The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

I'm not a doctor but… 
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
Forum rules
The information / discussion in the Cycling Health Forum is not qualified medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:27 pm

Five years ago I went through the agony of a kidney stone and its subsequent surgical removal and since that period - and the six or eight week build-up to it - I have been well aware of the symptoms.

For the past six or eight months I have felt like another kidney stone episode was looming. Lots of discomfort in the side, back and lower abdomen for moderate periods of time and then back to normal but with the periods of intensity slowly increasing.

This morning I went to see my doc about it. I explained it all, peed in a bottle so he could stick a litmus strip in it, answered all his questions then had a solid physical examination which involved him prodding, poking, pushing, pulling, bending, wobbling and twisting various bits of my body, mostly my legs, back and stomach.

The wash-up? I have damaged a big muscle group in my back and up one side of my body. In fact he was more interested in a sore hip which he thinks might be arthritic and wants to examine further after seeing x-rays.

This episode demonstrates for me (again) what an old Chinese doctor once told me about pain not always being what we think it is and not always caused by what we think might be the cause.

And now, more than ever, I think I will give up completely on self-diagnosis. After all, doctors train for years to learn this stuff I only think I might know about.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2891
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

by BNA » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:36 pm

BNA
 

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:36 pm

Doctors train for years, but your body tells you things as well... sometimes self diagnosis works, especially on mechanical issues.
Image
User avatar
toolonglegs
 
Posts: 14455
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:49 pm
Location: Somewhere with padded walls and really big hills!

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby rustychisel » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:36 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Doctors train for years, but your body tells you things as well... sometimes self diagnosis works, especially on mechanical issues.


agreed, not to mention the GP (I no longer see) who knew bugger all about cycling and thus was no earthly help to me.
rustychisel
 
Posts: 3386
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:39 pm

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby find_bruce » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:00 pm

There are times when I think that I am coming down with hypochondria
Image
User avatar
find_bruce
 
Posts: 3842
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby Ozkaban » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:23 am

find_bruce wrote:There are times when I think that I am coming down with hypochondria

:mrgreen:
Ozkaban
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:18 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:05 am

find_bruce wrote:There are times when I think that I am coming down with hypochondria


Take two aspirin and see yourself in the morning.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2891
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby Oxford » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:57 am

GM, I know what you are going through. About 4 years ago I had a lot of pain in my jaw and constant headaches. Having had a TMJ problem and at the time doing a lot of cycling put it down to the TMJ and fatigue/dehydration. Didn't worry about it too much. Then I had a CT scan in preparation for elective surgery (rhinoplasty to fix an ongoing sinus problem). Turned out I had a benign cyst (we know that now, didn't know that at the time of diagnosis) in my sinus cavity and upper maxillary area, the size of a golf ball. It had actually pulled my wisdom tooth out of the jaw and was pushing it into my eye cavity, also killed off all the teeth in the back of my jaw. Needless to say the rhinoplasty was put off for surgery to remove the cyst and wisdom teeth. I now have to have a CT scan every year to ensure no return of the cyst. And now get very particular about any sort of pain in the area and never second guess it anymore.
Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.
- Lewis Mumford
User avatar
Oxford
 
Posts: 5146
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby chriscole » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:32 am

@Oxford

Unless you have metal in you somewhere that precludes it, it might be an idea to have a friendly chat with your GP about having regular MRI scans rather than yearly CTs to monitor recurrence of your cyst. Though if your aim _is_ to glow in the dark... keep up the CTs... ;-)
chriscole
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:26 pm

Oxford wrote:GM, I know what you are going through. About 4 years ago I had a lot of pain in my jaw and constant headaches. Having had a TMJ problem and at the time doing a lot of cycling put it down to the TMJ and fatigue/dehydration. Didn't worry about it too much. Then I had a CT scan in preparation for elective surgery (rhinoplasty to fix an ongoing sinus problem). Turned out I had a benign cyst (we know that now, didn't know that at the time of diagnosis) in my sinus cavity and upper maxillary area, the size of a golf ball. It had actually pulled my wisdom tooth out of the jaw and was pushing it into my eye cavity, also killed off all the teeth in the back of my jaw. Needless to say the rhinoplasty was put off for surgery to remove the cyst and wisdom teeth. I now have to have a CT scan every year to ensure no return of the cyst. And now get very particular about any sort of pain in the area and never second guess it anymore.


This mortality thing really sucks, doesn't it? :(
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2891
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby Ginantonicus » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:38 pm

I've had the total opposite problem with self-diagnosis. I've always had pain in my quads in the area above my knee when riding. I thought it was just that I was new to riding and it would take time for my body to adjust. After a while I got annoyed about the pain so I sat down a figured out that the problem was weak Glutes. So I went to the Physio And said I have sore knees, I think its my Glutes" (well, that's the abbreviated version). Two trips to the physio later he said I have weak Glutes. So he gave me some exercises to do to strengthen them. Then a few weeks later I heard about tilted hips and on a trip to the physio I mentioned that I thought the weak Glutes where being caused by tilted hips and I was right. Me 2 physio 0.
Ginantonicus
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:48 pm

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby JessicaAlba » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:54 pm

Two years ago (ish) I went thru a sudden and unexplained bout of jaundice. Just went bright yellow and was very down on energy and general strength.

