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I am still alive

I am still alive

January 11, 2008

The doctor appointments solved nothing, really. I had an EKG, my heart is still beating just the way that it is supposed to be, which is good. I have to schedule another thyroid scan and have some blood work done, but no one is expecting anything to come back out of the ordinary.

The allergist seems to think that I am allergic to some sort of preservative or additive or possibly a spice that is in food and that I will probably never know exactly what it is. Can I just say, AWESOME. Every time I eat wondering if I will have an anaphylactic reaction is not at all stressful.

He gave me a prescription for reflux saying that he thinks that crushing chest pain and lump in my throat might be from that. Why is it showing up now after an allergic reaction? He thinks my throat and esophagus are still irritated and so I am feeling the reflux that I wasn’t in the past. Okay then. I now feel like a 60 yr old overweight man belching in my LaZboy recliner.

As much as I scoffed at the suggestion, it has seemed to help. Where I go from here, I have no idea. My anxiety level is so high that just maintaining a normal level of functioning has been difficult.

That is it in a nutshell. Believe me I am about as much fun in real life as I am here.

Posted by Chris @ 12:23 pm  

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Comments

  1. Karly says:

    I’m sorry Chris. Can’t imagine how stressful and un-fun that would be. Hope that you figure out whatever it is and can start eating again. In the meantime, I hear air is very nutritious. ;)

  2. liza says:

    Oh, yuck. Just yuck! I’m sorry you’re going through this right now.

  3. Jen says:

    Awww. That’s just sucky. Nothing’s worse than not being able to figure out what to do to prevent anaphylactic shock. I had some crushing chest, racing heart stuff a couple years back….goofy as it sounds, acupuncture fixed me right up after all the beta blockers and alpha blockers didn’t work and the fear of having a heart attack began giving me panic attacks. A couple pin pricks was waaaaaay better than curling up in the fetal position in Home Depot from panic attacks! LOL

  4. Tracey says:

    One word…Paxil :-)

    Anxiety is the worst, I know, I have been suffering with it for most of last year. I feel for you.

    An epi pen, will it help for you to carry one with you? Hopefully knowing you have it will help to relieve some of your anxiety.

    Checking the thyroid sounds like the right thing to do. And the reflux explanation sounds logical also, especially after having the irritation in your throat/esophagus. I once puked so violently (sorry about that detail!) that I damaged my throat area and for awhile afterwards, I felt that lump in the throat and a sensation of my airway ’sticking together’ when I swallowed, yuck!

    I really hope you are feeling better very soon, good luck with everything!

  5. Tracey says:

    p.s.

    Forgot to mention, I made your italian soup last yesterday for supper and it was a hit with older son (who said, this IS a soup-er supper!) and hubby, but younger son not so much…..thank god I made extra pasta on the side, as per your suggestion :-)
    I am making the Crack Dip tonight for us to try, have lime chips at the ready and if it’s a hit, am taking it to Stampin’ Up gals place next week. Thanks for great recipes!

  6. Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you don’t have answers yet. Hopefully more tests can provide some insight, even if they are a pain in the arse. You’re in my thoughts–feel better soon.

  7. Lisa says:

    Crushing chest pain and lump in your throat? I have this! (I think) I’ve had tests and was told it was esophagus spasms. My doctor tried some heavy duty heart medication on me, too, and what I discovered was that taking a big glass of water and downing it (to take the medication) actually helped. I have no idea what it really is, but if downing water helps, it can’t be that bad, right? I trashed the heart meds. I hope you find some answers

  8. crockpot lady says:

    I am so sorry. That stinks.
    xxo
    steph

  9. Michelle says:

    Could you be allergic to soy? It’s in everything. Also, alot of people with gluten intolerance also have a hard time with MSG (check labels for modified food starch as well - that’s wheat).

