Greetings All --
I'm new to this forum but have read the previous posts and wanted to share some of my experience in the hopes of shedding potential light on what I have been going through recently.
For the better part of 18 months, I have been experiencing a host of non-specific symptoms, ranging from: severe panic/anxiety, bi-lateral chest and shoulder pain, neck discomfort/tightness, dizziness/light-headedness, mental confusion and difficulty focusing, brief/acute pain in the extremities (feet/fingers), intermittent facial numbness/tingling, involuntary muscle spasm/twitching, temperature sensitivity, and heart palp's, etc - just to name some of the moreprominent.
Obviously, I have been racking my brain trying to make some kind of sense of these unusual symptoms. Regrettably, these efforts have been largely fruitless.
I've had numerous EKG's and two separate full cardiac workup's, including a stress test and echo cardiogram. All were negative and revealed nothing beyond the fact that my heart and cardiovascular system are perfectly healthy. I suppose this should not come as any great shock given that I am a competitive marathon runner and tri-athlete having completed upwards of 10 marathons and an Ironman last summer.
I also had an abdominal CT which similarly revealed nothing, as well as an abdominal ultrasound to rule out a potential abdominal aortic aneurysm. The head scratching continued.
My PCP put me on a 10mg dose of celexa for depression/anxiety and sent me on my way. Told me I was health-obsessed, proclaimed me a "healthy stud", and instructed me to take up yoga and register for my next Ironman. In a word -- dismissive.
Most recently, the dizziness and light-headedness have become more pronounced and the pain/discomfort in my left shoulder and chest more persistent. Seems/feels musculo-skeletal. For a time, I thought that the constant cradling/holding of my newborn son in combination with the weightlifting regimen I follow may have been at-play, but I really feel that's a bit of a stretch. Like many of you, I'm sure, I am constantly "grasping at straws" trying to make sense of the things I'm feeling.
Of course, the collective impact of all this has taken an enormous emotional toll on me, as well as my wife, and has transformed me into a person I often fail to recognize. I'm in a constant state of worry, anticipating when the next "bout" will ensue. I assure you, this is no way to live.
Several months back, suspecting that Lyme may be at-play (again, grasping at another straw), I went to a Naturopath and he ordered a Western Blot Serum. Of course, the CDC guidelines on a definitive Lyme diagnosis are both highly controversial and hotly debated. In any case, the results came back and revealed "Present" for 2 Bands: IgG P-41 (not Lyme specific) and IgG P-18 (Lyme specific and often cited by Lyme experts as a very likely and highly reliably indicator of Lyme by itself). However due to the fact that only two bands (vice the CDC-mandated five) came back positive, the Naturopath decreed that I did not have Lyme. He did concede that the presence of the 2 IgG Bands was "peculiar", but did not take it any farther than that.
Several days ago, I "bit" the proverbial "bullet" and went for a "Virtual Physical." The CT-scan (no contrast) revealed slightly enlarged cerebral L/R ventricles (which I now know is medically classified as "hydrocephalus"). No evidence of tumor/lesion or stroke was apparent and there was no indication of brain atrophy. On the "brighter side" my coronary calcium score was a perfect Zero. Unfortunately, this was of little consolation. The remainder of the scan was clear and unremarkable.
Presumably, I will now go for a follow-up (once I meet w/ my PCP on Tuesday) with a Neuro, who will likely order a more comprehensive work-up that will prob' include a contrast MRI to help determine whether the hydrocephalus is "communicating" or "non-communicating", and also whether there is any noticeable blockage or ventricular stenosis at-play. For my part, I have not experienced chronic headaches, gait disturbance, visual impairment, urinary incontinence, dementia, or any other of the classic symptoms usually associated with hydrocephalus. This is as puzzling as it disturbing.
So...I have thus revisited my Western Blot results from LabCorp. As one of the several causes of hydrocephalus/ventricular swelling is bacterial infection, one thought I had is that Lyme could be playing a potential role in all of this. Again -- perhaps grasping at the proverbial straw, but various medical threads I have read and Lyme/Hydro blogs have suggested a plausible and clinically demonstrated link between these phenomena.
I have no idea what, if any, traction I may get with my PCP on this theory, and I have no clue whether the Neuro I will eventually consult with may consider these cases linked. As we all know, assertions of Lyme are often dismissed and marginalized by the mainstream medical community. However, the fact that I have tested positive for 2 IgG Bands and have a host of other seemingly related symptoms leads me to think (hope) that I am not indulging in utter self delusion with all of this.
In the end, I just want my life back and to be able to enjoy the bliss that "should" accompany a newborn. I have been fundamentally deprived of these things for too long and just desperately want some peace of mind.
Any thoughts from the broader audience?
I genuinely appreciate any thoughts/considerations you may be willing/compelled to offer.
Many thanks an blessings to all of you...