Hi all, first time post :) Bare with me as I tend to ramble a lot.
I am fairly sure I have an anxiety disorder due to what I believe must be panic attacks, I get these probably every 3 days. When I have an attack if I don't snap out of it soon enough then I can lose all control of my right arm for a good 20 minutes, with my left arm feeling very light. Often though I can snap out of it before it gets to this stage, it depends how tired or nervous I am. One day last week I pulled over in my car late at night and had a 5 minute cat-nap, when I woke up I wasn't sure where I was, and suddenly I felt like both my arms weren't connected to my body, I was terrified. Anyway, 2 weeks ago I woke up with my left hand tingling and my right arm almost dead. I didn't panic too much as I assumed it was just me resting on them, although I was suprised both hands/arms were affected. So I shook my hands and arms while half asleep, my left hand returned to normal but my right arm/hand didn't, I panicked, shot out of bed and was waving my arm about like a broken winged bird trying to fly when it sees a cat. It took around 8 minutes before most of the sensation was back in my hand and arm, although it never recovered fully, it still tingled slightly.
Now I always wake up with tingling hands or arms, usually my right one, although often only mildly. During the day/evening my right arm feels a bit weak, with numbness in certain areas in both arm and fingers. It also feels like I have hit my funny bone a lot of the time. This sometimes creeps to the left arm and hand, but no where near as often as the right. The weakness is constant, while the numbness and tingling is sporadic. I also often feel like I can't pick things up if I think about it, although of course I can. So for instance, if I see a mug, I feel I can't pick it up if I think about picking it up, but if I just went over and picked it up without thinking then it is ok. I can open bottles and everything ok, although not when I wake up with a dead arm. Also sometimes when I hold a remote control, or other similar sized object, my hand feels strange, almost like a sickly butterfly feeling in my hand, very odd. My hands, arms and feet also feel abnormally cold sometimes, and when I have a shower I often feel cold when the warm/hot water is moved away from my body (so for instance any part of my body is not being showered with water). At the moment while typing my right arm feels a bit numb and my forearm feels stiff/tired.
I am not blind to the fact this could all be anxiety from the panic of that first night of waking up with a dead arm. The problem is, how do I know ? I have been worried for many years that I may have MS due to an incident that happened to me in 1999, and I never recieved a diagnosis, although many things were banded about by the doctors like Meniers, Vertigo, Virus, Mental etc etc. I went and saw a shrink, psychologist, and neurologist. To the credit of the doctors they sent me to a lot of places, even an MRI (came back clear). But 10 years later I am still suffering from some of the things I had back then, like fuzzy eyesight, headaches, neck pain, bad balance, confusion, losing touch with reality, etc etc. But I have put up with them and just accepted that I have something unknown.
I went to the doctor last about 3 years ago (except for my current gallbladder problem) when I suffered a bad breathing problem where for 2 weeks I could hardly breath. Although I wasn't bodily checked out by the doctor, he told me he thought it anxiety. about a year ago I suffered what I believed to be RSI, I once again woke up with a dead arm, which was worse then this time as it lasted longer "dead". I couldn't use a mouse at all, and typing was impossible. I never got it checked out but it did go away, after about 2 weeks.
So although I know I have an axiety problem, I am also unsure if I am suffering other things too, more serious. I know worrying about something serious is a classic case of anxiety, but can it really cause my hands and arms to tingle, go numb, and weak outside of a panic attack ? I seem to be breathing fairly normally, yet the problem is still there. Sometimes it is better then others. It gets worse the more I think about it, but the fact I wake up with it when I am not thinking about it makes me worried, as I assumed it had to be on your mind to cause symptoms. Also reading other posts on the MS section with people waking up with dead arms (which I read AFTER I suffered from it) and being diagnosed with MS sure doesn't help my anxiety :)
I know I probably sound like a gibbering wreck, but I just want a solution, but I know no one on here can help me beyond their own opinion of course. Half the time I don't know if I am suffering from anxiety, ms, or just RSI (or even other). I know the first thing said back to me will probably be to see a doctor, which I am sure I will do, but I am worried I will be fobbed off with "don't waste my time" and find that every other time I go there I am treated as a hypcondriac (as I was told my breathing problem was probably due to anxiety last time I went there).
Any advice ? Can anxiety cause such symptoms outside of a panic attack ? When people talk of suffering symptoms or those mentioned on websites, I am never sure if this is just for during an attack or all times of the day. Thanks for any help and I am sorry if my post is difficult to read or make out.