  10. jenny says:

    good luck in your journey to figure out what this thing is!

    check out link to this NYTimes article about a mom, Robyn O’Brien, in Colorado that is waging a fight (and wrote a book) about additives in food!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/09/dining/09alle.html?_r=3&ref=dining&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    LOVE this website….I only have two kids and am amzed at how you balance it all and maintain your humor and sanity :) Thank you for being here–I look forward to checking you out each day.

  11. Jamie AZ says:

    Ugh! I thought about suggesting a food diary to see what’s making you feel like crap after you eat it, then I realized that if you’re having an anaphylactic reaction to something, you’d probably know what it was you’d just eaten. You carry an epi pen, right? Here’s hoping the blood tests show something!

  12. Jamie AZ says:

    And does this mean you’ll start adding some of the previously forbidden foods - i.e., gluten, maybe eggs - back into your life?

  13. blairzoo says:

    Oh Chris, that sounds horrible. So sorry you have to live with all that. Chronic health conditions are awful. Seems like you’d be really entitled to a week on a warm beach somewhere to recover…..

  14. Mindy says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with reflux too, but eventually we found out her entire digestion system was inflamed and that she had candida. We got her off dairy, onto a mold free diet and on a homeopathic remedy for candida and a digestion enzyme. She started improving within 2 days. The md’s we saw before taking her to our wonderful chiro didn’t know what was wrong and kept prescribing drugs. I had one doctor tell me to just give her ibuprofen 3 times a day for 4 days and see if that helped. I think you’ll find answers much sooner if you go the “alternative medicine” route.

  15. M&Co. says:

    I don’t know if it will help you, but we have my son on Feingold which excludes all artificial flavorings, colorings and preservatives as well as all natural and artificial salicylates (tomatoes are natural, aspirin is artificial) from his diet. You can read about it here: feingold.org. The thing I find most useful is the booklet they send you when you join which shows which brands are “clean.” We are also off wheat/dairy/corn and rice now so for me it’s just a starting point but very helpful.

  16. DW says:

    Suck.
    Sorry.

  17. Nicki says:

    don’t you just love it when the doctor gives you answer’s like that!!

  18. Kristie says:

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. NOBODY likes to be sick and feel crappy. And the whole “Will I stop breathing now?” thing adds just a titch more stress, I would imagine.

    I say kick back in that lazy-boy and just relax a bit. You deserve it at a this point.

  19. Christy says:

    Humor him and try the reflux meds. That problem alone can make you feel like you are wasting away. It robs you of your sleep at night and we all know what that can do to a person!

    Good luck with the whole “It might be a spice thing”. Do you carry an epi pen around?

  20. Corrie says:

    It’s hard when you feel like you’re playing 20 questions with your health. I hope you get some answers or, at least, some peace soon.

    Have you already looked into Graves’ disease?

  21. Jennifer says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this! I have had anaphylactic reaction twice before and it was not fun. They could never figure out what it was, said it was probably a preservative in foods. Great! However it has only happened twice and it has been a year and a half since the last one. So I have no idea what caused the reactions, but I know what you are going through. I hope they can at least figure out what it is.

  22. Lylah says:

    No advice, just sympathy…

  23. Wendy says:

    Eating knowing that it might kill you, then enjoying the after effects throughout the day, who says you are no fun?

    Seriously, I feel for you. Doctors with no answers are the main reason I would rather take my chances with the witch doctor on the street corner who likes to throw garlic at me.

  24. Maggie says:

    Chris, I’m a long time reader, but have never commented before. I found the following site about 5 years ago when I had an allergic reaction that I thought was either to cumin or juniper berries. I don’t know if you have pollen allergies, but for me this explained a lot of my food allergies.

    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/concen/tipcon/orale.shtml

  25. Cary says:

    I am so sorry. I hope the kids and husband are being good to you. I live in Austin, and we are the allergy capital of the world. I don’t know if someone here might have more answers for you, or would be willing to consult you over the phone. Good luck.

