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Author Topic: New to forum - female problems  (Read 128 times)

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Offline Smitten

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New to forum - female problems
« on: August 23, 2014, 09:32:56 PM »
I have suffered from HA for at least 15 or more years. My first real experience was right after the birth of my son 14 years ago. After two or three trips to the ER in a year, I finally accepted the anxiety diagnosis and started meds. Things have been good - stressful job keeps me busy and so does raising a teenager. I went off meds about 2 years ago. I was doing ok - then last summer my son had to have an ER appendectomy - a few months later my mom was dx with breast cancer - stage 1 triple x. They scared me to death with the genetic testing. Mom just finished chemo and radiation and doing well. I was with her during the whole thing but it was tough.

In February, I started experiencing perimenopause (I believe) even though blood tests say my hormone levels are normal. I've been regular my whole life, so things started changing - like length, etc. I all of the sudden had a 20 day period - periods every two weeks, then no period for two months. Then I woke up one morning with dizziness/lightheadedness (never had that before). Felt like my head shifted when I rolled over in bed. All day if I looked down or tilted head back I was unsteady. This got better the next day but for days after certain head movements caused issues with balance. I went to doctor - diagnosed with inner ear issues and put on flonase nasal spray. About a month into it I got pretty sick, back cold, noticed the spray was starting to burn my nostrils. My mom (who now wears a wig because of chemo) was grilling burgers one Sunday afternoon and the grill caught on fire. I didn't want her close to fire, so I tried to put it out myself. Later that day I started smelling smoke all of the sudden. Like cigarette smoke (don't smoke myself). This went on for a few days, so called doctor and told to stop flonase immediately because this is a side effect. After a week, went back because concerned still smelling smoke (can still smell other things - smell smoke when not trying to smell anything at all). Put on antibiotics - smell goes away. A week or so later - it comes back for a few weeks. Smell goes away for a month, last week comes back. Always seems to be when I'm on my period (sorry for TMI) but I am having irregular periods - two months without a period and no smoke smell for over a month during that time.

I decided to call doctor back, and now she wants to do a CT Scan with contrast and has referred me to ENT. I'm scared to death of a BT (yes I googled it). I know I shouldn't have but I did. Now I'm thinking back to the last few months remembering neck pain/tension/tightness. A few headaches here and there (maybe 2 or 3 in last 3 months). I'm remembering eye twitching for a few weeks, eye pain, numbness in my cheek (feels numb but when I touch it actually isn't). I'm worrying myself sick.

I am trying to be realistic - I've done some research and there are blogs and sites that talk about perimenopause symptoms, which I'm obviously experiencing. With my HA, I just keep over thinking this and worrying too much. What will happen to my family if I have a BT? I am not strong enough to handle something like this. I'm half tempted to cancel the CT Scan.

I've had every test possible the last few months due to all of these symptoms. Ultrasound of uterus (no problems), EKG (good but one little flattened benign t waive I've apparently had for more many years but otherwise normal), good colonoscopy results, good mammogram and annual exam results, good blood results. But this darn smoke smell has me baffled!

Any advice would be appreciated. Sorry for rambling. I've been reading and researching posts for weeks now and just got the nerve to finally post. I've never had a CT scan and I think I'm more worried over this than any of the other tests.
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Offline Slangevar

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Re: New to forum - female problems
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 12:05:08 AM »
What kind of CT scan is it - a head scan?  Head scans have some of the lowest radiation levels of CT scans - a little over two times what you'd get from your yearly mammogram, which isn't much. So while I agree you should be careful about keeping your radiation dose low, this one ain't so bad.

Most of the symptoms you mentioned do sound like perimenopause. I'm having the same symptoms and have been through three ultrasounds, all normal. My doc says I'm in perimenopause (which can last 10 years), but he won't do hormone tests because he says your hormones fluctuate all the time in peri. He said it could go on like this for years or for a couple of cycles and then go back to normal for a year or two. "If it's a problem, we can put you on the pill." He's been doing this for longer than I've been alive so I trust him. :-)

The smell thing is weird, but not necessarily BT weird. I had an inner ear infection about 8 years ago. Terrible. My doc originally prescribed a nasal allergy drug, but I couldn't handle it. I took Claritin for a while, but eventually weaned myself off of it. I finally went to an ENT, who prescribed LPR (a silent form of GERD, which is common among people with anxiety) and nasal staph. I started taking Prilosec and had two courses of Mupirocin (a nasal antibiotic) and boom - no more ear or sinus problems.

What I'm saying is - it could very well be nothing. It's good you're getting it checked out, but in the absence of truly scary symptoms (e.g. suddenly not being able to type, seizures, etc.), I think you probably don't have a brain tumor... just crazy hormones and maybe some sinus/ear issues.

Good luck with the CT if you decide to do it!  Let us know what the results are!
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Offline Smitten

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Re: New to forum - female problems
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2014, 12:09:49 AM »
Thanks! I will let you know. I've read a lot about phantom smells on this site and on perimenopause sites as well. Seems a lot of people experience them, but because I also know they can be a symptom of a BT, I can't seem to get past that! I am positive I'm in peri, and my doctor mentioned putting me on progesterone, but I am not ready for that yet. If I keep feeling this way, I might have to consider something! Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.
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Offline Slangevar

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Re: New to forum - female problems
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 12:20:27 AM »
Having been in perimenopause for at least 6 months or more, I can tell you it's a non-stop grab bag of surprises. I have symptoms in all sorts of weird places that turn out to be hormone-related once I chart them. And I'm not talking about hot flashes or the stuff they tell you about on commercials. I'm talking about sore throats, acid reflux, digestive issues, migraines - you name it.

I think they conveniently forget to tell us about the 10 YEARS of weirdness we have to endure before we even get to menopause because we'd just throw in the towel.  ::)
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Offline Smitten

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Re: New to forum - female problems
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2014, 12:26:11 AM »
I know! I have digestive issues as well, and I had a migraine for the first time back in March. I chart everything, too, and even the weird sense of smell ~ all of the problems come around my cycle which leads me to believe everything is hormone related. The digestive issues are particularly irritating.
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Offline Slangevar

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Re: New to forum - female problems
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 01:54:14 AM »
The migraine I mentioned was my first, as well. I felt so bad for my sister, BIL and DH, who've had them their entire lives! 

Anyway, welcome to the club, Smitten. :-)
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