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Major fluid retention, swelling, shallow breathing...HELP!!!! Major fluid retention, swelling, shallow breathing...HELP!!!!

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Unread 04-08-2004, 11:28 PM
Major fluid retention, swelling, shallow breathing...HELP!!!!

What is wrong with me!!???

I had a TAH on May 13, 2003. I recovered fairly well from it, had an "extended" time out because my boss decided to replace me when I had my hyst. Another story, another time.

I've been taking Premarin since about 8 weeks after the surgery. I had no real side effects, if you don't count the complete loss of my sex drive. Again, another story. it is 11 months later. I've noticed in the last 2 months, the weight gain. I wasn't small, but I have maintained the same weight for years and years, and I even lost 15 lbs after the surgery. So not only have I gained the 15 back, I had added probably close to another 15 and I am miserable!
And, the FLUID is really, really bad. I have watched my salt intake, and my hands and fingers are not normally the problem. It is around the MIDDLE, below the bra and above the navel, I am very bloated and swollen. Then it moves down to my legs (really aches in my knees), and in my ankles it gets really bad, often by the end of the day.

As well, my breathing is much more shallow than usual, and I often find myself struggling for that good, deep, breath from deep in the belly. And, forget doing anything strenuous. Just walking up a flight of stairs has started to exhaust me.
I don't have constipation or any digestive issues, other than way too much gas these days. What is that about!?

I went to my doc, ended up having to see a PA instead, and she only gave me some diuretic pills, told me to watch my salt intake, took some blood and sent me on my way. I had liver and kidney functions checked, as well as thryoid and all came back normal. They basically did a full metabolic panel on me. Actually, my cholesterol and blood sugar were pretty decent. Nothing really came of the diuretics since I am allergic to sulphur and I started to have a reaction, so I only ever took one pill. The PA prescribed a second type of water pill, but it had the same ingredient so I didn't take it.

What is wrong with me!??? I am really, really starting to get scared. I want to get to the bottom of this problem, but I don't know if I should see my regular Dr, or a new gyno ( had the surgery 70 miles away, and have no local known gyn dr).

Someone help!!

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Unread 04-09-2004, 12:37 AM
Major fluid retention, swelling, shallow breathing...HELP!!!!


A couple of things come to mind when I read your post. This sort of swelling can be consistent with lymphedema (in which case diuretics aren't particularly effective) or congestive heart failure (perhaps from high blood pressure).

You'd need to start with a good internist. I'd call the office and be very firm about seeing a physician rather than the P.A. The P.A.s can follow you -- once a diagnosis has been established. But this really needs to be looked into .

Something that I found helpful to prove my lymphedema to my internist and my GYN was to take measurements of various "parts" at various times of day. My belly can go up as much as four inches in a day; right leg particularly goes up a couple of inches during the day. I wear support stockings daily now (although I'm not looking forward to it come summer here in L.A.) and they help somewhat, however, I stand all day at work. I walk a great deal too, to keep in some semblance of shape.

There are lymphedema specialists, if that's what it is, but first you need to rule out the possibility of CHF -- it's more common than you'd think. As far as the diuretic allergy, I'd call your pharmacist, explain your dilemma, and ask what products you can safely take. You can then take that list to your doctor if diuretics are necessary.

I sure hope you get some answers, but it's time to treat this with some urgency. If it is CHF, it's much easier to treat the earlier you can get diagnosed. Struggling to breathe is an emergency, in my book, and needs prompt treatment, not just some labwork and a prescription. There is one lab value that would be helpful; it's called BNP (brain-naturetic peptide, but that's another story ) and it's elevated in CHF.

Please, call the doctors' office in the morning and let them know about the breathing. Such increasing shortness of breath is NOT normal -- and must be diagnosed so it can be treated properly.

Keep us posted, OK? And if your breathing gets worse, or dramatically changes, it's a "run, don't walk" to the emergency room -- via 911 (it's a fact that you get treated earlier, and outcomes are better, if you come in by ambulance -- so you have to get over the embarassment factor).

You'll be in my prayers and thoughts. I'll want to know what you find out!

Unread 04-09-2004, 07:28 PM
Major fluid retention, swelling, shallow breathing...HELP!!!!

Oh ((((Jen))))) I'm so sorry that you've been having such a hard time lately

While I wouldn't have a clue as to what could be the cause for this relatively sudden weight gain/swelling, you've already gotten some valuable information from ((((Audrey)))). And I agree with her: it's time to insist that you see the doctor instead of the PN

And, as (((Audrey))), please take it seriously should the symptom increase, especially the difficulties breating.

Sending lots of s your way. Please keep us posted.

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