  26. Julie Stiles Mills says:

    I’ve been on medication for reflux for about 6 months. Within 3 days, no more lump in my throat and (for me) more importantly, no more coughing fits for no apparent reason. If I start feeling good, I seem to think I’m invincible and forget to take the little pill. Within three days, the lump is back and I cough till I cry. Unfortunately, I was also told that red wine is an irritant. as is chocolate. just kill me now.

  27. janet says:

    Chris,

    I take a med for acid reflux. I changed my life! Hope you are feeling less anxious really soon.

  28. Lizzy in the Burbs says:

    Ugh! I’m so sorry to hear that you are still not feeling well. I don’t blame you for feeling stressed and anxious, having an attack like that can be so scary. Hopefully the tests you have will reveal something that will help the doctors figure this out. Hang in there, kiddo! I’m saying a little prayer for you right now, take care.

  29. Joy H says:

    Aw, Chris. I was hoping you’d get some answers.

    I’m glad to hear that the reflux meds. worked. My dh thought he was having a heart attack last winter when they had changed his meds. It took 6mos. to build up to that bad point, so he HAS to take Nexium. Nothing else works apparently. Good luck and keep taking those meds.

  30. Mandee says:

    Chris:

    I’m so sorry. I have many and varied annoying, chronic illnesses, but the kicker would have to be the hives. My second year of law school, I just kept breaking out in hives. Why? No one knows. There was some weakness in my auto immune system, but no one could ever name it. I would often get edema as well. At least mine presented with a suddenly swollen half lip (just half of my bottom lip would swell up). And eyes. It was never my throat (it was my tongue once and that was bad enough). I’m sure that has got to be scary in addition to incredibly frustrating.

  31. Ellyn says:

    Chris~ Keep in mind that high anxiety can also give you that feeling of a lump in your throat– and chest pain now that I think about it. Slow, deep breathing truly can help with lessening the anxiety. Try to take a couple of minutes every now and then to just breathe. Sorry you’re going through this. Must suck…

  32. Karen says:

    I’ve never commented here Chris, but read you daily. Just wanted to say ‘hang in there’ as much as that helps. Precious little. You must be fit to be tied, and for that I’m sorry.

  33. Javamom says:

    I feel bad for you. Not knowing what the heck is going on. Have you considered, or are you already, visiting a Naturopath doctor? My mom has a really good one she’s using along with her general practitioner, and they’re combining their “care”. Perhaps you can look into something like that.

    Best of luck.

  34. Fina says:

    Sorry about all that. Sucks not knowing. I think doctors shouldn’t be able to take their copay until you’re cured - or in your case, at least properly diagnosed.
    Fina

  35. Elizabeth says:

    Oh Chris, that’s awful! How are you supposed to know what to eat?

    Are you still taking Lexapro? I remember when I wrote a post about starting it that you had also started it, but that was last year. I’m just wondering if that would help with the anxiety if you aren’t on it right now.

    I hope this gets straightened out for you soon!

  36. Stephanie says:

    Chris,
    That totally blows. Sorry to hear the allergist was of no help.

    In regards to the crushing chest pain and feeling like you’re going to die. Take this for what it’s worth (which is about 1 cent,) but I had the same sensation about 3 weeks ago, and after going to the doctor, just sure I was having a weird reaction to migraine meds they were putting me on, they determined I was having an anxiety attack. I totally scoffed at them and played that off for a while, but eventually acquiesced and took half a Xanex they prescribed, desperate for some relief, which was found about 30 minutes later. This may not be you at all, but it was for me. My hormones were all wack-a-doo, I was having all sorts of health issues, and apparently that was all it took for my body to say enough was enough.
    Just a thought.
    Hope you can find some relief somewhere. hang in there.

  37. Mary says:

    Sending good thoughts your way. It must be scary not knowing what you can and can not eat. Hopefully the blood tests will give you some answers.

