First Experience with Anxiety

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Yankee Fan
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/22/2008 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and and happy I found a place to talk to others who are experiencing the same things as I am.
Basically, I've never had a problem with anxiety in my 23 years, though both of my parents are chronic sufferers.  However, in the past couple of months, anxiety has become a huge problem for me.  Here's the long, detailed back story so bear with me please.  I need some reassurance!!
Part 1: Right around the first of the year, I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold/cough.  I was taking OTC cold medicine and was still functioning normally in my daily life.  Each day the symptoms seemed to be getting a little worse, so around mid-January I went to see the doctor.  I was diagnosed with sinusitis, and given the antibiotic Cipro for a 10-day course, along with a couple days of Zrytec.  On the 7th day of the antibiotic, I was feeling worse sinus-wise than before I had started the Cipro, with the new addition of sharp pain and tightness in my chest and back.  I was not able to work on this Friday, and went back to the Dr. complaining of my symptoms.  This time I was told it was still sinusitis, and given a couple of decongestants and told to finish the Cipro.  I did just that, and spend the weekend in misery in front of my humidifier, violently coughing up mucus.  I somehow dragged myself into work on Monday and Tuesday, feeling no better, but by Tuesday night I was in tears from the symptoms.  The chest pain whenever I breathed or coughed was debilitating, and the sinus symptoms were at their peak.  After spending the night in agony, my boyfriend decided I needed to go to the emergency room.  That's when the fun really starts.
Part 2: While I was waiting for the ER dr., the chest/back pain was out of control so I asked for pain medication.  Meanwhile, I was sent for a cat-scan, bloodwork, and X-rays.  At some point, the nurse shoots morphine through my IV without really telling me what to expect, so I freak out and begin vomitting.  While this is going on, the doctor comes in and tells me I have fractured two of my ribs (from the non-stop violent coughing) and that there are mucus-nodules in my lungs which he believe are indicative of sinusitis rather than pneumonia.  So I leave the ER with scripts for Perkoset for my ribs and Cephro for the infection. 
Part 3: I spend the next few days at my parents (who live 2 hours away from me) throwing up non-stop, barely able to hold up my own head.  I begin obssessing over my sickness, constantly thinking that I'm never going to get better, which I now pinpoint as the onset of my anxiety.  I finished the Cephro and stopped the Perkoset, which was responsible for the vomitting, and decided to just deal with the pain.  I somehow talk myself into going back for a few days (I'm a teacher) but my principal sent me home because I was STILL just as congested and obviously in pain.  All I did for those days was think about my illness and worry about why I wasn't getting better.  I was nauseous all the time and not eating.  I kept thinking the drs were missing something awful that I had. 
Part 4:  I went to an ENT specialist who again diagnosed sinusitis and this time put me on a 10-day course of Bactrim, a prednisone 6-day pack, and Zofran for the nausea.  Within 3 days, my sinuses were clear for the first time in a month!  However, instead I was an emotional, anxiety-ridden mess, crying uncontrollably and freaking out about every little thing (white tongue, itchy part of my foot, etc.)  I was still nauseous and I couldn't stop thinking about why I was feeling the way I was.   I read that the side effects of the Bactrim and pred. could cause those side effects, but the dr. said I had to finish the meds.  My father, who is a psychiatrist, gave me Xanax (.25 mg) just to get me through until I finished the meds, which seemed to calm me down enough where I was able to go back to my own home and back to work after 5 days.
Part 5: I have now been off of the antibiotics for a full week.  While I am no longer as nauseus, the anxiety has stayed firmly put.  I keep thinking that I'm getting sick again and obsessing about what would happen if I did.  I am back at work, and I'm generally ok when I'm busy, but it's getting worse when I'm alone or inactive.  I feel like I have a constant lump in my throat (which I then obssess over) and I really have no interest in things I normally enjoy doing (cooking, movies, shopping, sex, etc.)  I'm trying not to take the Xanax, but I usually end up taking one before dinner so I can calm myself down enough to eat something.  It works, but I hate the thought of growing dependent upon it. 
So, where does that leave me?  I'm basically hoping that there's someone out there who can relate.  Could this all still be residual effects from the Bactrim and/or Prednisone?  Do you think I'm going to end up with GAD or can I nip this in the butt before it becomes consuming?  I'm all ears and gracious for any advice.
Thanks for reading :-)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 2/23/2008 12:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW
You sure have come to the right place for support and understanding
It does sound like you are or do suffer from a/p and Helath Anxiety as well but thats just my opinion.........
If I were you I would take the meds when you need to there is NO shame in having to take them at all INHO