During the first few days, after doctor visit, I thought it would be a good idea to google "jaundice in adults". WRONG! BAD! BIG, BIG MISTAKE!! I spent the next week or two convinced I was not long for this earth and taking varied and in some cases extreme measures to prepare for my passing.

I'm still here. And not yellow.

To finish the tale, that first bout (I had two), lasted about three weeks, during which time I had numerous blood tests, hospital visits and examinations. No indication of any blood disorder, disease, gall bladder issues, or anything. Just one day woke up right as rain. A few months later, around Christmas, it happened again, this time for six or seven weeks. Luckily I had a bank of sick leave owing. Daily visits to hospital, blood tests, liver biopsy (that was some serious pain right there!) etc etc etc... Doctors had no idea what went wrong. I am reasonably fit, sporty, in no way overweight, don't drink a whole lot...the only suggestion was that for some reason my liver had become aggrevated and begun producing a crap load of bilirubin (bile), thus turning me yellow. To this day, I still don't know what happened, but as far as self diagnosis goes...I guess in some cases it can be benficial, but it can also be very scary and often misleading. Proceed with caution.
Felt F2/DuraAce/FSA/RS80s (DA7850 hubs)/Schwalbe Durano S
JessicaAlba
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:40 am
Location: Cans

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby Oxford » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:21 pm

chriscole wrote:@Oxford

Unless you have metal in you somewhere that precludes it, it might be an idea to have a friendly chat with your GP about having regular MRI scans rather than yearly CTs to monitor recurrence of your cyst. Though if your aim _is_ to glow in the dark... keep up the CTs... ;-)

didn't realise there had been some replies to this thread. yeah my doctor is aware of the CT issues and I actually have them every second year with OPGs in between. Ever tried to book an MRI, have to be done weeks/months in advance? I was lucky with my spine injury my neurosurgeon was able to get me in on the day for a scan, otherwise it was an 8 week wait, sort after the injury would have already healed. :roll:

and yes mortality sucks.

@JessicaAlba, have some regular blood tests done, you may have Gilbert's disease, nothing serious, just an over production of bilirubin. Took a few tests for the GP to diagnose it in me, just had to keep seeing consistent bilirubin levels.
Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.
- Lewis Mumford
User avatar
Oxford
 
Posts: 5146
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby gorilla monsoon » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:36 am

gorilla monsoon wrote:Five years ago I went through the agony of a kidney stone and its subsequent surgical removal and since that period - and the six or eight week build-up to it - I have been well aware of the symptoms.

For the past six or eight months I have felt like another kidney stone episode was looming. Lots of discomfort in the side, back and lower abdomen for moderate periods of time and then back to normal but with the periods of intensity slowly increasing.

This morning I went to see my doc about it. I explained it all, peed in a bottle so he could stick a litmus strip in it, answered all his questions then had a solid physical examination which involved him prodding, poking, pushing, pulling, bending, wobbling and twisting various bits of my body, mostly my legs, back and stomach.

The wash-up? I have damaged a big muscle group in my back and up one side of my body. In fact he was more interested in a sore hip which he thinks might be arthritic and wants to examine further after seeing x-rays.

This episode demonstrates for me (again) what an old Chinese doctor once told me about pain not always being what we think it is and not always caused by what we think might be the cause.

And now, more than ever, I think I will give up completely on self-diagnosis. After all, doctors train for years to learn this stuff I only think I might know about.


As a postscript to this, I went to see the physio last night, a young guy who rides and does tri events. He got stuck into me (I think he pushed his thumb far enough into the front muscle group to touch the matress I was on), hurt me like buggery and when it was finished I felt the best I have done in months. I now have exercises to do and will go visit again next week.

Funny thing: the doctor was interested in the arthritis, not the muscle pain. The physio was interested in the muscle pain, not the arthritis. Doc says the arthritis will cause the most problems long term. Physio says all people "my age" have arthritis if they were active in childhood and youth and fixing the muscles will help ease the arthritic condition.

Whichever way it cuts I'm feeling better, do not have the problem I initially thought I had and from here on in will leave the diagnoses to the medical professionals. That is, after all, why we pay them the big bucks.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2891
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby thomashouseman » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:59 am

JessicaAlba wrote: liver biopsy (that was some serious pain right there!)

I hear ya!

Wow that hurt. I read recently that in the USA this is regularly done under a general anaesthetic! I can understand why and if I ever need another I'll be insisting on it.
thomashouseman
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:07 am
Location: Toongabbie NSW

Re: The pitfalls of self-diagnosis

Postby scotto » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:18 pm

chriscole wrote:@Oxford

Unless you have metal in you somewhere that precludes it, it might be an idea to have a friendly chat with your GP about having regular MRI scans rather than yearly CTs to monitor recurrence of your cyst. Though if your aim _is_ to glow in the dark... keep up the CTs... ;-)

that gets expensive. medicare doesnt like preventive investigations !
spending $1000 to just save $30000. makes no sense at all...
User avatar
scotto
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:38 am
Location: Baulkham Hills


Return to Cycling Health

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit
cron