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Posted: 1/17/2015 1:23:30 AM EST
Not satisfied with Doctor's explanation. At the beginning of this summer wife began to have a lot of pain in neck, shoulders, upper arms. Has increased to overall soreness including legs. Pain increase with use of arms, hands, and sore to the touch also. I know, ask GD for diagnosis, right? Just fishing, hoping maybe someone has had similar experience and can shed some light on what may be the cause.

Background, we moved from an elevation of 125' to over 7500' about six years ago. She is in mid 50's and has always been very active, even athletic. She has gained some weight during past year but not critically. (no pics because she won't allow it, thinks she is much heavier than she is) Dr. has told her that thin air at this elevation is not providing the oxygen that she needs and she is now getting supplemental O2 at night. He temporarily prescribed a glorified Ibuprofen for pain but no narcotics. He has basically told her that it took her awhile to develop these symptoms and they aren't going to go away overnight. Dr. isn't overly concerned but she is becoming distraught suffering with the continuous pain.

Also, I'm several years older than she is and I'm not experiencing any of the symptoms that she has, although, Dr. has told me that I may also need supplemental O2 in the near future, depending...I know for a fact. I've seen more people carrying those little O2 backpacks around this little town than I've ever seen before.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:25:35 AM EST
I have absolutely nothing constructive to contribute other than I hope your wife gets to feeling better.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:27:55 AM EST
Shit OP, hope your wife's health improves.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:28:31 AM EST
Sounds like she needs a better workup than is being provided. Any cardiac or pulmonary history? Any reason you can't move back to a lower elevation if her health is so badly affected by this altitude?
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:28:35 AM EST
If the doc says she isn't getting enough 02, maybe moving back down to sea level would be a reasonable thing to do.

Hope you figure it out.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:30:44 AM EST
Sounds to me that a second opinion is needed quickly.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:32:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:

I've seen more people carrying those little O2 backpacks around this little town than I've ever seen before.
View Quote

Sounds like her doc may have the same answer for everything. See another doctor.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:34:27 AM EST
No, she has had not prior issues. We have discussed the possibility of moving back to a lower elevation if that is the only cure. Thanks for the replies.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:35:14 AM EST
I would see another doc.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:35:51 AM EST
Any tingling? Maybe a neurologist is in order.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:37:40 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:40:30 AM EST
Has she had her blood iron level checked recently? Just something that came to my mind outta nowhere....
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:40:42 AM EST
Might be rheumatoid arthritis. My bride has that, younger than yours.

Joint pain that isn't explained needs investigated. I'm not buying the O2 deprivation angle, but then I'm a flatlander and only keep O2 in my Cessna for when the winds aloft are advantageous above 10K.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:53:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 1:53:53 AM EST by 3O8junkie]
Have her checked for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

They can test her for the antibodies.

I had the most random pains which would come and go and the intensity was insane at times.

I got lucky and a walk in clinic DR tested me for gout and when it came back negative she just looked at me and said I am going to send you to an arthritis specialist for testing.

BAM! Palindromic Rheumatism. (10% as common as RA but usually develops into full blown RA)

What I have isn't as bad as it comes and goes.

I cannot imagine having full blown RA if it is like a flare up 24/7.


TL&DR: Get a second opinion friend.

Test for RA.

ETA: I was diagnosed at 30

I have a friend who's 10 year old has RA...
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:58:07 AM EST
Try to get her in with a pain management doctor? If breathing is a concern no doctor is going to give narcotics.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:00:31 AM EST
I thought I was going crazy before my diagnosis.

I hope you guy get it figured out OP.

Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:00:45 AM EST
Get a second,third, fourth, opinion. Too many doc's have blinders on...
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:02:53 AM EST
I hope your wife gets better.
Definitely, immediately find a better physician.
The quack dispensing oxygen to half the town is not likely to be part of your solution.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:09:29 AM EST
Maybe get her tested for Lyme Disease. ??

Any possibility of being poisoned? How is your water supply?
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:11:38 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brewgod:
Get a second,third, fourth, opinion. Too many doc's have blinders on...
View Quote

This. And most of them give less than a shit about you. Find one, if there is one, that will actually listen to you.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:12:19 AM EST
Her recent tests showed normal iron levels but O2 was less than 90%.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:13:23 AM EST
Good luck op.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:14:55 AM EST
fibromyalgia???
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:20:36 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:
Her recent tests showed normal iron levels but O2 was less than 90%.
View Quote


That's pretty low.

Sounds like she needs a bit more atmospheric pressure. Some people just aren't suited to live at altitude.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:22:07 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:
Her recent tests showed normal iron levels but O2 was less than 90%.
View Quote
Rheumatoid Arthritis dude.

Google it.

Compare her symptoms.

Thank me later.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:36:17 AM EST
Get a second opinion. And a third.

This Dr. seems to have one treatment for everything. I don't really buy it.


Chronic pain sorts of things are a bitch and a half to diagnose. Sometimes, it's psychological. Antidepressants are often prescribed. They may or may not help.