Personally I have had side effects from Prednisone but each of us seem to have some S/E from that med although it is a great med for what it is needed for
I cannot honestly say IF this is a reaction or residual effect from those meds BUT I would be asking your doc if it were I
I am hoping oithers will come along and post their experiences to see if that helps to ease your mind a bit.....sorry I could not be of more help to you
PLEASE stay with us and I am glad you did find us
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
         Mod for Alzheimer's, Anxiety and Panic and Co Mod for Crohns Donate today to keep HW helping others

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/23/2008 1:10 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to HealingWell. I am Kitt and this is a great site. I look forward to getting to know you better.

It feels to me like you have had such a long run of this respiratory illness and then the cracked ribs which are extremely painful that you have developed increased anxiety second degree to the whole episode.

Right now you may be experiencing some health anxiety, worrying about your health and the what if it all comes back.

You did have combination of antibiotics and then a steroid in your medication mix.  Prednisone can cause anxiety however you sound like you were on the medrol dose pack and most people do not have problems with that.

Have you discussed the anxiety with your Father, he sounds like the person who might be able to give you some advice on how to get past this fear of becoming ill again?

I am like you, being ill freaks me out.  I am so sorry you have been through this and please keep posting.  You will find lots of wonderful members here and they are very supportive and wise.
Gentle Hugs to you


Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/23/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   


Hope you have had a chance to read this and to browse through the forums and read the stories of other members. You will see the caring and kindness that is shared here.

Bless you and stick with us.

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Yankee Fan
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/23/2008 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
It nice to see such support, thanks for offering all your advice! I was having a really bad night last night, so I talked to my parents this morning. They think I should be on something daily (dad said Paxil, mom said Cymbalta) to control this anxiety. I can't get past the lump in my throat and feeling nauseous. I think I need to talk to a third party (not dad) to get a proper diagnosis.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 2/23/2008 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Yankee Fan...I really shouldn't be talking to you as I'm from the Boston area (go Sox!). Anyway, I'm also new to this sight. I'm a 25+yr. severe Crohn's Disease sufferer & in remission for a rare eye cancer. What brought my anxiety/panic to the forefront, was from a reaction to my first time using Cipro (I've been on & off this drug for fact, I just finished a 10 day course...however, I refuse to take the normal dosage...1,000mg...I start at 500mg & slowly lower this over the 10 day period). I spent 3yrs. w/ sinus infections (caused by a potent drug called Remicade). I found that Zithromax worked best for me as you only need to take it for 5 may wish to suggest this if you get sick again. Percocet makes me violently ill, at times (my sister can't touch it) & always makes me depressed. Prednisone is a drug that I took for 1yr. periods on & off for the entire 25 often causes extreme anxiety, among other side-effects, & takes some time to get out of your system (I would stay up all night & work all day in my early years on this drug). I'm not surprised that you've become anxious. Have you ever tried yoga? If not, I would suggest it (exercising is always suggested for anxiety & you may be able to nip this problem in the bud before it intensifies). Regarding anti-anxiety drugs, I take clonazepam (brand name Klonipin) for the panic attacks & alprazolam (brand name Xanax) for both general anxiety & panic. These are types of benzodiazepines which have sedative-like qualities. The drugs that your parents mentioned are used for depression/anxiety. Personally, I'm unable to handle anti-depressants & have tried both Paxil & Cymbalta (If I had to choose, it would be Paxil...I have a friend who takes it for bouts of depression but not for anxiety). If your problem is heavily on the anxiety, I'd go w/ the benzodiazepines...less side-effects & immediate relief. Hopefully, you can take these for just a short period & that will do it! Best wishes & please keep me posted... tongue
25+ yrs. Crohn's Disease Sufferer (diagnosed in '84); 2yr. Ostomate (ileostomy)
2yr. Remission for Conjunctival Malignant Melanoma
Ciprofloxacin as needed; Children's Vitamin/B-12 Supplement; Xanax as needed; Clonazepam 3x daily; Levothyroxin for Hypothyroidism
Several Eye meds used to help prevent further damage resulting from treatment for eye cancer
(former 6-MP/Remicade user - ceased due to cancer diagnosis)
Too many former drugs to name. Resection-'91, Sub-total Colectomy-'93, Rectal Abcess Excision-'01, Ileostomy-'06 (several other unrelated surgeries)

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