New here...and with severe anxiety...

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njam
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/16/2009 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I've posted before in the GERD forum due to mild acid reflux. I've always been an "anxious" person but some recent events have conspired to put me completely out of control confused   In early March my mother passed away very unexpectedly due to an aneurysm. It was 5 days in the ICU before making the decision to end life support, and was the hardest thing I've ever experienced (including my father's long-suffering death from lung cancer 3 years previously - and almost exactly to the date - we buried my mother on the third anniversary of my father's death). Even before my mother died I'd been having some health problems (abdominal pain) that had been deemed to be viral by an ER doctor. When the pains returned a month ago I knew they were not viral and I returned to the ER. I've lost weight, continue to have severe abdominal pain (cannot sleep!), am ill after most meals, have lower back pain, lower abdominal pain, yellow diarrhea....ugh. I've had tons of lab work (all normal except for an elevated blood glucose and a subsequent test showing diabetes, except that I'm now monitoring at home at the glucose levels are normal?!?), x-rays, fecal tests (whee!), rectal exams, abdominal exams...and finally tomorrow an ultrasound which I desperately hope will bring some answers. I've been experiencing panic attacks - unable to breathe, shaky, nervous, overwhelming sense of fear and dread...I've convinced myself that I have pancreatic cancer (despite every doc I've seen doubting that's likely, but they can't say it's impossible of course). I have NEVER felt like this in my life. I google my symptoms all the time, read stories about young people with pancreatic cancer (I'm 42), and generally drive myself crazy.
 
I saw a counsellor two weeks ago and we established that not only have I not dealt with my mother's death I haven't even accepted that it happened. My doc gave me Ativan which helps some but I seem to still be having issues. Am I going crazy? My mother had mental health issues (paranoia) and I have a sister who suffered depression, but I never doubted my mental health until now. Now I doubt both my mental and physical health. I'm a mess :(

michelle.g
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/16/2009 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, I'm new here too, I notice a lot of similarities between your anxiety and my own, all I can do is sympathsise with you and tell you that your are not alone in the way you feel, I've had test after test they all come back normal I'm a total "what if" fanatic.
I'm sorry for you concerning your Mothers death, I believe my Mothers sudden death was the catapult for my anxiety.
Michelle.

njam
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/16/2009 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Michelle. I know that my mother's death has affected my anxiety - it's like I've completely lost faith in things turning out okay, you know? I've taken my symptoms and arrived at the worst possible diagnosis. Now I'm not always even sure what is actually a symptom and what is anxiety appearing as a symptom. I also fear being labelled by the doctors as having anxiety and thus having them think my physical symptoms are only as a result of the anxiety. Gah. Like I said, I'm a mess. I'm so sorry for your loss as well...

michelle.g
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/16/2009 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I can say with 100% sincerity njam that reading both of your post here is like you are describing me. Right now I am feeling a tightness in my chest and throat that I'm not sure is really there, and I'm fighting hard against myself not to go running to the hospital and have them check me over just incase. In all honesty if my daughters were not asleep in bed I probably would be at the hospital right now, but I don't want to disturb them while they sleep for which I'm sure will be an "all is fine " by the Doctors I hate the nights, thats when my anxiety is at its worse...in fact as soon as my GPs surgery closes I begin to get anxious and count how many hours it will be before they open again.
I hope tomorrow is a better day for you

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/16/2009 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
njam, My deepest condolences on your mom's death. I feel your pain as I just lost my Mom in January and had much the same experience as you with having to remove her from life support. I have been battling alot of guilt about that, but luckily for me it hasn't affected my anxiety too much.

I have a chronic inflammatory bowel disease and also suffer with GERD. Have you seen a Gastroenterologist yet? I would suggest that you see one soon. It sure sounds like more is going on that just GERD. But I don't think you have cancer.

Also, my anxiety gives me all kinds of gastric problems. When anxious I get diarrhea, nauseous and even vomiting at times. I take Xanax (lowest dose) at the first hint of anxiety and it really helps. And many with anxiety suffer with IBS too.

But it can't hurt to get a good check up done by a doctor so that you know what is just the anxiety and what is a health problem. You would be surprised at what anxiety and panic can cause your body to do. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

njam
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/16/2009 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Michelle,
I've been to the local ER 4 times in the past two months, and seen my regular doc a few times. I've actually gotten to know several of the ER nurses :( I hope tomorrow is a better day for you, too.

njam
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/16/2009 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Nanners,
My GERD has always been quite mild so there is no doubt that there is more going on. Not one doctor has suggested cancer but I've certainly gone there in my mind more than once (more like repeatedly). I'm having an ultrasound tomorrow morning and will continue with investigations until a cause is found because it's driving me crazy not knowing what it is but knowing that something is wrong. I have not seen a gastroenterologist yet but assume dependent on the results of the ultrasound I may be getting referrals to specialists. Thank you, Nanners...

shedontwearsocks
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 4/16/2009 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   

hi njam,

let me start by saying welcome to the forum! you will meet lots of wonderful, caring people here that have great stories and advice to share, so plz come back often!

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I recently lost my grandmother in early March as well, and I can completely relate to your anxiety surrounding that issue. I have noticed for well over a month that my anxiety just does not seem to go away at all. I can think of maybe 2 days since she passed that I haven't had bouts of it every single day. Most days I think I'm going to die and that sends me into a panic, and really makes daily functioning difficult. I do hope that your doctor is able to give you something to help ease your anxiety through this period and I hope you start feeling better soon!

