YANMD, but please help me figure out how to fix this thing (without insurance) anyhow?
October 12, 2011 1:19 PM Subscribe
For a week now I've had this pressure/pulsing discomfort in my neck around my carotid area. It's not my throat; it is definitely related to my pulse somehow. The doctor I saw doesn't know what's wrong; who should I see/what should I do now?
(snowflake details inside)
posted by elleyebeebeewhy to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
I'm 26 y/o, white female, overweight, but otherwise healthy.
Since last Monday(ish), I've felt an intense discomfort on the right side of my throat/neck, directly where you could poke your jugular under your jaw. It isn't pain, per se, but akin to the feeling of pressure in your neck after having run too hard or being upside-down for a bit.
I can never feel anything when I press on the area except my pulse, and the discomfort/pain would be mostly unnoticeable when I was sedate and breathing normally. But every time I breathed in deeply or bent over the pulsing pressure returned and increased.
Because I don't have health insurance, Monday through Thursday I kind of ignored it and avoided doing anything that would cause hard breathing or bending over. But on Friday I woke up with a very painful ear ache on only the right side of my head; it was very intense and the pressure/pain in my neck had spread throughout my jaw, the back of my neck/base of my skull, and down the front of my chest. It felt a little like heartburn, but mostly like this same pressure but amplified and spreading.
I got very freaked out, called in sick, and searched for a place that was sliding scale and would take me on short notice. By the time I was actually able to see a doctor on Friday, the ear ache had mostly gone, and the usual level of discomfort in my throat had returned. She said that my ears looked good, my throat looked good, I didn't have swollen glands, and I was asymptomatic for anything she could think of. The only note-worthy item was that I had large tonsils, not inflamed or bad-looking, just big.
With the knowledge that I had suffered from depression in the past, she ultimately told me that she thought everything was due to anxiety. And while I respect her opinion, I'm pretty sure that isn't it.
Before the throat issue, I had been going through a particularly good spell of life with a happy state of mind. Also, anxiety usually manifests itself through gastro-issues for me anyway.
As I don't have insurance and will be paying for all visits and tests out of pocket, where should I go now to try and figure out this problem?
The discomfort in my neck has felt a little better since that Friday morning, but it is still here and I occasionally feel like it is spreading through to the left side of my throat/neck as well. As it seems tied to both breathing and circulation, it really concerns me, and I don't want to ignore (what I see as) scary symptoms.