Struck in stomach / stomach pain, bloating, trouble breathing
Hello -- I want to thank you right off the bat for reading this. I'm a 20 year old female, and about one month ago as I was laying in bed, my cat (he's huge, and very powerful) jumped from the windowsill over my bed and pounced me in the upper stomach, a few inches above my belly button, between the lower parts of my ribs. I was winded, and about five or ten minutes later became very shaky and light-headed, and had to run immediately to the bathroom, where I ... eliminated, copiously. Ever since then, I've been having problems with my stomach and breathing.
Symptoms: In the area that I was pounced, I feel very tense all the time, like I'm actually tensing the muscles, even though I'm not. I've been bloating as well - several times a day, doesn't matter if I've eaten recently or not, and usually I look like I'm pregnant. My stomach feels squirmy and gassy, and I get sharp pains -- migratory, sometimes under my ribs like someone's squeezing them, sometimes a sharp pain in the center of my stomach, in my lower stomach on the right or left sides above my hips, and once in my back, on the left side under my ribs. Usually the pain is very sharp but will go away after ten or twenty minutes -- often times it's exacerbated when I breathe in, making the breathing itself painful.
As for the breathing, I already have asthma, but in the past month I've often feel like I can't get a deep enough breath, like the pits of my lungs are burning or being squeezed very tightly.
I've also had some popping in my ears and sinus trouble in my nose, and a very rapid heart beat (to the point where standing and walking around will make me dizzy because my heart pounds so fast) The last month I've spent most of the time lying in bed. Some days I'll abruptly feel fantastic - I'll eat well, be alert, laughing. Then a day later, I'll be back in bed, out of it and hardly caring what's going on around me, and getting a fast heartbeat/panicking state every time my stomach bloats up.
I've been to several doctors for this in the past month. No one's been able to figure out what's going on, and just keep referring me to other people. I've had an ultrasound of my abdomen and an echocardiogram of my heart, both of which were normal. My regular physician put me on an antibiotic for a week, and my mood/alertness did increase, if the bloating didn't change. But after that week, I went right back to square one. I saw a gastroenterologist today, who did mention my trouble could be in my colon, but he had no other information for me (I'm on here now because that appointment today rather enraged me -- an hour and forty-five minutes in the waiting room for his assistant to examine my stomach, proclaim I didn't have cancer, and the doctor to sweep in for three minutes, say it was probably just stress and he'll see me again in two months. Not good enough!)
I just wanted to get my information out there and see if anyone else had any suggestions. All of this stemmed after I received the sharp jab to my upper stomach -- could the cat have just aggravated my colon or something? Any advice you can give would be so greatly appreciated.
I'll throw a few ideas out to you, see if any of it makes sense. On the tummy injury, where you say the muscles tense up, that's muscle spasm. Usually that happens from a muscle injury (even your diaphram that controls breathing) or from a nerve injury. On your asthma getting out of hand, it's spring and your cat may be blowing her coat for the summer, so might be dust bunnies are irritating your sinuses. Some medications for asthma can make the heart jump all over the place, and if you've been extra sick, could be perhaps you've used your inhaler more or taken a little more medicine for it, and that'll do the heart thing. LIkewise, if your sinuses are goofed up, it'll cause that ear popping.
It bothers me to no end, too, that you go to docs, and there IS something wrong, to where you're really having a lot of serious problems, and instead of looking and looking until they find the answer, they send you out the door. Bummer. I can't help but think the reason the antibiotic helped you for a little while is it either combated the probable slight sinus infection you may have, or it combated the internal bleeding and slough-off of damaged muscle tissue from the "cat injury."
The best advice I can offer is to visit your allergist and see about improving your medication treatment, in case the cat fur is getting out of hand without you really realizing it. Also, whenever your tummy gets gassy, take an ordinary alka seltzer, it will help release the gas and thus the pain will decrease, and it will also help with the bad bruise you must have had to your stomach and/or diaphram muscles. To make the muscle spasms stop, you can ask your regular doctor for some anti-spasm medication, because you can't exactly massage your stomach, and also ask him to go ahead and perhaps order a scan of your chest and abdomen, to make sure the cat didn't actually badly tear your muscles or diaphram, and do this especially if you have noticed blue color on your chest and stomach (and which you already get swelling there).
Thanks so much for your response! I'll definitely try to get my doctor to order a scan of my chest/abdomen -- he did place an order in for a CT scan, but my insurance refused to cover it. As I'm not getting any better though, I'm this close to paying for the CT myself. I haven't noticed any blue coloring, but I definitely want to get all my bases covered, in case there is internal damage. (Side note: would that show on an ultrasound, damage to the muscles or diaphragm? Because that test was normal, at any rate.)
As for the heart, I went to a cardiologist yesterday and he said I have a leaky heart valve that's causing a lot of the rapid heart rate/panic attack-like symptoms. He couldn't account for the stomach troubles, though. Unfortunately, he recommended a beta-blocker, forgetting that I have asthma and those can be dangerous, so we have to get back in touch with him on that front and see about lowering the dosage or if there's something else to calm down my adrenaline rushes.
At any rate, I'll definitely look into the chest/abdomen scan. Thanks again for your thoughtful response!
Oh yes, then, the ultrasound should be enough, especially since you didn't get a bruise. Just so you know, some beta blockers will not aggravate asthma, which they are: Acebutolol, Atenolol (I took that one), Bisoprolol, Esmolol, Metoprolol. But most definitely DO check with the doc, just to make sure, like you had planned.
I think in general your cat hurt your tummy muscles, which probably even triggered your digestive tract muscles to move outta nowhere like they did, and perhaps the muscle spasms there are causing gas, so until it heals up on its own, some alka seltzer ought to help with that, so can a little noncaffeine soda or milk, and also you must try to rest and relax your tummy as much as you can. Heat might help it too, and keep in mind pains further down in the digestive tract are likely gas pains (it can hurt a lot) or just muscle spasms setting off digestion again.
I also think you should separate the three problems you have. You have asthma, you have a leaky heart valve, and you have just sustained a bad injury to your abdomen. Throw into that various medications for asthma, and soon one for the heart, it is indeed hard to tell "who is on first." You did not say anything about your asthma medications, so review those. But with this new information you provided about the leaky valve, well, that tells me A LOT about your general health.
If you will have your asthma meds reviewed, get the proper beta blocker or whatever heart drug on board, and try to give your tummy a rest and treat bloating and gas the way I've described, plez post back in a few days, and let us know how things are going, and what symptoms still remain. I hope NOTHING is bothering you by then, but if so, THEN perhaps we can distinguish which of your three health issues is at work here and what injury you still have from your heavy cat jumping on your unprotected stomach.
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