whether she was feeling poorly enough to see a doctor. (I heard but can't repeat the medical terminology but it was a heart attack of some variety.) She was, also, a thin, active person with no warnings of a problem. So, I imagine it was easy to convince herself it "was nothing."

My family, on both sides, is large -- I have about 60 1st cousins. She was one of the (if not THE) youngest to die from a non-accidental cause. So it was quite a shock. At 65, I am in the middle age-wise -- some are in their 80s and in very good health. (Her dad died at 87 and her mother is 85.)

Of course, lightening could strike... or a plane fall out of the sky... or
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:11 PM   #46
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This past Saturday, I attended the funeral of a 47-year old cousin who spent her last six hours debating whether she was feeling poorly enough to see a doctor. (I heard but can't repeat the medical terminology but it was a heart attack of some variety.) She was, also, a thin, active person with no warnings of a problem. So, I imagine it was easy to convince herself it "was nothing."

My family, on both sides, is large -- I have about 60 1st cousins. She was one of the (if not THE) youngest to die from a non-accidental cause. So it was quite a shock. At 65, I am in the middle age-wise -- some are in their 80s and in very good health. (Her dad died at 87 and her mother is 85.)

Of course, lightening could strike... or a plane fall out of the sky... or


I'm sorry. That's painful.

I am not sick or dying. It's a problem that is striking feet and elbows, and then stops. My best guess is lyme.

But I have had the experience as someone who rarely sees doctors of then seeing doctors who say "don't come back for ten years" ("You're too healthy." That's after all the blood tests, etc., too). I can't seem to ever get across the point that I really, really wouldn't be here but there's something going on.

That's why I want to make an appointment when it's active, so I can really explain it best. That's still my plan. I'll do it!
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:22 AM   #47
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I don't like visiting doctors either. I'm 52.
About a year ago I was running a high fever. I waited a few days while it went down and then spiked again. I was feeling better and went to work one day. I left in the pm because I was getting the chills again.
The next thing I knew I was in ER. My wife had called when she found me shivering at 10pm in our bed with a very high fever. I don't remember the ambulance or firemen coming.
I had bp of 80/50, heart rate of 180, and a temp of 104.5. I was in septic shock and nearly died. In 3 days I had gone from totally healthy to almost dead. Thank god for the acute care internist who knew what to do. I spent 4 days in ICU and a week in the hospital.

It changes your life when you are dying and you are aware of it. I'll never delay a doctor visit again.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:36 AM   #48
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Yeah, make the appointment. Like Walt, I was healthy as a horse...until all of a sudden I had ulcers, then sudden deafness and then tinnitus in one ear, then a nasty case of diverticulitis (requiring hospitalization in this country, although in the US I probably would have been given stronger antibiotics than you can get here). Not as bad as surfdaddy having to stay in the ICU, but I did have to have tubes stuck in both ends, IV for a week, CAT scans of my brain for the tinnitus and abdomen for the diverticulitis. Oh, and I came down with some kind of severe pain in my left wrist that the doc never could figure out even with multiple x-rays, then 6 months later I got the same pain in the right wrist. Both times it was about 10 weeks of babying it so I didn't end up in excruciating pain (the wrong twist and I was literally writhing in pain).

All of this was in a period that spanned just a little more than a year. The good news is that all of these problems except the tinnitus have resolved, I'm exercising again and feeling great. But, I won't put off seeing a doctor again if there is any doubt that my symtoms are any more than a little case of the sniffles.

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Old 10-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #49
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(snip)

I am not sick or dying. It's a problem that is striking feet and elbows, and then stops. My best guess is lyme.
Unless you've got some medical training (and I don't mean first aid/CPR classes at work) your best guess is just that: a guess. According to Wikipedia (admittedly not an authoritative source) there are blood tests for Lyme disease so you may be able to get a diagnosis even if you don't have any symptoms at the time. Untreated Lyme disease doesn't sound like anything to fool around with.

On top of that, if I read your original post correctly, you're long overdue for a general checkup, and at your age a baseline mammogram might not be a bad idea either. Just make the darn appointment and get it over with!
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:42 PM   #50
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Here's a brief update. I had made a commitment to myself to go get it checked out the next time something happened.

There has not been a next time. Just that weird issue with two swollen elbows, first one, then the other, and pain after. No pain in more than six months. None at all.

I also am not worried about the pain in my feet that I mentioned, severe cramping, which is very occasional. Apparently its common. I remembered after I thought about it that I had noticed once before that my alcohol intake can affect my legs at night, and it occurred to me that could be an influence. So I quit the beer, and it's made a difference.

