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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Difficulties breathing & feeling of a lump in the throat

 HippyChick - Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:17 am

Two weeks ago today I was admitted to the Acident & Emergency Dept at my local hospital complaining of difficulties breathing. The main feeling was one of tightness in my throat (below my Adam's Apple, behind and to either side of the base of my larynx), disorientation, cold feet and hands, shaking and disturbed vision. At the time I was probably hyperventilating out of panic, and was suffering from a chest infection. I had recently returned from Bangladesh. The hospital checked my blood oxygen levels (normal), ECG (normal although pulse rate high) and various blood tests for tropical infections (also normal. We are trying to establish which ones they tested for). They kept me in for 24hrs under observation, gave me high doses of intravenous antibiotics and discharged me the next day with a mixed course of 2 further antibiotics which amounted to just over 2000mg/day for 1week. I stayed off work for a week and took it very easy. The chest infection cleared up and I started feeling better, but not normal - still getting very tired, feeling as if my muscles are working slower than normal and a sort of heavyness in my head, neck and sternum (not in my lungs themselves) and my voice keeps changing. Last Monday (the day before yesterday) I returned to work. After only 4 hours, and in the middle of a meeting I had the same symptoms as the previous time - tight feeling in my throat (like there was a ball at the lower front of it), voice going gruff, disorientated / dizzy feeling in my head, heavy head, pressure behind my eyes, like my scalp was crawling, cold feet and hands and shakes. I felt like I was having difficulty breathing (but not as if air wasn't getting into my lungs, more like it wasn't reaching my brain). I made a concious effort not to hyperventilate, so I know my breathing and oxygen levels were OK (they checked this at the hospital shortly afterwards). I was taken to A&E again where they decided it might be an alergic reaction to something that is closing my throat. I was put on a short course of steroids and antihistimine.

However, its now 48hrs after this incident and I'm not convince this is an alergic reaction (I've never had anything like this before). I can still feel this tightness/lump in my throat. The lump feels like its under and just behind my Adams Apple. The tightness/thickness feels like its in the deep tissue on either side of my larynx. I am not experiencing any difficulties swallowing and my trachea feels like its open as usual. However, my voice is still croaky and if I talk for too long, it makes the feeling worse. There is a tiny bit of thick mucous in my larynx but it looks normal. I am aware of my pulse in my neck and head, too. I feel very tired and my eyes feel like they're moving in treacle. My head feels thick and my scalp feels like its crawling sometimes. My sinuses are clear and my nose isn't blocked. The sense of disorientation is still there, like I'm a micro-second behind everything. I tried walking to the local Post Office yesterday (15 minutes each way) and whilst I didn't have problems breathing, I had to make a concious effort to breath and felt like I was walking in treacle the whole way. Had to lie down when I got home. Oh, and my period is late as well (and I'm usually as regular as clockwork - and there's not chance I'm pregnant).

I won't be able to see an alergy specialist until the end of June, but becase I don't feel any tightness in my chest and my throat doesn't feel obstructed from inside I'm not convinced this is an alergy. However, I have no idea what else might be causing this. I'm going to see my Doctor tomorrow morning to discuss the next course of action. Any ideas what might be causing this?

In the meantime, I'm making an appointment to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to check out the feeling in my neck. I'm also trying to find out from the hospital which tests they did on me the other week so that we can rule out infectious diseases (although Chaga's Disease seems to be the only one with any link to symptoms of the throat. By the way, I travel overseas for a living and have been to most continents over the last 15 years so this is not an unlikely option). Other things that might be possibilities include a dental filling that was exposed a few weeks back when half my tooth broke away. I've not had it seen to yet as until I am safe in a Dentists chair, they won't treat me. The alergy option that is currently being checked out is to new cleaning products and carpets at work, they also removed a lot of asbestos during last years refurbishment. This all seems like I'm clutching at straws but until we know what's causing this I'm stuck at home and feeling aprehensive.
 Rhonda P, CEP - Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:34 pm

User avatar Hello HippyChick,

I apologize for the delayed response to your question. You seem to be doing everything as recommended, bloodwork, seeing an ENT and Allergist, looking for changes at work and trying to locate the closest events prior to the episode, etc. You may know what is causing your emergency by now, I hope all is well for you. Please let us know here at the Doctors Lounge what you find and thank you for writing in.
 corrinn - Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:41 pm

dear hippychick,

i wanted to see if you ever received an answer about your symptoms. i often have these exact symptoms and i have had them off and on for about 2 years. the doctors and my family has attributed these symptoms to anxieties. have you ever explored this possibility? i am still not convinced that there is not something wrong with my throat that is causing all of these other symptoms.

please let me know if you found out anything through your explorations.

thank you,

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