Nurse Jenn (and all others who have been told they have anxiety),
I have my own anxiety story to share, I think it is a gross negligence of patient care. The first neuro I ever saw (granted I did not know what a neuro exam consisted of, nor what I should expect out of this visit) told me within 5 minutes the I had anxiety and prescribed Paxil. He told me I should look at myself everyday in the mirror and say "I am normal and healthy!" HA! I brought in a hand written list of symptoms (barely legible at the time) that consisted of: my entire left side of my body was numb, motor skills were bad, gait was off and I was nearly falling when I would walk, could not drive, had a low grade fever, handwriting had changed, emotional lability, slurring speech, questionable bug bites on my left side (later determined to be shingles), and I'm sure there are others I have forgotten by now. Anyways, he did NO neuro exam, he looked at passed blood work I had done and said I was stressed and that I was normal and young and healthy. HA! Within 3 or 4 days I was unable to walk unassisted and my mom drove from IN to MO to get me. I had quite a few falls before my mom could get me to my family doctor and he said get her to the ER that neuro did not take her serious. This girl needs an MRI. He looked at me and said "I don't know what you have, but it's not anxiety so I will find out what it is." After an MRI, I was initially thought to have MS, then went to a NEW neuro, and he diagnosed me with ADEM. I spent a month in a rehab hospital because at that point it had gotten so bad that my brain stem was covered in lesions. I had to re-learn to walk and the everyday things. I spent the next 4 months in outpatient therapy after the hospital. I just recently saw another neurologist who is an MS expert, and she re-diagnosed me with brainstem encephalitis. She said I had very severe lesions that hosed my brain stem. She said it was amazing that I was sitting in her office doing what I was doing. She expects me to be recovering for up to two years from the attack. She said if in two years I have no symptoms I could be considered the luckiest person on the planet. I still can't help but wonder if it would have gotten to that point if the first neuro would have given me an MRI instead of diagnosing me with anxiety and letting the lesions eat up more of my brain... Still I just thank God for bringing me through the ordeal how he has! He is awesome! Good luck to all you!
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
23 years old;
Feb 2009 Dx: Acute Disseminated Ecephalomyelitis (ADEM)
Aug 2009 Dx: Brainstem Encephalitis August
Meds: Provigil, Nexium, Lexapro, Adivan, Baclofen, Topomax
Did 1000 mg IV solumedrol for 8 days then weened for 1 and a half months from mid Feb-late March
A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit dries the bones.
"This too shall pass."