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J1379 04-28-2014 03:57 PM

I'm just hoping to get some support and understanding from some other ladies maybe going through something similar.  My third child is now 15 months old and for the past 4-5 months I have really been struggling with some concerning health issues.  It started with headaches that would cause me to feel very unwell, nauseated and would urgently cause me to have a BM (sorry for the TMI!).  This happened probably once a month or so and wasn't something that worried me too much.  But lately I have more often been feeling unwell than well.  I feel tired and nauseated almost all the time and my stomach is painful to the touch at the top.  My arms and legs ache and I have headaches on a regular basis.  I get strange fluttering sensations in my esophagus from time to time and pain in my chest.  And now most recently I've started developing some facial tingling and blurred vision in one eye (only from time to time) which has really bothered me.  I have been seeing a chiropractor steadily for the past 4-5 months and he said he can definitely attribute most of my issues to neck/spine issues but did feel that perhaps an MRI was in order to rule out other causes.  I went to my GP and while they did refer me to a GI specialist for the GI issues they felt no MRI was necessary and discussed the physical effects of stress and panic issues/anxiety with me.  Blood work has been done - all normal, even B12.  Abdominal ultrasound showed a haemangioma on my liver which is going to be investigated but my doctor has said that it is just a fluke that they found it and is likely not causing any symptoms.  The GI specialist feels I may have GERD resulting in esophageal spasms which would explain the fluttering, stomach pain and nausea.  But they indicated that my headaches and other issues are in no way related and suggested that there could be a mental health component.  I am confident that I do not suffer from any diagnosable mental health issue - although I will admit I am under a lot of stress.  I have had 3 children in a little over 4 years and am still not getting much sleep (DD wakes up at least 4 times per night to nurse).  My DH works shift work and I have just returned to work full-time as well which means that often after a full day of work I come home to managing parenting alone.  I rush home at lunch each day to nurse my DD so that I can keep up exclusively breastfeeding her while working.  While it works great for the kids (they are usually always with DH or me or daycare!) it is tough on me and DH.  I have a hard time believing that stress can manifest itself this much into physical issues but has anyone else experienced major health issues after having children? 


My GP doesn't seem worried but unfortunately it does worry me.  I am not enjoying my job at all and it is VERY stressful work.  I am currently applying for other jobs and am looking to move to part-time work 2-3 days per week maximum to enable better work-life balance for me and my family.  Everyone around me keeps telling me that these issues I am having are understandable given the changes my body and my life have gone through in the past 6 years (being pregnant and/or breastfeeding & babywearing almost non-stop for the past 6 years).  Of course many will point it out to me in saying that I am putting all of this on myself by the choices I make for parenting (i.e. trying to do it "all") - but I feel it is so important for my children and do not intend on changing my attachment parenting style! LOL  So I guess this long and rambling message is just looking to see if other like-minded women who give a lot of themselves to their families and children also experience issues like this post partum after having multiple children in close succession.  It would really help to hear some encouraging stories and I would definitely welcome any advice to help!!!!

Katica 04-28-2014 07:04 PM

Wow! I`ve come here today to write my own thread but you have said it all.


I`m so sorry you are going through this as well.


I`m also a mother of three with the youngest 22 months and still nursing. I`m not working though.


I have also experienced most of the symptoms you describe down to the headaches and bloated, achy abdomen and the nausea . Also had blood work done and a CT scan. All normal, yet I still feel sick..??


One of my major symptoms is chest pain that radiates to my jaw and back. I also have extreme, almost crippling anxiety on a daily basis. My next step is to get my heart checked out as a lot of GI symptoms can mask heart problems.


I`ve had anxiety, depression for almost half of my life but this is different from "plain old" panic attacks.


There are many details that I`ve left out or forgot to mention. I also have people tell me it`s all stress because my symptoms are too random. While it could be all stress related I just want to rule out all other physical aspects. The frustrating side is trying to figure out where to go and what to get checked for.


Many hugs to you:Hug

mamapigeon 04-28-2014 09:04 PM

If your GP isn't addressing your concerns you need to find a new doctor. There's nothing wrong with getting a second opinion!


I had stomach pain quite a bit when DS was younger and I was trying to go to school while being a stay at home mom. It went away as I found ways to deal with anxiety. I had swollen lymph nodes that were diagnosed as an epstein-barr infection (mono), and months later I went to a different doctor and found out it was cancer... I am really wary of doctors brushing things off now.


I hope everything ends up being fine for you!