  38. Jen W says:

    Chris, a few years back I went to the doctor for this awful chest pressure and feeling like something was stuck in my throat. I thought I was having angina, but after an EKG and several tests, he thought it was GERD. I thought it couldn’t be as I’d had no heartburn. Turns out he was right. After a week on the proton pump inhibitor, I felt normal again. I only did a 6 week round and it helped. Sadly, this pregnancy has brought it back and I can’t take the PPI’s unless it gets worse as they are a class B for pregnancy. Fun!

    GERD can have many symptoms you wouldn’t expect. Chronic cough, hoarseness, chest pressure, difficulty swallowing or feeling a lump in your throat, and of course, heartburn. I hope the meds help your symptoms and good luck with the allergy quest.

  39. suburbancorrespondent says:

    It is possible that allergic reactions inflame the esophageal tissue, isn’t it?

    And have you tried doing one of those blood tests (not the Rast) that tests for IgE and IgG elements (wrong word, can’t think of the right one) for about a hundred different items at once? They’re offered through Great Smokies Something Lab (I am so helpful) for a few hundred dollars; they really seemed to key in on my friend’s sensitivities.

    I can find the details on that test for you if you are interested. Just e-mail me.

  40. Heather's Garden says:

    I’ve had awful heartburn at various times and I know how terrible it can be. This may be the dumbest suggestion ever, but I found that if my bra is too tight (even just a little), I end up with horrible heartburn. I hope the medication works, but I can’t even begin to imagine the terror of biting into food and not knowing if it was going to throw me into anaphylactic shock. Maybe this summer you can start growing your own veggies. It really is reassuring knowing exactly where your food comes from, not that I’d ever be able to only eat food from my own garden.

  41. Jolie says:

    I am scared to even write to you about this, but I think it may be worth checking into. My father has Idiopathic Anaphylactic Shock. He has been to Mayo, Northwestern as well as many other allergists to be tested for anything and everything. His diagnosis means that he is not allergic to anything, but can go into shock at anytime. He has been on large doses of predisone for many, many years. Please ask your doctors about this and prophylactic treatment! I do not wish to scare you- just peek awareness. He carries 2 epipens at all times as the shock is happening faster every time. He has been written about in several medical journals. Just something to think about- Let’s hope not though! With much caring and worry…loyal reader

  42. Shaylind Standing says:

    Anxiety can cause that crushing chest feeling with a lump in the throat.
    I hope you figure it all out. It sounds very frustrating.

  43. cristen says:

    I’m so sorry it’s rough times for you. I hope you get better soon.
    Now for the onslaught of the internets’ diagnoses…

  44. Antique Mommy says:

    Contrasting the image of a 60 year old belching over-weight man (probably needing a shave and wearing a hole ridden undershirt?) in his Lazy Boy recliner with the tiny willow wisp that is you is amusing imagery.

    Ahh, adventures in modern medicine? Ain’t it fun? Hope you get it figured out soon.

  45. ollka says:

    I’m sorry, this sounds awful. I hope you get well soon and they figure out what it is. And even though I don’t believe in “alternative medicine”, if that helps, I hope you do it.

  46. Blake says:

    What about alcohol? That always seems to help me. I’m so sorry you are having such a hard time and if you can’t drink then I REALLY feel sorry for you! Hope you start feeling better.

  47. Angie says:

    This does sound awful. But don’t feel old and overweight about reflux. Our baby had it as a newborn. It stinks, doesn’t it?

  48. Chris says:

    I feel your plight…I’m the anxiety Queen over here. However, you really are still funny.
    Seriously, I hope all is well soon!

  49. Jeanne says:

    X A N A X

  50. Cherilyn says:

    Find a doctor that practices N.A.E.T. at http://www.naet.com/index.html. This changed my life. I had allergies since I was 7 years old requiring constant medication and resulting in many headaches and other symptoms. Three treatments and have not had allergy medicine in 3 1/2 years. I’ve had maybe 2-3 headaches in that time rather than 2-3 a week. No needles, all painless. I know many others with even more impressive testimonies of how N.A.E.T. has freed them not only of allergies but other underlying issues that caused a variety of health problems. Give it a try! You won’t be sorry!

