Dying; or is it a somatoform disorder?

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Las Vegas
New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/27/2009 2:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Presenting problem 
My symptoms started over one year ago after overcoming two bouts of a non resistant staph infection that was successfully treated.  Shortly after my infection I started do get back pain in the lumbar and cervical spine. After negative results on X rays and MRI'S I began manipulation.  Despite the treatment I still felt rigid and was not as flexible as I was a year prior.  As a few months progressed my athleticism further diminished as I could no longer train in muay thai kickboxing and noticed my mile run had diminished from 5.5 minutes to 9.  I recall waking up one morning as though I was in a dream like state.  What was odd was my sence of smell diminished to the point were it is faint and I have daily muscle twitching and subtle tremors that come intermittently.  Also, I have a right burning sensation in my right lung, behind the right eye and on the right side of my head.  Also I feel a great shocking pressure in the middle of my brain which tingles at times.  Moreover I will get occasional vertigo however only when waking, e.g. duration is one time per week.  In addition my mental base line has deteriorated and am apathetic.  Overall I am like a different person.   
After explaining all of my symptoms to my doctor I was given a full blood count which came back normal.  Also,  I was tested for lyme disease, and b-12 deficiency both of which were normal.  The doctor assumed my problems could be related to a tumor and ordered CT and MRI's with and without contrast for both my chest, sinuses and brain, which all came back normal. After the results I was sent to a neurologist who analyzed me and informed me that I had tourettes syndrome as I was jerking my neck and had esssive eye blinking.  However I informed the neuro that these symptoms only started after the aforementioned symptoms have progressed.  The neuro informed me I would be fine and sent me on my way.  Unsatisfied I consulted a well noted neurologist who analyzed my mri's, ct scans, blood work and did a full examination.   He informed me that my symptoms were the result of a somatoform disorder and that they only existed to me.  Even despite telling him that my mental baseline has deteriorated and so to has my agility he seemed little concerned and implyed I was a hypochondriac and that the medical professionals know more then me.  What is deeply concerting is that my symptoms are real as my twitching comes intermittently during the day and my tremors are subtle and sporadic during the week which he did not see during examination and or seemed to even be concerned with.  I have a masters degree in social work and had to quit a great job and have little to no social network as I did in the past since my symptoms have increased.  I notice my body slowly dying and can not desribe the how depressing this has been and feel there is no hope.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20279
   Posted 5/27/2009 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
hi las vegas,
you have a bit going on. i am no doc but am very skilled in a similar area to you, i feel that your level of focus is possibly causing a locus of control that is impacting on tactile and mental areas. due to your acumen and awareness the medico's differential is somewhat hightened by your close understanding of what is medically happening with your body and within yourself. some doc's don't like articulate people, this i found out, as my intellect and academic awareness in the area of mental health, because of this awareness i was deemed a very complex patient, thus i got turned away a lot. what is frustrating to you, the patient, is that because of complexeties within guidelined practice, he who can articulate what is happening, and can use cause and affect, with presenting the effect are deemed not as bad of as someone presenting with no idea.
dying, well in my own realm of thinking, w are born, we age (decay) and we die. i wish you well, focus on the here and now, this may settle your mind a bit. jamie, male 37.
iddm, mdd, severe borderline personality disorder, lombroscal spine, diabetic nuropathy, hormone deficency, water work issues.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20279
   Posted 5/27/2009 6:56 AM (GMT -6)   
just because people with complex mental health issues, and various other complex medical issues, dosen't not mean if we can articulate effective responses that we are not suffering.-a problem i have had to deal with on various occassions. jamie

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 5/27/2009 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Las Vegas,

I am so sorry for your suffering. All I know about somatoform disorders is that the pain and symptoms you are feeling are real, no matter whether they are caused by physical ailments or not. Of course it is possible that your doctors are missing something....there is always potential for error there. However, I do wonder if you'd be willing to consult with a mental health professional, to see if there are therapies you can try in order to alleviate (or at least cope with) your symptoms. I would encourage you to keep seeking medical help, along with counseling, in order to identify what is going on with you, and also to gain some important support and (hopefully) relief. I also hope you will keep posting with us, so that we can offer you some support from here. I wish you the very best. Please continue to let us know how things are going.



“If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree."  ~W.B. Yeats

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20279
   Posted 5/28/2009 12:30 AM (GMT -6)   
hi las vegas, raniah makes a lot of sense, agree with the post, esp with regards to seeking some mental health support, jamie

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/8/2009 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
hey las vegas
I feel terribly that you have suffered through so many changes and that your life doesn't look like what it used to look like. I don't know which doctors you went to but my last neuroologist is Dr. Leo Germin. He came highly recommended. I have been having lots of weird issues that came up out of the blue and have tried antidepressants, ativan, sleeping meds and had every test out there...they can't really figure out what's wrong with me. I never had anxiety and now I can barely sleep without trembling through the night. I wake up more tired than I go to bed.
I am still trying to figure it out...doing research on line...speaking with different doctors...I jsut want my life back, as I'm sure you do too.
My husband says it best when it comes to doctors...it's their job, but it's YOUR LIFE...so they go home and go about their business while we are at home wondering what the hell happened...I would suggest you make an appt with the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Their neuro dept. has a wait list of a couple of months, but i think it would be worth it. It's your life and your health and they need to go together in a way that is authentic for YOU...You need to commmit to finding the answers and if a doctor doesn't help you, then move on....you need to be your own advocate. No one has as much as you on the line, so it's up to you.
Please make it happen, and trust me when I say, I write this as much to you as to myself.
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