J1379 04-30-2014 04:43 PM

Katica - I'm not happy to hear that you are going through something similar...but it is supportive to hear of someone feeling similar.  I forgot to mention that I have had my heart checked out in the past due to some arythmia issues I experienced during pregnancy so I know that my heart is working just fine.  Today I just had an upper GI series done (x-ray with barium swallow) and have also had an ultrasound of the abdomen.  I have a 24 hour pH test coming up soon to monitor the pH level of my stomach for a 24 hr period to determine if that may be causing some issues.  The GI specialist initially wanted to trial me on some meds but since I am nursing I can't take them (and to be honest I was happy because I don't like the idea of just taking something to see what happens!).  If the GI tests show nothing then my next step will be to press for a CAT scan or MRI of my head to look for causes for these headaches.  Then at least if all comes back as normal I will know it likely is stress related.  I find it hard to believe that stress can cause this much symptom-wise...but I guess it is possible!


Mamapigeon - I totally agree with you!  Unfortunately my GP is on maternity leave right now so I'm stuck with her replacement who is the one who isn't listening to me.  My normal GP is amazing!

Katica 05-02-2014 06:18 AM

Hopefully you will get some answers soon. It`s very frustrating to not know what exactly is going on.


I went and got my heart checked. Perfectly healthy. I`m beginning to think like it`s all in my head. Expect that it`s not. And it`s fairly depressing to think that I should just endure it cause it`s all "just stress." Grrrrrr

J1379 05-02-2014 04:49 PM

Exactly - there is part of me that wishes they find something (something minor and treatable of course!) rather than getting the answer that it is "just stress" because I find it very hard to accept that as a diagnosis!!!!! 

Snapdragon 05-03-2014 09:32 PM

might be lyme disease  if you get tested be sure to get the igenex test good luck

Viola P 05-03-2014 10:15 PM

To me those all sound like physical manifestations of stress/anxiety. I've had twitchy eye, chest pain, bm issues from anxiety/stress so I guess I'm speaking from personal experience. I also rushed home at lunch to bf ds and I would never do that again, it was way too difficult. Mama you need a break, no one can go that hard for that long. Blessings to you

Viola P 05-03-2014 10:19 PM

Sorry! Didnt read through before posting and realize it might be insensitive to bring up stress. I don't know what else it could be. Good luck!

Katica 05-10-2014 07:21 AM



Exactly - there is part of me that wishes they find something (something minor and treatable of course!) rather than getting the answer that it is "just stress" because I find it very hard to accept that as a diagnosis!!!!! 


:nod So, so true. Like a vitamin deficiency or something that can easily be fixed. Somehow I`m also having a hard time with the diagnosis of "It`s all stress, hun so just deal with it."rolleyes.gif 

tinuviel_k 05-10-2014 08:47 AM

My first thought was Lyme disease. Do you live in tick country, or have you visited?

J1379 05-11-2014 02:15 PM

I just saw a few other doctors (totally unrelated...had a horrible GI bug that went through our house and after taking care of the kids I ended up catching it and getting severely dehydrated and being admitted into hospital!).  But I spoke to the doctors at the hospital about my issues because they could not figure out how a healthy young woman like myself could have ended up so severely dehydrated as I was from a stomach bug.  They feel that because of all my GI issues I was likely a bit dehydrated to begin with when I got this GI bug.  The doctor I first saw also went straight to Lyme but he said that since I haven't been out in the woods in the past year (I just had a baby last year - so no deep woods camping for us last year) that it was very unlikely.  They did run a test for Celiac which I am awaiting the results for.  They also did a head CT because as part of this recent hospitalization I also had the worst headache that I have ever experienced in my life.  To be safe, they did a head CT and told me it was 100% normal.  Phew!  Of course, they did advise that there was a small percentage chance that a bleed could go undetected and that the only way to be certain would be to do a spinal tap which was not recommended but was my call.  I declined, although there is that small anxious part of my brain that wishes I did just to be certain.  I don't do well with uncertainties!! My DH tells me I'm being ridiculous...and I know the chances of what I experienced was a brain bleed but its hard to get an idea like that out of your mind when a doctorr tells you that!

It took me a full week to recover from this bug but in the sort of down time that i had i have noticed that my headaches do seem to be relative to neck pain and at times are also radiating into my upper jaw. So now I'm wondering if there may be some TMJ issues....that could also explain some of the numbness sensation in my face. I'm going to ask my chiropractor about that at my next visit.

Snapdragon 05-11-2014 04:26 PM

the most accurate test for lyme is the" igenex". Your symptoms sound like lyme. Many people get it undetected and one does not have to go into the woods to get it- these days people can get it in a suburban backyard. It would be worth it to get the test just to know for sure. Also many docs are not too knowledgeable about lyme, so if it turns out to be that find a doctor who really knows about it.

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