  51. Ginny says:

    Best of luck to you, Chris. I hope you find real answers soon.

  52. Tara says:

    Hope you find some relief with reflux. I had the same thing a couple of years ago… it felt like somebody was pushing their thumb into the front of my throat and it caused a LOT of anxiety. I was really amazed at how much better I felt when I started taking medication and it healed.

    Mine started after a really bad cold… guess the coughing just exagerated the problem.

    Anyway… know you aren’t alone! It will get better. (smile)

  53. jennifer says:

    Stress and worry about wether or not the next thing you put in your mouth with result in anaphylaxsis could cause increased reflux. I’m not sure of the US drug name but Ranitidine (generic name in Canada) or Zantac is a reflux medication that also happens to be an H2 blocker which helps with allergic reactions so if this is what you are on it might help deal with both problems.

    In our house we deal with multiple anaphylactic allergies so I know how scary it can be. Hopefully you will get some answers soon.

  54. Haley says:

    I am so happy that you are still alive! How would I ever survive without you? Seriously, though, I’m glad that the reflux script is helping. One step at a time, one step at a time.

  55. dcrmom says:

    Oh, Chris. I am so so so sorry. I can relate to unexplained medical crisis and the ensuing anxiety. I trust you have some good “nerve pills” to help??? Hang in there, girl

  56. Lazy Organizer says:

    That’s horrible. You could just eat homemade granola three meals a day like I do!

  57. carrie says:

    Wishing you well on your journey to find out what’s wrong. I wish it was as easy as going to the doctor and being “told” but it isn’t. Hang in there and do what you have to do Chris. Know that there are tons of people thinking positive thoughts for you!

  58. Brigitte says:

    But, um, err, didn’t you have a reaction to some muffins or something you made from SCRATCH? I wouldn’t think there’d be mysterious additives or spices in there. Or was he talking about allergies in ADDITION to eggs/dairy?

    I had a co-worker who couldn’t eat anything with corn syrup/high-fructose corn syrup. It’s pretty much omnipresent, even in non-sweet foods, so he had a hard time avoiding it!

  59. Mary says:

    The whole lump-in-the-throat thing and chest pain sounds like it could be a hiatal hernia. In that case, the reflux meds should help make you feel normal again. I know a couple of people who have this condition, and they were helped immensely by some reflux control!

    I am not a big-people nurse (I am a NICU nurse), so this is certainly not the be all and end all of medical advice…take it with a grain and salt. But that is what it immediately brought to mind…maybe you could check with your doctor next time you see him!

  60. wookie says:

    Just putting on my problem solving hat here… have you considered visiting an allergist to get a thorough screen done so you can at least rule some factors out? Obviously, you can’t live very well if you are told, well “anything could kill you (so just never eat)!”, perhaps that kind of screen would buy you some peace of mind on safe foods.

    I don’t remember if your gluten free was in response to your reaction or to a biopsy result, but the biopsy is the gold standard of celiac diagnosis so that might be worth pursuing a biopsy just to rule it out or confirm it (worst case).

    Cross-contamination is always a possiblity, and you can’t do much for that except hope and prepare most of your food yourself :-P I do know some labels that say “spices” use a wheat based filler in their spice mix, I learned that from my MIL who has been celiac for 30+ years. Some eggs, because of what their chickens eat, can have traces of gluten in them as well. Those are the only sneaky sources that I can think of at the moment.

    I’m very sympathetic (as is everyone else here) and I hope you are able to get more answers soon.

  61. Jane says:

    What a frustrating time for you, I’m not surprised you are feeling very anxious. I do hope you are able to find more specific help from some source, whether conventional or alternative. Hang in there,
    Jane

  62. bombaygirl says:

    Ugh. Doesn’t sound great at all. Glad you still have your sense of humor! Hope everything gets sorted out.

