Hi. I definitely have allergies (cats/ragweed) and asthma. For years, I just lived with it, but in the past six, I've gone all out to treat it. Yes, I have a cat in my life on weekends, and it's ragweed season now. However, I've been battling what I think is an infection that everyone keeps telling me is just allergy/asthma.
Two years ago in August, I was sick, vomiting I was so ill. Twice, two weeks apart. From that point on fatigue never left me. Several months later, in February, I came down with a horrible respiratory infection at the same time I was exposed to a huge dose of animal protein.
A few weeks later, my sense to taste altered. I had what is neurological damage to the area in my nose that sense taste. No doctor seemed to care. I could smell the infection. Finally, I did some exploration with a Q-tip. There were open sores in deep in my nose. One opened and drained like an abscess. An ENT and a CT scan, and there was nothing. I begged for antibiotics "for the infection that you don't have that doesn't show up in the CT scan" the ENT said, but he gave me seven days of Levaquin.
One sore in my nose improved on the antibiotic, but the other persisted. I felt better, but couldn't function past 3pm still. I went to a DO. She was shocked, and said that I had a abscess in my tonsil. I was losing my hearing in my right ear, my throat was inflamed. I was in pain from the inflammation. The throat and nose culture were okay. She gave me two rounds of Augmentin and pronounced me cured. This was by August last year.
But, I was still feeling fatigued, and the open sore high in my nose still persisted, but better. Finally, and luckily, I had my first full blown sinus infection last February. My allergist gave me a round of Amoxicillin and then Levaquin. The sore in my nose went away. I was still feeling fatigued, but could actually manage to make dinner.
Now, I could definitely see that antibiotics improved my health, even though I was being told I didn't need them and any improvement was just the anti-inflammatory effect of antibiotics.
On the other hand, I was feeling better and could actually walk a number of blocks and stay awake after 7 pm. So, any excuse for antibiotics. Let me note that I am not one to go to a doctor. I have an unhealthy fear of medical treatment. All of these trips for medical intervention were acts of pure bravery and desperation.
Luckily, I had a tick attach itself to me in June, prophylactic doxycycline. That may have made me feel the best, although I credit Levaquin for clearing up the infection in the flesh in my nose. Doxycycline just made me feel healthy, and gave me endurance.
A couple of weeks ago, a UTI, and with bravery, I faced another dreaded doctor's visit. The nurse asked me how I had gone shopping when I had a UTI. I said compared to how I've felt in the last two years, this is nothing. Seven days of Cipro. Again, I felt better still. What I had been attributing to my lungs and asthma started to improve. The pain in my rib cage and back disappeared. I had asked the doctor if that pain could have been related to a UTI, and she actually laughed at me, telling me my kidneys weren't even close. So, I'm ruling out a kidney infection, particularly because the urine culture came back negative, although I want to see an actual copy of the lab results. She told me that the pain in my shoulder blade and shoulder came from asthma, and I needed to stretch those muscles. That would cure it. Obviously, she's never had asthma.
Every time I have received antibiotics, symptoms go away. I feel better, less fatigued, and what has been attributed to sinusitis, allergies or asthma heal and don't come back. I went to the allergist a couple of weeks ago, and he told me that my nose and throat have never looked this good. I said it was all the antibiotics. I do have a long-term good relationship with him, and I can have conversations and challenge him, but he always defaults to allergies, or he doesn't comment.
Little by little, I peel away the things that I have been attributing the asthma and allergies, and find that they were caused by something else, but no one will believe me.
Right now, I still feel achey, and there's pain under my right shoulder blade and shoulder when I move them. There's pain under my shoulder blade when I take a deep breath. The allergist wants to attribute the malaise to allergies, but I keep getting better and staying better with antibiotic treatment.
When I am actually exposed to a cat, I can feel the spots in my right lung and right side of my nose where it's inflamed where the irritant hits. However, this is not true on the left side anywhere in my body.
I'm fully medicated for allergies, Xyzal, Singulair, Advair, Nosacort, Maxair, and I'm a neti pot master. Now that I've had antibiotics, the allergy treatments actually tend to work.
However, it's the pain in my shoulder and shoulder blade, and in the front of my right chest that makes me think that isn't just asthma. Yes, it could be just tight muscles from spasms. But, take into account the fact that fatigue has improve, the distortion of my sense of taste and the sore in my nose that went away with antibiotics. This is all responding to antibiotics, and not getting worse once I stop. It seems to me that this is acting more like an infection than asthma or allergies, and that allergens irritate what is inflamed from an infection.
Yes, I've had a CT scan of my sinuses--normal. And, a chest x-ray six years ago, and the allergist a couple of weeks ago thought that it was sufficient because it was clear then.
I live in a city know for attracting very good doctors. I just don't know where to turn where someone might listen and believe me. I don't think that what I am dealing with is caused only by exposure to a cat.
Any ideas? I've considered a couple.