Strange Diagnoses (Topic#042)

Who’s ever heard of Vocal Cord Dysfunction? When my allergist told me I had that, I didn’t even believe him. Here’s a very, very brief page on the topic. It sounds like things tighten on the inhale and make it hard to breathe in, whereas asthma makes it hard to breathe out.

Same for hearts having the equivalent of belly buttons? I had some heart tests run a few years ago because I was about to start exercising more, and was really scared by how weak I feel when exercising. So I had several tests run, including a bubble test, and it showed that I have a small hole in my heart. I really like the way this article explains it. The unborn baby has this hole there to get nutrients from Mom. It sounds fairly common for this hole to fail to completely close up after birth. Some need to be patched up surgically, others are small enough to be ignored. My doctor considered mine small enough to be ignored. But the idea that our hearts have a belly button? Too weird.

My doctor thought my weakness during exercise was from low blood-pressure. Things go black sometimes when I exercise, same as when I get up too quickly from sitting, etc.

As for vocal cord dysfunction versus asthma, I guess I’ll never know which one caused me to run a 1+ hour mile in gym class. All the other students were done and watching and waiting for me to finish. For the entire class period. I almost couldn’t breathe at all and my jogging was hardly faster than a snail’s. In hindsight, why didn’t the gym teacher intervene and send me to the nurse? I could have died if my breathing had been reduced just a fraction more. But apparently both VCD and asthma can be triggered by exercise and allergens (and can co-exist at the same time), both of which I’d been exposed to. Mysteries of the human body.

Some people consider Restless Leg Syndrome to sound like a strange diagnosis, but it made total sense to me the minute I heard the first TV ad for it. I knew I had that as soon as I saw it. I didn’t need an official diagnosis but I got one during my sleep study some years back. I should really talk about this one someday. It can be a terrible bother (thus I can tell many stories).


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