  63. Judy says:

    Your allergic reactions sound similar to what my mom and sister experience. The only thing we could determine was that the additives in restaurant and movie foods (cooking oils, butter substitutes for the most part) was causing the anaphalactic reactions. I tracked down all the places mom ate, what she ate, and what the ingredients were and that seemed to be the common denominator. She no longer has movie popcorn, KFC foods, vinegar and oil based salad dressings to name a few things I found. Don’t blame the docs for not knowing this stuff–it is hard to pinpoint and you have to be your own best advocate by asking lots of questions. We still have not determined what causes my sister’s reactions! Another sister reacts to soy as well–throat swells, she can’t breathe–and it is found in many foods now, so that is another path to investigate.
    BTW blood tests for food allergies are really great I think! IF you can still find anyone doing them….
    Best of luck with all of this. I know it is frustrating.

  64. Liesl says:

    Hey Chris,
    Hope you are feeling better!

  65. Annie says:

    >>Could you be allergic to soy? It’s in everything. Also, alot of people with gluten intolerance also have a hard time with MSG (check labels for modified food starch as well - that’s wheat).>>>

    I wanted to reply to this comment. Modified food starch is 99% of the time made from CORN, not wheat. Especially in food that is produced in the USA. I have a son with Celiac Disease and reading labels is my new talent! :)

    Chris- I hope you feel better soon.

  66. elizabeth says:

    Have you had every one mention a food that MIGHT be causing these reactions? - If so, sorry to add to that ;) - could it/would it be mushrooms? My grandma would get a whiff of one and we’d be taking her to the hospital. Seriously could never eat take away pizza, just in case there’d be a sliver of one anywhere on the thing.

    I am so sorry and I do hope they find an answer as to what is ailing you.

    Made your soup for dinner tonight - it’s crock potting as I write this. And, yep - I sure will be making some extra pasta as I have thee most finicky 7yo eater in the world! He is exhausting!

  67. Jordan says:

    I’m going to second Cherilyn who suggested the NAET treatment. I stumbled upon it a few years ago and went from being The World’s Most Lactose Intolerant Human Being to someone who now asks for second helpings of ice cream and alfredo sauce. My husband had been unable to eat meat (well, and keep any of it down) since he was five years old, but after the four or five weeks of treatment he’s now a confirmed meat eater. The whole treatment sounds a bit hokey (as most naturalistic things do) but for whatever odd reason it totally works. It’s painless and easy and like Cherilyn said - if you try it you won’t be sorry!

    Good luck, Chris. My thoughts are with you.

  68. DBN says:

    Hi, I didn’t go back through and read all the comments, but I have something that has been diagnosed as “Idiopathic anaphylaxis.” I know way more about it than I should, and won’t leave everything in a comment, but if you want to shoot me an email, I am happy to share what I have learned!

  69. Annalise says:

    I’m glad the reflux meds seemed to help. It all sounds a bit scary … will be thinking of you and hoping that things improve soon.

    Annalise x

  70. shukr says:

    Apis is the homeopathic equivalent of an epi pen for swelling allergic reactions, and you can get it in high doses or low doses for emergency care versus after effects. I don’t know who the best US homeopathic pharmacy is. In the UK we have helios and ainsworths who will give advice as much as needed.

    We have allergies in the family, and went to a homeopath after my fourth child, as she had more of them and more severe than any of the other children. It has been really effective with my now 3 year old.

    I think homeopathy offers some kind of hope whilst you try to find out what it is that triggers your reaction. Please excuse me if this is unwanted input!

    I’ve read your blog for some time, ( years!?!), but I’m one of those lurkers you just see on stats! Thank you for the parenting experiences you share here.

  71. Girlymom4 says:

    Glad the meds seem to help some, I hope they can figure something out so you can relax a bit

  72. halloweenlover says:

    I’m so sorry, Chris, this just stinks. I hope that you start to feel better soon and that one of these medications will make all the difference. Thinking about you!

  73. jody says:

    I hope the meds for the reflux help. Try and stay away from carbonated beverages for a bit…that will help also.

