very worried about a friend, strange symptoms

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by epilepticemu, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. epilepticemu

    epilepticemu New Member

    I'm very worried about a friend of mine. He goes to CMU and has no health insurance. He gets no financial support from his family (he was kicked out for being gay). It's obvious that he has health issues, but he dosen't think there is anything that he can do about them. Now, i'll describe his symptoms.

    He has two major issues that I noticed. His first one is blood sugar related. He said that he was diagnosed with some sort of blood-sugar imbalance a few years ago, but I'm worried it may have escalated into diabetes. He gets dizzy quite often from this imbalance, and he says it's brought about by both too much, and too little sugar.

    The 2nd issue is one that completely baffles me, and I've been doing a bit of research. We just shared a hotel room while we were at an activist conference. Shortly after his head hits the pillow and he tries to sleep, he has (and what he describes as) severe chest pain. He says that it feels like it comes from his lungs. It seems to be unrelated to the sugar issue. It's odd, because this shortness/pain with breath seems to be strictly limited to when he lies down to sleep. I thought that it might have to do with his heart (seeing as heart rate drops when we approach sleep?), and he may have mistaken the lung pain for heart pain.

    What could I have him do? He's got no health insurance, and very little money to spend? Ontop of that, I can't figure out what is wrong with his lungs/chest :(

    Thank you very much!
  2. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    First. I want to let you know that my educational background is not in the medical field. So I'm just telling you this information from the school of hard knocks.

    I am on the South Beach Diet and I'm hypoglycemic. It is almost a diabetic diet. So I'm suggesting that your friend try this diet. It is fantastic for stabilizing the blood sugar. My doctor has me checking my blood sugar several times a day (for a totally different reason). This diet REALLY keeps the blood sugar stable.

    2nd issue. Try propping the two legs that are under the headboard up about 4 or 5 inches to see if that helps. My doctor has me doing that too for acid reflux. See what happens if your friend tries sleeping in a recliner one night. I don't know if a hiatal (spelling???) hernia would create the same symptoms as you are describing.

    I'd definitely have your friend prop up the headboard end of the bed so he is sleeping on an angle. My gasteroenterologist has me doing this. It has helped.
  3. welma

    welma New Member

    I am not of the medical field, although I do work in it.

    There are resources out there for your friend. Many doctors offices and health departments have discounted prices according to income. Some even write off the whole balance so your medical is free. Your friend may be having pancreatic issues which would cause his chest pain and his sugar imbalance. It really needs to be checked. Try calling your local health department.
  4. WakeMeUp

    WakeMeUp New Member

    Since your friend has no health insurance, can't he go to the emergency room as an "indigent patient?" Sometimes if you go to the E.R. and ask for a social worker they can get you emergency medical cards provided by the State.

    I have always been told that they cannot turn away anyone who is sick. You friend needs medical treatment - I must add good medical treatment because there are a lot of doctor's out there that just send us home and say there is nothing wrong with us when there really is something wrong.

    Good luck to both of you.
    WakeMeUp