Cautiously Optimistic

Tree and night sky

I have been trying to write this post all day but have been super distracted…

I am not feeling well + I’m trying to get some things organized.  My brain is a bit jumbled, but I wanted to share about how my appointment went yesterday!

Things were definitely not what I expected.  I had been told that the doc is super kind but maybe not as thorough as I might like.  It was actually quite the opposite.

He didn’t have the best bedside manner, but he was SUPER thorough.  He went over all of my blood work, all of my medications, and did a nasal endoscopy (super painful).  He came to a few conclusions and has some plans to move forward.

First, the reason why it was super painful is because my nasal passages are swollen and there isn’t much room to get through.  He couldn’t get through on my left nostril, and on my right, he had to push pretty hard.  I made him stop for a minute because I had tears running down my cheeks.  Anyway.  He also found a lot of mucus in my sinuses.  He checked my throat and vocal cords, and all was well there.  That basically means that I don’t have silent reflux.  So since the GI says I don’t have reflux and he found that I don’t have evidence of reflux, it’s time to officially take that off the table.  He wants me to wean off of the really strong reflux med that I’m on.  I have actually read that PPI’s can cause cough, especially if you don’t have reflux… so I guess we’ll see how that goes.

He also told me that I need to try Flonase again and take it for at least 6 weeks before I decide it doesn’t work.  He increased my Gabapentin because apparently it can help people with a chronic cough.

And the biggest thing that happened is that I will be getting a CT scan of my sinuses.  He wants to make sure that there’s nothing going on there before we move forward.  If my sinuses are clear, he wants me to go back to the allergist to get allergy tested, including food allergies since I struggle with dairy so much.  In fact, I might do that anyway.  We’ll see.  I’m also working on a food journal to try to determine triggers.  It’s just so hard because I am always coughing.  It doesn’t come and go.  But it does get worse sometimes, so maybe it’ll help me determine more triggers.  Part of me still thinks I need to do an elimination diet.  We’ll see.  I need to process through that again.  I really do need to be better at consistency with dairy free I guess.  I don’t have it often, but I do have it sometimes.  It’s not usually in large amounts… but I think it doesn’t matter.  If I have it at all, it causes an increase in coughing.

He also mentioned going ahead and seeing a pulmonologist eventually if things don’t get better.  I told him that I have been unsure about that because everything lung wise is “normal” so far.  My chest X-rays have been perfect, I have tested negative for asthma, and my oxygen levels are always fine.  Oh, and my chest always sounds perfectly clear.  I came to him because of my sinus issues and because maybe those sinus issues are causing my chronic cough.

Now for the downsides of my appointment…

I told him that I feel inflammation in my chest, especially when I have dairy, and he said that my blood work shows that I don’t have inflammation.  So just like the allergist, I feel like they think I’m a bit crazy in that way.  Neither of them could truly understand what I am trying to explain, but I guess I don’t know how to explain it either.

He also mentioned that I’m on too many meds, and maybe it’s time to talk to my doctors about reducing that.  I guess that’s not a terrible thing.  But I just fear reducing my mental health meds because every time I try, it backfires.  I explained that to him and he did seem to understand.  We discussed my bipolar and how I feel fine sometimes, then other times I really struggle.  He reminded me that’s the downside of bipolar. I also mentioned to him that all of my doctors so far have looked over my meds countless times and none have cough as a side effect.

So maybe he’s not so bad…

Since I have a plan, I realized today that I probably need to stop obsessing about finding a cause and take it one step at a time.  Maybe I can rest my mind a bit.  It’s hard, though, because I feel bad all the time… so it’s hard to get my mind off of it.  I’m going to try.  I have so many things to be grateful for, and that hasn’t changed.

Alright… now that I finally got my post done after working on it all day, I will head to bed.  I hope to have a positive update somewhat soon… we’ll see!

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