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Husband has recurring symptoms but won't go to doctor

I don't know what to do. My husband has been experiencing recurring symptoms over course of 2 years, which involve the following:

Shortness of breath
Trouble breathing
Cough - both dry and wet, depending
Wheezing
Weakness and tiredness/Fatigue
He can't really withstand many activities for long, anymore
Irritability!

His work has suffered from this, although, luckily, he is in tech industry and been able to work from home since Covid shook things up for everyone.

What is troubling is that he has been having a terrible time but absolutely refuses to go see a doctor. He has never liked them very much, so this is nothing new. However, he believes that they can't help him, in this case, because he went to doctor over a year ago and they treated him for Popcorn Lung related to vaping and he didn't feel like what was done really helped him. He was using a prescribed inhaler but stopped after two of them. He said it only helped, minimally. He did stop vaping the cheap juices that were suggested to him as being part of the culprit and that helped him, for awhile. But, eventually, he got worse, again, although he never reverted back to using the same vape juices. He still vapes, however, on a daily basis. I also vape but have never had any of the problems that he is having.

Also, he is a smoker. Not a heavy smoker, but, a few times a day, he smokes a half to whole cigarette.

He did some of his own research and decided that burning thyme, coupled with eucalyptus or tea tree oil would help him to kill bacterias and germs in the surrounding environment that may be contributing to his condition. I believe, based on observing his condition, that this has helped him regulate but not permanently improve.

He also has bad allergies...has had since childhood. He is highly allergic to pollen, dust, pets, etc. This can't be anything other than another layer of icing on the cake.

He has self diagnosed himself as having Covid but never got tested. He did get vaccinated, though.

I do not have any symptons or illness and haven't, throughout the entire two years he has been going through whatever it is he has been afflicted with.

I feel bad that he is sick and has so much trouble breathing but his self treatments are beginning to wear on me. He insists on burning thyme with eucalyptus and/or tea tree oil inside of the house, several times a day or even for much of the day. I am actually ok with it except it is so strong and permeates everything and you can't get the smell out of things exposed on regular basis to the smoke, after time has passed. It can get dustracted and smoke can irritate, at times.

I even caught him smoking a cigarette in the bathroom, last week and I was furious. I can't stand cigarettes and he knows this. I don't think it's helping him. He told me he was too weak to go outside to smoke. He believes that cigarettes are also helping to kill bacteria in the environment. He would not acknowledge that it's also putting carcinogens into our immediate breathing space.

For the tyme/oils, he refuses to work out a way to burn thyme in the yard or in some way to minimize the smell getting into entire rooms of the house. He has even done it in one of our cars - our main vehicle. He will smoke cigarettes in our cars, with or without windows open.

I don't really care if he burns the thyme/oils, except that I think he is relying on his thyme/essential oil treatment too heavily and it's only partially relieving his discomforts. It's a treatment and not an effective remedy.

On top of that, he won't exercise at all. He gets angry when I encourage him to do so. He tells me I'm not a doctor and that exercise isn't going to cure him. I have never suggested to him that exercise would cure him, only that it might improve his condition and make him stronger.

I'm starting to lose my cool over this. Especially, with the cigarettes because I hate them. I love my husband but he is sooo stubborn and not even other family members can convince him to change.

I think his symptons sound more like COPD or even emphysema, although, it's true, I'm not a physician, but, it's scary to think of those. But he resists any of those suggestions. He still thinks he has Covid.

Sorry for lengthy post but I am becoming desperate. I love my husband but this is starting to feel way out of control. Any advice?


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Avatar universal
Okay, first, burning those particular plants won't kill bacteria in the air.  When you say he's burning the oil, oil doesn't burn, the dried plant is what is used as a smudge, so if he's burning oil, how?  Basically, he has something going on with his lungs or his heart, along with whatever else might be going on.  Could be COPD, could be allergies, could be the smoking, could be the vaping.  Could also be aggravated by burning anything and breathing it in.  The only truly strong antibacterial agent he's burning is tea tree oil, but I wouldn't want to breathe in burnt oil.  The essential oils in it are very strong, and anything strong enough to kill bacteria can, if taken in the wrong way or taking too much, also kill us or harm us.  Tea tree oil is most used as a topical antibacterial and antifungal agent and isn't usually swallowed.  Look, there's always bacteria in the air.  You can't kill it all unless you live in a hermetically sealed environment, in which case there's not enough oxygen to breathe.  Your immune system is supposed to take care of that.  He needs a diagnosis, but that doesn't mean he has to do what the doctor tells him to do.  That's up to him, but no matter what form of medicine you choose to use you can only fight back if you know what you're fighting.  But at least tell him to get a good herbal.  If he is going to smudge, don't do tea tree oil or eucalyptus, again, they do have some toxicity.  And thyme is just used that way for ceremonial purposes.  He may have covid.  It's certainly possible, but the vaccine doesn't cure covid, it prevents it from being a serious case if you get it.  If you already have it, the vaccine doesn't cure it.  You're right, he's wrong, he needs to see a doctor or live with it until it kills him, which given the symptoms it might as it worsens.  At the least, he's suffering.  There are natural medicines that can treat some of this stuff, but again, only if you know what you're fighting, and he doesn't.  If he doesn't choose to see a diagnostician of some kind, you can't help him, and since he doesn't seem to know his natural medicine, he can't even help himself.  Peace.
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Your husband is trying to self-treat something undiagnosed. You already know this so I can imagine how frustrating this must be for you.

If he has had popcorn lung diagnosed, it may be a worsening of this or could be one of many lung problems. His symptoms sound asthmatic but with his previous diagnosis and his continuing vaping and smoking it could  be something else. I don’t know what inhaler was prescribed but I am assuming it was a preventer inhaler which is a form of steroid to be inhaled once or twice a day to reduce inflammation in the lungs. It is concerning that this hasn’t helped if he has been using it diligently and daily.

I would think (from experience of others I’ve known with lung problems) that he won’t see a doctor because he does not want to be told he needs to give up smoking and vaping. The addiction to nicotine and the ritual movements of smoking are so addictive for some that they risk their lives rather than be deprived of smoking.

Your husband needs tests and a proper diagnosis. Maybe he could be persuaded to see a different specialist in a different hospital?  I know you are really up against it here. I think you could refuse to let him do the herbal cleansing any more on the basis that it could be harming you and your children.

If he will not see sense, maybe you should consider divorce. No-one should have to put up with such irrational behaviour because their partner will not see a doctor. Maybe he needs you to insist and to draw a line in the sand here.

Best of luck!
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