    As for the allergies, I am with you there. I think our bodies are changing with age, and hence the problems with some foods etc.. I have added peanuts, almonds, and sugar to the stuff I have to avoid now or face feeling like crap and breaking out in hives. It stinks.

    Hugs to you.

  74. my3sons says:

    So sorry you are feeling badly. Not that you want more advice, but have they checked your gall bladder? I have had 2 friends come up with the same type of symptoms you are describing. One went on every acid reflux pill on the market with marginal results. She went to cardiologists, thinking she had heart trouble. After years of struggling, someone finally suggested that they look at her gall bladder and voila, that was the cause of it. Got that sucker out with a little laproscopy and she is 100% better.

    Luckily when friend #2 started with the same type of thing, she immediately requested a check on her gall bladder and sure enough, she needed hers out too. She is cured as well.

    Just wanted to mention it. Whatever it is, I hope you are feeling better soon.

  75. Katherine says:

    Okay. Bearing in mind that free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it, here’s my tuppence-worth. Firstly, and possibly most importantly, you have to buy a new handbag. The lack of a new handbag might not prove fatal, granted, but a few people on the list have mentioned epi-pens, and I figure it’s important for something as medically impressive as an epi-pen to be carried in an equally impressive container. And while you’re buying a handbag, you should consider new shoes, as heck, you’re bound to be having more doctor’s appointments and you want them to take you seriously.
    On a slightly more realistic note, I would back the advice about seeking out alternative therapies - no one’s saying this has to be alternative to conventional medical treatment, it can be done to complement it. The upside to alternative therapy is that it can help you find a better balance within yourself, and has a great feelgood factor, especially in calming you (something I feel conventional medicine has yet to learn, especially here in the UK. Not much feelgood going on around here…) The downside is that you have to pay. I would recommend a naturopath - a good one will listen to your history and take you back to basics - a gentle diet, and gentle techniques to gently bring your body back into balance and strengthen you. As far as the chest pain/ lump in throat issue - something like reflux/heartburn can cause these symptoms, and obviously you’re advised to be medically checked out, but anxiety can also cause this (especially after digestive problems) and stress just keeps it coming. My neighbour was convinced he was dying of cancer, had a lump in his throat, couldn’t eat and ended up with all kinds of investigative tubes being poked down his throat at the local hospital. Turns out it was entirely psychosomatic (okay, I have no idea how to spell that…) Trying to find ways of nurturing yourself and relaxing are really important right now. I know that’s not easy to do around children, but your health and wellbeing have to be top priority. Whether it’s a medical cause, or whether it’s anxiety coupled with previous inflammation, you need to be able to unwind and be kind to yourself. Hence the handbag. And shoes.
    Thinking of you and mentally wishing you into a relaxing bubblebath and an early night, and hoping this will soon all be a memory…

  76. Melissa says:

    Hi. I’ve been reading for a while, but never commented before. Here is my two cents…Even if your thyroid test comes back normal, but you still keep having problems, have them do an antithyroglobulin test. It tests for antibodies against your thyroid which is present in certain diseases such as Hashimoto’s disease. This will not show up on a regular thyroid blood test! Your thyroid could still be functioning fine if you have this. (Especially if anyone in your family has had any thyroid problems.) Just trying to save you (or anyone else reading this) months of aggravation like I had. I also had the chest crushing pain and lump in my throat, which the doctors couldn’t figure out so gave me reflux meds. I’ve had reflux when I was pregnant and this is not normal reflux. I felt like I was having a heart attack or something. I also had hives, occasional swollen lower lip (like I saw someone who commented above also had), and fainting (my heart checked out completely fine). Also, the intolerance to cold, fatigue, dry skin, and heavy periods I’d been having for years I just figured had to do with getting older or hormone changes. Nope-thyroid. The allergist is the only one who figured this out even though several other doctors were looking at the same results and telling me I was fine. Thyroid medication has completely fixed all of my symptoms! Just wanted to let you know, because I don’t think many people know about this. I sure didn’t.