I'm newly joined to this site although I have been reading posts for a couple of months. I'm hoping to gain some support and share some things that just may help someone else.
My problems began about 4 months ago with constant pain in my left arm. Although it was painful and made it difficult to sleep at night, I didn't really give it much thought other than that it was probably age (52) or a pulled muscle and would settle in time.
A week or so later I was bending over the bath one morning washing my hair and I suddenly felt really weird; a bit dizzy and lightheaded, pressure in my body from waist to throat and severe chest pain. Although it was enough to stop me in my tracks it passed within about a minute and I got on and got ready for work.
Over the next couple of weeks I started to have a lot of chest pain, palpitations, breathing problems, anxiety, the constant left arm pain and various vague feelings of being unwell. I had 3 ECG's and a heart stress test (treadmill) and visited A&E. By this point my anxiety level was through the roof and, I now believe, added to the other symptoms (exhaustion, depression, lightheadedness, etc). I also had many blood tests which showed all ok except low vitamin D.
Well, as I said this all started 4 months ago; in the meantime I've been through (amongst other things) very bad indigestion, trapped wind, stomach pain, bowel issues, dry cough and choking in the night, fatigue - and it's ongoing.
Where I am now: I have this feeling of pressure beneath my ribs that comes and goes through the day and makes me 'breathy'; I get indigestion that doesn't feel particularly acidy but makes my throat hot and I get trapped wind. I don't really get diarrhoea or proper constipation but my bowel movements vary from difficult to go/very solid to very soft/very frequent. I get random stomach pains and some upper back pain and anxiety. Also, still get very tired.
I couldn't tolerate Omeprazol, Lansoprazol, Pantoprazol, Zantac, Femotidine or Motilium as they caused SEVERE anxiety and depression (including suicidal thoughts) so I turned to Gaviscon if I need it for acid indigestion; Simeticone (windsetlers, Gas x) as and when needed for trapped wind; slippery elm capsules from health store - 2 capsules twice a day; Kalms herbal tablets to help with anxiety when needed. I also play a relaxation/hypnosis tape at least once a day - usually bedtime and brisk walking for 10 - 15 minutes after eating if I'm up to it. I am at work full time although it's a real struggle some days and I'm still managing to do family dinners even though I can't eat much variety myself. My food at the moment is mainly chicken, fresh vegetables, small amount of whloemeal bread, potatoes (but not the skins as they cause problems) and camomile tea or water. I don't drink alcohol (never have really), don't smoke and gave up all caffeine about four years ago due to indigestion and migraine. Since giving up caffeine I've not really suffered with indigestion other than occassional bouts.
This coming friday I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist and my GP thinks he will want to do an endoscopy but I don't know how long I'll wait for that. My big problem is - I'm totally convinced that I have stomach cancer and I'm so frightened - even though I am managing my condition reaasonably well on a day to day basis I feel far from well and just want 'normality' back again.
I desperately want someone to talk to but I think my family are tired of it and probably even think it's all in my head.
If you've made it this far, thanks so much for reading and I really hope we all get well soon.