I know there will come a time when my body will let me down. For now, I seem to still have a good read on it all. Just like my mother and her mother, I just can't see going to a doc unless it's an emergency. My internist even said that to me. "You're too healthy. Look at all those sick people out there...." And I had just gone for a physical. "Don't come back for ten years", she said.

So onward. I still have the same idea to see a doc the next time. I'll go back to the same one. I agree about the ten year plan.

Kate
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:06 PM   #51
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...favorite activity is hiking in NY and VT. Have a camp in the mountains, very wooded....
Hi kat

You can certainly fit into the risk pool for Lyme and co-infections such as Babesia, Erlichiosis, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, etc. Bartonella is known to cause pain to the soles of the feet (not saying your foot pain is such).

The Lyme tests are largely unreliable. There are a couple of labs that specialize in Lyme. Getting a negative test does "not" mean you do not have it. Up to fifty percent of people who are bitten do not get the rash. However, if you get the rash, you definitely have the disease. Nymph ticks as you no doubt know are the size of a dot made by a ballpoint pen. They "can" transmit the disease upon biting (its a myth that they have to be attached for 48 hours). Lyme symptoms can be dormant for years. We don't know why it can affect some people more than others. And on top of all that, there is a raging controversy in the medical community about how to treat. So I wouldn't take the advice of a single physician unless that doctor is widely acknowledged as an LLMD (Lyme Literate MD is the "jargon" used by the patients).

For an updated "take" on Lyme and its ramifications, see "Cure Unknown" by Denise Weintraub. Published June 2009.

When you say you "took precautions" does that include tucking long-sleeved shirt into pants and tucking pants into socks and then showering and shampooing at the end of each day?

Kindest regards,
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:36 PM   #52
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In some persons the rash never forms; in some, the first and only sign of Lyme disease is arthritis, and in others, nervous system problems are the only evidence of Lyme disease.

http://www.ento.psu.edu/Lyme/symptoms.htm

Lyme disease may show symptoms and then go dormant in the spinal column for years, only to come out again to reek havoc on the brain and nervous system.

The above is not a diagnosis.

I'm so sorry you are even questioning what to do. You have the most important thing in life being threatened and you are willing to gamble it away. I wonder how many people in the world thought like you and wish they had to opportunity to turn back the hands of time to get a check up.

Sad.


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Old 02-09-2009, 07:31 AM   #53
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Thanks, Spncity and Dex, for the info on lyme. That was my first thought, and really my only one, when the problems first came up. But I've been taking such great care the last two or three years, so it's hard to picture. I had forgotten infection can happen years earlier than symptoms.

I live in a "hot spot" area for lyme -- problems here more than ten years before it became public conversation in the rest of the state. And we only learned about it from local action by state environmental conversation people who would only go into the woods garbed head to toe in white clothing. They looked like people who deal with hazardous waste. That was half a mile from my parents' house. The town's police chief became seriously disabled by lyme.

Okay, convinced to go get it checked out. I don't have any symptoms now, but I'd rather let a doctor decide how to go.

Thanks again.

Kate
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:57 AM   #54
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Okay, convinced to go get it checked out. I don't have any symptoms now, but I'd rather let a doctor decide how to go.
Ah! The Internet does have value.

Good for you.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:31 AM   #55
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Thanks, Spncity and Dex, for the info on lyme. That was my first thought, and really my only one, when the problems first came up. But I've been taking such great care the last two or three years, so it's hard to picture. I had forgotten infection can happen years earlier than symptoms.

I live in a "hot spot" area for lyme -- problems here more than ten years before it became public conversation in the rest of the state. And we only learned about it from local action by state environmental conversation people who would only go into the woods garbed head to toe in white clothing. They looked like people who deal with hazardous waste. That was half a mile from my parents' house. The town's police chief became seriously disabled by lyme.

Okay, convinced to go get it checked out. I don't have any symptoms now, but I'd rather let a doctor decide how to go.

Thanks again.

Kate
Good idea. I think that a doctor who says don't come back for 10 years is full of it. There are regular screenings that should be done more regularly than that. Especially for women.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:14 PM   #56
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I have no clue whether or not you have Lyme disease, but clearly you suspect you may have it.
I'm sure you've looked up Lyme on the Internet and know that early treatment with antibiotics can sometimes stop it. Hoping it will go away doesn't work. Diseases do not care how long your ancestors lived.
I lost a co-worker to Lyme. She didn't go quickly; it took years of losing mobility and mental acuity. She went from a sharp, pretty, active woman to a shambling lump who could hardly remember her own name. Then, she died.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #57
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Interesting thread - I myself work as a biomedical engineer, but don't like going to see doctors.....my one caution in this case is the symptoms described and the thought that perhaps the symptoms were due to an insect bite of some sort. I would definitely look for a rule out on something like that because one never knows what one could have 'caught' from an outside agent like that.

