About 3 months after my first pregnancy, I started coughing. This turned into a nasty sinus infection and I lost my voice. My primary care physician refused to prescribe me antibiotics because it was a virus.
A couple of months later, the same thing happened. Again, the claim was a virus and no antibiotics were prescribed.
This scenario happened again and finally I said to my physician, “Why does this keep happening? I’ve been to you three times in the past 6 months yet for the past 5 years I only saw you for my annual physical. Why do I keep getting sick?”
Her answer was “You have a kid in daycare. You have bad luck.” Again, no antibiotics were prescribed.
After that appointment, I seemed to get sick less yet I would still cough and lose my voice. It was very annoying because my patients thought I was sick when I wasn’t.
During my second pregnancy, I got really sick - I missed a week of work which if anyone knows me, I NEVER miss work. I never miss because I rarely am sick.
I could not get rid of my cough. I called the physician again and she refused to prescribe me anything. This was awful. I am pregnant and coughing. My ears are painful and stopped up. I feel absolutely awful. I call my Ears, Nose, Throat specialist who treated me when I had mononucleosis.
When I saw him and he looked at my ears, he was angry! “Why didn’t you get in here sooner?”
I told him all that had been happening. He looked at me dumbfounded and said, “You do not have bad luck. You have a double ear infection and your throat is so raw that you have vocal cord damage.”
He prescribed me a 14-day double dose antibiotic. I started feeling better in a few days and when I went for my follow-up, he recommended that I have an upper endoscopy.
I saw a vocal therapist for the upper endoscopy and she discovered an ulcer on my larynx!
Apparently, I had acid reflux so bad that it created the ulcer and that is why I kept coughing. This created continued irritation in my throat so my body produced more mucous which kept leading to the sinus infection and ear infection. This is not my area of expertise but this is the way I understood it.
Finally, I had answers!
Now I could get the treatment I needed to ease the acid reflux, help the ulcer on my larynx heal, and restore my vocal cords so I could speak without losing my voice.
Several weeks of vocal therapy + a change in diet did the trick. No more coughing. No more laryngitis. No more sickness.
I share this story because as a patient, it is important to be persistent. I tell my patients that they know their body better than anyone else. They live in it every day! If they think something isn’t right, then they need to speak up.
Sometimes my patients say, “I don’t want to complain. It probably is nothing…”
Except that it is something. If patients don’t complain when they come see me, then I can’t help them. If I don’t have all the information, then I can make the best decision for their care.
If you aren’t getting answers, be persistent. Don’t give up. Keep searching for someone who will listen. Not sure where to go? I will listen. I may not be the first person you should start with and if I’m not, I will be the first to tell you that.
Then again, I may be the exact person you should start sharing your complaints with about your aches and pains. I want to help you and I want to chat with you. Why not start a conversation with me by clicking here for a FREE Discovery Visit?
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