There are many theories (the aforementioned chronic lyme disease is one). Most all of these theories are highly controversial. Other things include fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. There is WIDE disagreement within the medical profession about all of this. Some Doctor's see it as simply a mental problem, others as a neurologic problem, others as something else.

Be VERY careful with narcotic pain meds. These are basically medical grade heroin. I'm not saying don't take them, but treat them with the respect you would treat a loaded gun with.

Make sure she's checked out thoroughly for physical problems. A minor injury or such may be acting up with the altitude change. Such may not be apparent without extensive checkouts, to include MRI's etc.

Be careful with Doctor's. Some will see their particular 'specialty' in everything that moves. They might be right, but they might be wrong. Trust your gut on this. If you find a Doctor makes a diagnosis without extensive testing and spending a lot of time with her, that's not a good sign.

Remember that everything is connected together. A leg problem may show up as a shoulder problem, so don't just focus on one body part.

Avoid chiropractors like the plague.


Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:37:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 2:41:00 AM EST by ceverett]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:
Her recent tests showed normal iron levels but O2 was less than 90%.
View Quote
That seems low.

I'd consider a trip back to sea level and see if that gets better.

ETA: That's not that low for that elevation, probably... But still... 90% is where problems can start to happen.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:38:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 2:53:39 AM EST by ar154all]
Get a second opinion?
Shi, er, stuff doesnt just 'happen'. There is something causing it. Your wife is in her mid 50s, automatically making her anemic and osterpritic (low red blood cell count and weakening bones (just an assumption for the masses, she may not actually be)). If she isn't already taking iron and calcium (with vit D) supplements, put her on some. It can take a while (subjective, I know; but this is ARF GD...) for these things to 'kick in'.

What you will be looking for is the iron supplement to do is to have her existing red blood cells pick up as much oxygen as they can and transport that through her body. When you went to 8000 ft+ altitude, the O2 in the atmosphere dropped @ 25%. Your trying to compensate for that by getting the iron to have the red blood cells to carry 25% more oxygen. Doubt that they will pick up that much, but they will pick up way more than without the supplement. ETA; but that calculation does not consider whatever blood count loss she has for simply being a woman at her age. You (she) has to maximise whatever ability she has currently)

The Calcium (w/Vit D) is for "just because'.

How is her breathing, how is her heartbeat, are her feet swelling?

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:
Her recent tests showed normal iron levels but O2 was less than 90%.
View Quote

her iron needs to be "above normal"

(iron: 325 Mg daily; beware of constipation)
(calcium w/D: 1200 mg everyday)
(as always: this is the fricken internet, check with your doc before starting anything)
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:40:50 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:
No, she has had not prior issues. We have discussed the possibility of moving back to a lower elevation if that is the only cure. Thanks for the replies.
View Quote


Take a two week vacation to a lower elevation and see how things go perhaps?

This really shouldn't be a difficult diagnosis. O2 sat meters are cheap and easy to use. Her O2 levels are either good or they're not. If not, I would think that lower elevation living is in your future.


Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:51:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 2:53:56 AM EST by ar154all]
(moved)
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 2:59:28 AM EST
Lyme Disease?
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:08:06 AM EST
Sed rate and a chest X-ray
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:10:05 AM EST
Man I know your pain. My wife struggled with serious health issues for probably a decade before we finally got it figured out. It was *rough*.

You need to realize, doctors dont always have the answer. Its right to question them. Even worse, in my experience small town docs know fuck all compared to big city docs. But, dont think big city docs are the answer. I think we went through half a dozen specialists in 3 different specialties before we finally got to the bottom of things.

If you dont trust the docs answer theres probably a good reason or it. As has been said, get a second opinion. I'd also recommend getting a second opinion some place geographically different. Some place where the canned response isnt "the altitutde".

If you have the means, another option is to send her (or both of you) to lower altitude for a month or two. See if things improve. If you move back to the lowlands for 2 months and nothing improves, wel it wasnt the fucking altitude. I understand that isnt an easy thing to do though. I'd definitely start with a second opinion thought.


As for pain meds, also has been said be careful with the. My wife has an open prescription for morphine, as much as she wants. She manages it well, but for a few days out of the month shes a damned heroin addict. It isnt easy. Treat it with the respect it deserves. Pain meds or no fucking joke. Also, most pain management facilities treat you like you are a pill shopper, and ERs are even worse. I hope you dont have to suffer through that.

Best of luck. But definitely get a second opinion, preferably somewhere besides the office next door.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:17:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 3:25:52 AM EST by MyrnaTheMinx]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By slowkota1:
fibromyalgia???
View Quote


FM is a possibility, but it seems to be rapid onset. What made me think FM at first is the soreness to touch. I know that well. Did she have any injuries recently? Many, but not all, FM people can trace the beginning of their pain to some sort of injury or accident.

Please keep us updated on her condition. I hope you find some answers, and I hope she feels better soon.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:20:50 AM EST
My friend just got diagnosed with celiac disease must eat glutan free food. No, it is not imagine, it came back positive with her blood test from the lab, 99% positive...... this is life altering.

Good lucking on find the problem
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:54:31 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:
Her recent tests showed normal iron levels but O2 was less than 90%.
View Quote



Something else is going on besides just elevation!