Some of the other members here always recommend breathing exercises and muscle relaxation during times of high stress/A&P and it really does work! Maybe your doc can give you some suggestions as well to help stay in the moment and ease some of the unpleasant symptoms.

Again, welcome to the board


njam
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/16/2009 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the welcome, shedontwearsocks. I am hopeful that this anxiety is situational and will lessen once my physical health issues have been addressed - but this experience has shown me quite clearly that I do have an issue with anxiety control. I know I need to find ways to relax and hope that my counsellor may be able to help with that. Thanks again.

ZLSJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 4/17/2009 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi njam,
 
How is your day? How did the ultrasound go?
 
I've been fighting the same demons with the same disease you have the anxiety over. (I'm a 45 yr old male)
 
By fighting it, I mean the anxiety associated with thinking I have it. I've had numerous x-rays, much bloodwork (lots specific to Pancreas/Liver issues), doctor visits and I keep getting told things are great. Yet I continue to NOT believe what I'm being told. I want to believe that it is all Health Anxiety related as well as trigger points being the cause of pain in my back. I've had some stomach discomfort but can't say it's ever been pain as such. I do also have Ulcerative Proctitis as well as IBS. I've lost a bit of weight as well.
 
Just wanted to touch base and hope everything is well with you.

Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 4/20/2009 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   
As I've learned, anxiety and stress can affect every part of your body. I have had nausea, vertigo, lightheadedness, racing heart, skipped beats, shakiness, diarrhea, hot flashes, insomnia, loss of appetite, thoughts of dying, strange head feelings, body aches and pains, tingling, tightness in the throat, etc.

It is possible that anxiety/stress has affected your stomach and now it needs time to heal. You're probably watching your diet. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, water, and you are doing something to relax that mind and body of yours.

I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I think beginning a journal and writing about your mom and dad will help. Tears will no doubt come, but that's part of the grieving process. I'm adding you to my prayer list. Feel better soon, my friend.
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
50 mg. Lopressor, 60 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/20/2009 10:22 AM (GMT -7)   

njam,

Hope you are doing ok, and I too would like to extend my sincere sympathy at the death of your Mother.

Take care and let us hear from you.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
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Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
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Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


eugenia
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 4/20/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi:

I can totally relate to what you are going through as I went through something similar 2 years ago when my step daughter whose 23 got diagnosed with cancer.

I developed stomach issues @ the same time and was convinced I was going to die.  After suffering severe anxiety/depression, etc I am finally for the most part over it.  Yes...I still have times where I worry (the what ifs) but for the most part I can function.  I still have stomach issues and have been checked over extensively with nothing found.

Anyway, one of the best things for me was CBT.  It really helped get through a horrible period in my life.  Right now my sister is going through cancer and I am her main caregiver.  Altho it has been hard for my health anxiety I have tried very hard to keep it in check with the CBT and keeping my thoughts in check and taking life more day by day.

Hope this helps and take care of yourself.

 

 

 

 

 


njam
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/20/2009 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, thanks everyone for your kind words! I had an ultrasound on Friday and the technician said she didn't see anything unusual, although the radiologist has not read it yet. I saw my primary doctor today and he has ordered a CT. Several other labs were in today as well and were all normal, which is good, I guess. The normal lab work and ultrasound has helped to lessen my anxiety and I feel more "normal" than I have in some time. Even my hemoglobin A1C (which specifically checks blood glucose averages over a 3 month period) was normal, and my doctor agreed that the glucose numbers that I've been checking at home are fundamentally normal. He's still referring me to a diabetes clinic for lifestyle/diet assistance to ensure that I don't develop diabetes, and we don't have an explanation as to why my oral glucose tolerance test showed diabetes despite all the other glucose tests being quite normal. I was worried because I had lost weight (which I need to do, just not this way!) but I've gained some of that back which argues against cancer, I guess. I also realized after a long talk with my very supportive husband that my anxiety was only making things far worse and that I have to have some faith that things will be okay. Even if they aren't okay being so anxious about it will only make me sicker, I think.

Thank you to all of you! I feel so very welcomed, and I am so grateful. I will continue to be in touch!

Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 4/20/2009 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Njam,

I sure hope things start looking up for you soon with your health. I want to give my condolences for the loss of your mother as well. I know I used to be on total edge with my anxiety when I first came to HW, because I was googling symptoms and making myself crazy over it. It was not until I stopped doing this and began CBT, that I started getting better again. If you go to the top of our forum page and click on the thread marked "Anxiety-Panic Resources," you will find many links to get you started on your recovery. There is a link to a free CBT training course called MoodGYM, which has been beneficial to many of us on here.

I wish you the best of luck and welcome to our A/P Family!

Sam :)
Anxiety-Panic Forum Co-Moderator


ZLSJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 4/20/2009 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   

njam,

My condolences to you on the loss of your mother.

I must also apologize for not sending condolences in my first reply. I saw your Health Anxiety concerns and focused my reply solely to that because of what I am going through with my HA.

Glad to hear you are doing better and that test results are looking good.


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/20/2009 5:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Njam,

I too am sorry to hear of your mother's unexpected death, and what a difficult time that must have been for you.

That's good news so far from your doctors, and I'm glad they're staying on top of things with all the appropriate tests.

percycat

Percy/Percycat

Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum

 

DX: Anxiety, Depression, LPR (acid reflux)

Meds: Paxil, Nexium, Zantac

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