I am a 52 year old female with rapidly declining health. I was diagnosed with probable MS twelve years ago and until about three years ago was doing pretty well, employed full-time, remodelling a 100 year old house on the weekends, climbing ladders, gardening, shovelling the driveway etc. I lost my job in 2007 after contracting a MRSA infection. The pain and fatigue I had been dealing with off and on for years became a 24/7 condition. In 2008, an episode of severe pain in my lower back had me walking with a walker for about two weeks and it has been seriously downhill ever since. I was forced to move in with my parents.
In March or 2009, I suddenly developed a cough, severe pain in my ribs, a rash on my legs that looked like psoriasis, but faded after a few weeks (just before I finally got to see the dermatologist!) runs of PVC's and pain in my thoracic spine.
To date, the PVC's are getting much worse, 20-40 second runs of bigeminy with a few normal beats only to start another run. This lasts for hours at a time EVERY day. After a few hours of this the cough becomes productive. Afternoons and evenings are particularly bad. I was walking/swimming for 30-60 minutes daily, but have had to give that up because any activity now brings on the PVC's and cough. My cardiologist is unconcerned even though a recent chest CT revealed that I have a 4 cm aortic root aneurysm.
My pulmonologist says I am just overweight and out of shape. I tried to tell her that the 30 lb weight gain has happened within a year and has been a consequence of having to give up exercising. I also suspect some fluid retention is responsible since I can lose 2-3 lbs over night and pee like a racehorse. I get up to void 3-5 times a night. A good night is only twice.
My cardiologist says "You think about the PVC's too much" even though I truly forget about them until they hit, which is so often now that it's hard not to notice. ALso, coughing spasms that make me choke and gag (I have NEVER had a productive cough in my life until now) really get my attention. I am thinking about the PVC'S now because I am writing about them, but am not having any because it is morning.
I had a sleep study that indicated that I have frequent respiratory effort arousals, up to 29 times an hour and confirmed that I had 30 second bursts of bigeminy during sleep. Three spirometry reports showed some sort of expiratory restriction, albeit small. No one is concerned, yet the fact remains the cough & pvc's continue to worsen.
I feel so dismissed and let down by the medical community. If it were not for my strong faith in God, I would truly be distraught.