You moved there 6 years ago, she should have acclimated to the decreased O2 unless there is something else going on. Go see a pulmonary doctor and find out why her says are so low. And plan on moving to a lower elevation.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 4:04:27 AM EST
I'm polar-opposite from being a doc, but, Meloxicam fixed a lot of that stuff for me. I'm off it now, going for a healthy weight and see how that does.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 4:12:45 AM EST
I am a communicable disease nurse and the first things that come to mind (not all CD related) are Lyme, RA and fibromyalgia. I don't believe altitude has anything to do with her symptoms. I'm not claiming to have all the answers and I know there are some folks on arfcom with more letters after their names/degrees than me. See a Rheumatologist and see what they say. Good luck. I hope your wife is feeling better soon.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 5:16:15 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 9mmprn:
I am a communicable disease nurse and the first things that come to mind (not all CD related) are Lyme, RA and fibromyalgia. I don't believe altitude has anything to do with her symptoms. I'm not claiming to have all the answers and I know there are some folks on arfcom with more letters after their names/degrees than me. See a Rheumatologist and see what they say. Good luck. I hope your wife is feeling better soon.
View Quote

Lyme can onset like that and fibromyalgia. Nephew got a tick bite while camping and that started like your wife's pain etc. My wife also worked with a very active young woman who contracted fibro. Second opinion at a teaching hospital if that is possible.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 5:33:00 AM EST
Hope your wife gets better. Prayers sent.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 5:43:01 AM EST
Maybe have her visit somewhere at a lower altitude and see if that helps.
If it does then you have your answer.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 5:44:11 AM EST
Has she tried chiropractic?
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 5:49:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dan_Cooper:

Take a two week vacation to a lower elevation and see how things go perhaps?

This really shouldn't be a difficult diagnosis. O2 sat meters are cheap and easy to use. Her O2 levels are either good or they're not. If not, I would think that lower elevation living is in your future.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dan_Cooper:
Originally Posted By mosseybuck:
No, she has had not prior issues. We have discussed the possibility of moving back to a lower elevation if that is the only cure. Thanks for the replies.

Take a two week vacation to a lower elevation and see how things go perhaps?

This really shouldn't be a difficult diagnosis. O2 sat meters are cheap and easy to use. Her O2 levels are either good or they're not. If not, I would think that lower elevation living is in your future.

You can get a decent oxygen meter for $20. Check it at home for a few days.
http://www.amazon.com/50-DL-Pulse-Oximeter-Neck-Wrist/dp/B004BJT9OE

Has her diet changed? Perhaps eating some things with less iron?
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 6:13:19 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Morne:
Might be rheumatoid arthritis. My bride has that, younger than yours.

Joint pain that isn't explained needs investigated. I'm not buying the O2 deprivation angle, but then I'm a flatlander and only keep O2 in my Cessna for when the winds aloft are advantageous above 10K.
View Quote


They have a test for that ( I think )
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 6:26:14 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By zeekh:


They have a test for that ( I think )
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By zeekh:
Originally Posted By Morne:
Might be rheumatoid arthritis. My bride has that, younger than yours.

Joint pain that isn't explained needs investigated. I'm not buying the O2 deprivation angle, but then I'm a flatlander and only keep O2 in my Cessna for when the winds aloft are advantageous above 10K.


They have a test for that ( I think )
They do and I suspect thats exactly whats going on. They test the blood for antibodies produced when RA is present in the body.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 6:37:18 AM EST
Prayers with you both.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 6:42:41 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1extremeGTO:
Sounds to me that a second opinion is needed quickly.
View Quote

And not from GD.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 7:07:14 AM EST
Ok, so not a doctor but did play one on TV and I did stay at a holiday inn express last night, not really, I was working my job as a hospitalist PA.

90% O2 Sat is not a normal walking around sat. Lots of reasons why she could be that low but start with a pulmonologist.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 7:15:39 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1extremeGTO:
Sounds to me that a second opinion is needed quickly.
View Quote


This. If there is a need for sup O2 there is an underling cause. The body would have adapted to the altitude long ago. Her hematocrit should go up as her body found the need for more O2 transpiration.

Find another doc and find out the cause for the issues, don't just treat the symptoms.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 10:49:18 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1extremeGTO:
Sounds to me that a second opinion is needed quickly.
View Quote


Has she been checked for diabetes? Diabetic neuropathy is a very real possibility, and diabetes frequently shows NO symptoms.

Have her checked if she hasn't been.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 10:53:24 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ErikS:


This. If there is a need for sup O2 there is an underlying cause. The body would have adapted to the altitude long ago. Her hematocrit should go up as her body found the need for more O2 transpiration.

Find another doc and find out the cause for the issues, don't just treat the symptoms.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ErikS:
Originally Posted By 1extremeGTO:
Sounds to me that a second opinion is needed quickly.


This. If there is a need for sup O2 there is an underlying cause. The body would have adapted to the altitude long ago. Her hematocrit should go up as her body found the need for more O2 transpiration.

Find another doc and find out the cause for the issues, don't just treat the symptoms.
THIS.
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