In fact the term 'rule-out' is a good one. The clinician is able to 'rule-out' things it wouldn't be and focus on those it would be - therefore you can make an informed versus ill-informed decision regarding therapy or no therapy.

I am like you in that I wait sometimes until my body has had enough time to try and 'heal itself.' I just did that with an ear infection - two weeks later it was much worse and I knew I had to go get some help. For most things, your body will do well for itself.

I truly wish you good luck, Kat - I hope that you are able to balance your own knowledge of your body and family history with the need sometimes to get some 'outside' information for a more well-informed decision. For me knowing that balance point is the hardest part :-)
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:25 PM   #58
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Okay folks, this is likely as far as I'll get -- posting stuff in a health forum on a discussion board. We're all different, and I come from a long line of matriarchs who don't see doctors and lived to their late 90's.

I don't dislike doctors, I just don't have experience. My life experience is every problem goes away.

Here's the basics. Active, just turned 46 years old, favorite activity is hiking in NY and VT. Have a camp in the mountains, very wooded. Taken precautions for ticks/Lyme disease for the past two years. I don't do anything else remotely considered a risky behavior. (Maybe I should.)

In Feb 07, I was doing something else when I noticed a mild pain in my arm and that it was swollen (the pain was the swelling), and I followed it back to my elbow, where I touched a more painful spot. I didn't remember hurting it. It lasted for about two weeks, but I noticed it did not get worse so I did not see a doctor. (I have to be unconscious to do that.) In March 07, the same thing happened in the other elbow, but was gone in a week and was milder all around.

I said geesh, both elbows. That's different.

A few months later my arms would hurt when I carried groceries home from the store, tears in my eyes, but that passed too.

In the fall, something happened with my feet. The bottom of my feet, the arch area, would go into painful spasms. Both feet, but more one side than the other.

In both situations, I tended to grab and massage whatever hurt -- which helped. I learned to sense when my foot or elbow would do that, and hold it tightly.

There's no other problems otherwise. I sleep well, enjoy my life, not slowed down at all. No family history of any kind of issues like this. Rarely sick.

I'm guessing ticks and Lyme before I started paying attention.

Any other thoughts? It crossed my mind again when I was gardening and moving big pots and told my arm to go to hell yesterday.

I'll probably delete this post in 20 minutes but maybe not. Just wondering if there's any other thoughts I could kick around.

Thanks!

Kate
I suppose those could be symptoms of about a hundred different ailments. Just wonder why you have focused in on Lyme disease?

Of course you could just not worry about it & it'll probably go away. That's what I often do.

Don't do stuff to aggravate it (like carrying heavy bags of groceries, excessive gardening, and moving big pots) The foot thing might just be plantar fascitis. Put duct tape on the bottom of your feet when it's acting up.

(BTW - I am not a medically trained professional and my comments should in no way construed to be medical advice - but I have relatives who are docs & they are pretty much worthless re: any complaints I have)
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:32 PM   #59
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Thanks for the comments.

I know in the health arena my take on everything is very heavily influenced by my family of origin -- the women in my family, who avoid doctors and live very healthy lives. My mother finally threw in the towel and saw a doc when she got a terribly bad case of shingles. It aged her appearance 15 years as she tried to endure the pain. Since then she's had pneumonia often, and sees the doc. What I learned from this is she was a very astute judge of when to see a doc. You can't treat a bad case of shingles on your own, and she had never had pneumonia before. Looking back on what I know, all her decisions to wait and see were right.

I have had good experiences with wait and see too. I can't think of a single time when I wished I had seen a doc for something, after putting it off. Of course, there are times I chose to, like after a car accident.

My hunch here is lyme, but it is only a hunch.

I haven't had a recurrence of problems with my elbows, which both swelled up, a month apart, and then were very painful for months after when I carried anything, and now don't hurt at all. I am not too worried about my feet -- after remembering one of my older brothers complains about the same thing. I discovered, as I said earlier, that it's aggravated by alcohol.

After airing it all here and reading the helpful comments, I am going to be okay visiting a doctor and saying here's the info, what do you think? Since the major activity in my life is hiking in the woods, and I own property in the woods, it's going to factor into the conversation. I don't have any other relevant history.

Thanks again for all the conversation here.

Kate
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:09 PM   #60
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I am digging up an old thread to provide an update. My hunch was right: lyme and its co-infections.

Probably going to start another thread about why getting my dog treated by his vet for lyme is 1000% times easier than what I have to do.

There was an "old thread warning" under the comment box and I laughed.

Okay, let's bury this now.

Oh, now I am getting this, after clicking "post reply":This Thread is more than 972 days old, you can't reply to it.
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