I started having an issue with food and liquid going past my esophagus into my stomach about a year ago. Food would get stuck and liquid would refuse to go down. My body would hiccup to help move it along or it would eventually go down with quite a bit of pain. Finally, nothing seemed to be going down and I was waking each night literally drowning in liquid and food. My doctor sent me to get an upper GI. The diagnosis was “Achalasia” my esophagus was literally closed and turned up into what is known as a birds beak. I was admitted to the hospital and had an upper endoscopy to confirm the diagnosis. The Gastro told me that I had to make a decision right away whether I wanted to do a “Botox” treatment or surgery. I asked if he could explain both and he said he didn’t have time. Later that evening I was being taken to do the “Botox” treatment. I was told that since it was Memorial day weekend that there wouldn’t be anyone available for the surgery and that the Botox would relax my esophagus until the surgery could be performed. No explanation on how it was done exactly or any info on side effects or future care or concerns. Within a couple of days I started to have confusion issues. By two weeks after the injection I was having pretty serious memory and confusion issues. I was extremely fatigued and dizziness was starting to be more frequent. I thought these symptoms were from lack of food and possibly dehydration. There was some food and liquid going down but not what would be considered usual. I work with Senior Citizens and know as a fact that quite often major surgeries have been shelved for folks over 80 due to the fact that anesthesia can bring on dementia. I personally have known quite a few over 80’s that have had anesthesia induced dementia. So I thought that the problems I was having was from lack of nutrition, liquid and having anesthesia two times in one day for the “Achalasia” confirmation and treatment (Botox). I scheduled my surgery, called a “Heller-Myotomy” for a little over 3 weeks from the Botox treatment. I had an event that I was putting on that needed my attention before I could take the time off. It ended up being the most stressful event of my entire marketing career. I couldn’t figure out how to organize anything. The day of the event I was so stressed, dizzy, confused, fatigued and was so filled with anxiety I didn’t think I was going to make it through the day. After the event, which was a fundraiser, I couldn’t even add up a stack of checks that needed to be turned in before I was off for a couple of weeks to a month for my “Heller-Myotomy”. Before I went in to the surgery the Anesthesiologist came by to see if I had any questions. I told her that I was very concerned to go under anesthesia again due to the extreme confusion and memory issues I was experiencing since the two times three weeks earlier under anesthesia. We decided since I couldn’t eat or drink I needed the surgery. After the surgery I was extremely fatigued. Slept a lot, had dizziness and still had pretty severe confusion and memory issues. I thought they would go away as I healed. 2 weeks after surgery I was still experiencing all the above symptoms but my body was healing fine. I was on a liquid diet for 30 days but I was getting my nutrition and calories so I didn’t think the fatigue, weakness, dizziness was still connected to the surgery. About 3 weeks after my surgery and about 6-7 weeks after the Botox injection I started having speech difficulties. Slurring and confusion on which words to use. Even stuttering at times. I feel the surgery for the “Achalasia” was a success. The symptoms that I have discussed earlier are all over the map. Some days I feel like I am coming out of it. Maybe a little more clear, especially in the afternoons, not as fatigued, dizziness will lift although the memory issues don’t seem to lift much. Then the next day I am trying to work and end up laying my head down on my arm as I try to keep my eyes open and concentrate on the task at hand. Then the dizziness reappears, and the confusion and weakness along with the speech problems are just as bad if not worse. I have had a CT scan, every blood test available, even a spinal tap to try and find out what is causing these symptoms. Nothing to be found. My doctor thought I had an adrenal crash and after treatment from doubling my hormones we found that that wasn’t the case. My surgeon has referred me to an Endocrinologist and I am waiting for an appt. with them. The surgeon is convinced that I need a different general physician and wants me to meet with the Endocrine specialist. My daughters father started looking into Botox, botulism poisoning and finally found this site. I was experiencing such severe depression that I have never had before this wild ride that I literally thought I was losing my mind and asking for prayer from all who knew me to help me deal w/the depression and other symptoms. When he told me he found this site, I broke down crying. It lifted the huge dark cloud that had been hanging over my head for quite a while now. It isn’t gone completely but I can breath just knowing this is real. I am not crazy, imagining these symptoms. I am going to do the 5 step detox tomorrow that is suggested from a site about the botulism poisoning. I am willing to try it to see if I can function enough to do my job. I may lose my job soon if I can’t find a way to be able to get behind the wheel of a car again, safely, and on the road. I feel blessed to have found this site and I will keep all posted on my journey and will cherish all your input and wisdom.
Much Aloha for now, Cathyann