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Old 08-12-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Okay, I apologize that this is a slightly long story, but I am so frustrated right now....

So, I have always been really healthy - in spite of my obesity. Never needed medications for anything. Until this spring, the last time I had been on any meds was 12 years ago when I had strep throat. But, since this spring, things have been very different...

In April I got 2 Bartholin's cysts (warning - not for the squeamish) one of which required surgery under general anaesthetic. Then, I had a recurrence in July that required another surgery.

I have started having what I think are gallbladder attacks seemingly randomly over the past 2 months. (which I am currently documenting in order to talk to my doctor.)

This week, I got pink eye (I am a developmental psychologist and work with kids) in both eyes, and now, I have developed an abscess on my bum that will, thankfully, not require surgery - just another round of antibiotics (my 4th since April).

I am starting to be really worried that something is messed up in my immune system. I mean, I never got sick -for years! Not even the sniffles in winter.

Why now? This is my reward for eating healthy food and exercising?

Sorry to whine. I just don't know how to make the doctors listen to me and stop seeing these things in isolation.

Peace, Heather
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:45 PM   #2
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Have you been checked for diabetes ?
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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bargoo.. no, but I will add that to the list I am keeping - along with PCOS and Crohn's disease.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:59 PM   #4
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This might not be what you want to hear, but the fact that you're dealing with a number of smallish issues over the course of a few months doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong with your immune system -- for most people, it's unusual to not ever get sick at all, and what you're describing (with the exception of possible gallbladder attacks) are not related disease states. Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) is extremely contagious, and spreads like crazy if you touch your eyes after touching an infected person (even yourself, you may have spread it from one eye to the other).

The other two items (cysts and abcess) indicate that your immune system is fighting something, but that "something" could be as simple as a blocked pore (in the case of the abcess) or gland (cyst). Just out of curiosity, when did you start working in your current job? I'm just wondering if you've recently started working or enjoying some other past time (maybe a health club) that brings you into more contact with people than before, and therefore brings your immune system into more challenging situations?
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:01 PM   #5
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Nah, you're part of the 10% club like me -- NEVER have medical issues, but it all started a few years ago: gall bladder out, kidney stone, tonsillectomy, pitutiary tumor...

I'm pretty sure it has NOTHING to do with your immune system. Pink eye is pretty common for everyone, especially if you work with kids. Be grateful you didn't catch cooties!!! Gall bladder can be a hangover from either years of dieting (high protein in particular) or just happens -- again, really common.

I would be concerned about immune problems IF you had thrush or chronic vaginitis or oral ulcers. I would be concerned about diabetes IF I was experiencing frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, and insatiable thirst. I'm pretty sure this is just the confluence of previous history and current life creating a perfect medical storm, so to speak.

Cheer up! At least you haven't had kidney stones (yet...)

Kira

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Old 08-12-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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I feel your pain. Until I was 20, I never had any health problems whatsoever, aside from my PCOS (which was under control and has been under control since I was 18). Then suddenly I had kidney problems and diabetes, and since then I've gained (or maybe just realized?) about a million allergies.

I asked my doctor I should be worried of an autoimmune disorder, but she said I'm just unlucky. :P

Edited to add: However, I should also say that despite my problems, I don't have the problems of other women in my family: skin cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. So I'm unlucky in some areas but really lucky in others. I would rather be allergic to dairy than be in risk of a heart attack.

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Old 08-12-2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiramira View Post
Nah, you're part of the 10% club like me -- NEVER have medical issues, but it all started a few years ago: gall bladder out, kidney stone, tonsillectomy, pitutiary tumor...

I'm pretty sure it has NOTHING to do with your immune system. Pink eye is pretty common for everyone, especially if you work with kids. Be grateful you didn't catch cooties!!! Gall bladder can be a hangover from either years of dieting (high protein in particular) or just happens -- again, really common.

I would be concerned about immune problems IF you had thrush or chronic vaginitis or oral ulcers. I would be concerned about diabetes IF I was experiencing frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, and insatiable thirst. I'm pretty sure this is just the confluence of previous history and current life creating a perfect medical storm, so to speak.

Cheer up! At least you haven't had kidney stones (yet...)

Kira

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Old 08-12-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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Big hugs. I know medical stuff can be so frustrating and it seems to come in bunches. I don't think you need to be too alarmed about your immune system though. I agree that it is probably a run of bad luck coincidentally timed with your new lifestyle. I will say I had a bit of episodes that I too thought were gall bladder not too long after I got to my stopping weight when I lost weight and had similar thoughts of "NOW my body is going to fuss??!?" but they went away. I never did figure out what was going on there but I don't really think gall bladder stuff is about weight because almost everyone I know who has had theirs out was pretty healthy weight.

Hang in there. You're doing the right things living at a healthy weight. When I had my spell of bad medical stuff last year, I was grateful I had gotten the weight thing under control because I quickly learned I wasn't all that gracious of a patient! LOL

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Old 08-12-2009, 11:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
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and now, I have developed an abscess on my bum that will, thankfully, not require surgery - just another round of antibiotics (my 4th since April).
Did your doctor culture the bug from your bum? We are seeing a lot more people with nasty staph, the kind that is resistant to a lot of antibiotics, and the only way to treat it effectively is to do a culture and sensitivity and get the right medication for it. Sometimes these reoccur despite antibiotic treatment and some people tend to carry the bug around, in the nose, armpits, groin and anal area. It is also becoming more common in gym settings where people pick it up from using equipment not properly cleaned in between use. The fact that you had the Bartholin gland infection and now the one on you bottom make me think of that right away. I would definitely want to know what bug is causing the problem.
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:40 PM   #10
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Anne - that was where my head went too - multiple infections in the same area that required treatment might indicate staph infection. So if you haven't been cultured, you might want to ask your doctor!
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:36 AM   #11
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Heather, I've had a cyst in my bartholin's gland as well (it's been coming and going for 7 months...I think it's completely blocked) and my doctor told me to take hot baths and soak for at least 20 minutes (as long as you can take it). What worked best for me (though it's just a temporary fix because I truly have a clogged gland where nothing gets out) is drinking fresh vegetable juice with a 1/2 onion and 1 clove of garlic in it. It wipes out my cyst completely. But of course, it comes back when I'm "sexually aroused" LOL!
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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I work with kids too and I was getting pink eye all of the time and it was driving me crazy. I figured out that it was probably coming from my fake nails. I got rid of the nails and the pink eye. Gross, huh?
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:53 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the suggestions and sympathy, ladies.

I had a fever last night (which has broken now) and am feeling more mentally stable now. I think the idea of a staph infection is an interesting one - especially since my primary doctor is not convinced the third Bartholin's was actually that. Definitely worth investigating.

As for the pink eye, I know it is highly contagious and really not a big deal... it was just like insult to injury. LOL

I have also wondered if this is stress related. I am finishing my first year of grad school and I am struggling with it... I honestly don't know if this is the life I want, if I am wasting my time... etc. So, there is a lot going on. Stress does wonky things to the immune system.

Anyway, thanks for all the help.

Heather
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:37 PM   #14
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Ask your Doc to do a culture of the next infection you get. Most do not and simply order antibiotics, which can be a waste of time and money if their not effective.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:02 PM   #15
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So, I went to my regular doctor today (I go to school out of town, so I am often dealing with walk-in clinics or student health services), and he took a culture of the abscess. I have another appt for Monday, so we should have a better idea of what is going on. He definitely agreed that it is likely a staph infection.

Thanks for all your help, chickies!

Heather
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