Friday, March 12, 2010

Diagnosis

I saw my doctor today and while I was skeptical listening to her thoughts on what is wrong with me, I am now a bit more agreeable to the idea having done some research on the internet. She thinks I have acid reflux. She wants me to go do some test involving swallowing barium to confirm this diagnosis.

When I looked up acid reflux in combination with "shortness of breath", I found something called "silent reflux", which is another name for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR). LPR can cause something called a laryngospasm, which among other things, can cause shortness of breath. A number of other symptoms that I have but I thought were unrelated now look to be linked to this.

So my doctor is probably right, but I am not sure I want to do this barium swallow thing to confirm it. I am already convinced. If I do the barium swallow and the diagnosis is confirmed, then she can prescribe a bunch of drugs for the condition. I don't want to go that route unless I have to.

So I am now looking into alternative treatments. I have a couple of leads on possibilities, mostly involving dietary changes (give up coffee, cheese and chocolate! no more curry, no more burritos, no more milk! drink carrot juice! eat cabbage! omigod, the drugs are starting to sound good!), and a Chinese doctor (Chinese, and he practices Chinese medicine) that Isaac and Gretel like.

Here's another interesting thing about having universal healthcare: it only covers conventional medicine so one's inclination is to follow that since it is cheaper. But if all health practice costs were covered (or alternatively you had to pay for them all), then one might go the alternative route a little more readily. But at this point I know that whatever treatment I opt for, it's going to cost me and frankly, I'd rather spend my money on food and herbs and acupuncture treatments than on acid reflux drugs.

I am getting kind of bored with this endless description of my health problems, so I think I am going to try to lay off for awhile.

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