Hi everyone! I am so thankful that I've found this website. After reading some of your posts, it has given me some relief to know that I am not alone.
My health anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder really started making itself known about
1 1/2 years ago. I've always been one to be sensitive to the power of suggestion. In the past, I've watched medical television dramas and immediately thought that the things the patients on those shows were suffering from was going to happen to me too. Last year, I was watching an episode that focused on a patient that got cancer from one of the moles that was on her back. This put my mind into overdrive. I thought I was going to die and kept having visions of my 4 kids having to live without me. I scheduled a physical with my doctor and asked her to refer me to a dermatologist to have my moles checked out. This was not necessarily a bad thing since that is the type of thing that should be checked out every once in a while anyway. All of my blood tests came back normal (except for having to take fish oil to lower my triglycerides) and the 3 moles I had removed all came back benign. This put my mind at ease and I was finally able to feel normal again.
Unfortunately, I've recently slipped back into my anxiety. I made the mistake of watching the same television show again because I thought I could handle it. No more medical dramas for me! about
2 months ago, I was shopping with my family and got lightheaded while standing in the checkout line. I didn't think much of it at the time, but it stuck around. I went to the urgent care and was diagnosed with a sinus infection. I was given medication, but then developed what I thought was a kidney infection. The urinalysis came back negative, but I was given an antibiotic that would take care of it and the sinus infection. By the next to last day of taking the medication, I was still having pain in my right lower back (that always scares me because I had an E.coli infection that got into my blood stream after I had my first child and it originated in my kidneys), so I made a trip to the ER. They tested me and everything came back negative. The next day, I was feeling a lot better and had thought that I'd finally kicked whatever infection I had. A day or so later, I started getting lightheaded again. A few days after that, I developed a UTI. I went back to the urgent care and they gave me another antibiotic and told me to take Azo. It relieved some of my symptoms, but not totally. I was also starting to feel strange sensations on either side of my chin, not really numbness but it just felt different. I ended up going back to the ER to find out that my sinus infection was still there but my ears now had fluid in them. Since I had been on so many antibiotics, there was no bacteria present. I was prescribed Claritin-D, Flonase and told to get a strong probiotic. The ER doctor said that I looked good (I have not lost any weight, my appetite has been fine with the exception of being nervous thinking something is wrong with me) and that it sounded like my system was just out of balance. I took those for 7 days, which seemed to help my ears drain and finally clear up my sinus infection. During that time, I got some type of stomach virus though, which has led to my anxiety getting worse and worse. With every little pain I have now, my brain goes into overdrive with worry.
Let me give you a little bit of family history. For a couple years now, I have been dealing with a lot of stress. I am a 35 year old stay-at-home mom of 4 kids (my husband works full-time) and I work as a part-time website content and social networking manager. My mom, who is now 60 years old has had diabetes since she was 6 years old. Since she retired about
10 years ago, it's been one health crisis after another for her. She has had her left foot amputated, stints put in because of heart attacks, depression, etc. In August, she was riding her scooter over to the ball field at the park to watch one of my kids play baseball. She ran one of her wheels over a speed bump in the road and tipped her scooter over, landing on her right side. This resulted in her fracturing her hip and needing to have surgery. She was in the hospital for 36 days fighting with pneumonia and re-cooperating from her hip surgery. When she was finally able to come home, she was only there for a few days before having to go back to the hospital for another 2 hip surgeries because the other one did not hold. After another month, she was finally home and has been ever since. Along with worrying about
my mom, my brother is constantly on my mind. He has depression and family problems, which led to him almost losing his life 2 1/2 years ago. Lots of other things over the years have stressed me out too, so I think they've all just come together and I haven't been sure how to deal with everything. Normally, I'm the rock for everyone.
Before getting lightheaded 2 months ago, I had woken up one night thinking that my tongue was swollen. I had thought that maybe it was an allergy to something because the feeling went away and I didn't think about
it again for a couple weeks. During the whole time I've been sick, my anxiety has gotten worse. I started to think about
my tongue again and worrying that every little movement I feel means that there is something wrong with me. I wake up in the middle of the night because of it. Like other parts of your body, you don't normally think of every little movement. When my mind is not focused on it, I don't notice it at all. The same is true with being lightheaded. When I don't think about
it, I'm fine. Unfortunately, it's all I've been thinking about
lately. It has made it so I am not comfortable driving or going into a store because I'm afraid that I will pass out. My anxiety has gotten so bad that my blood pressure has gotten high. When I went to the ER the second time, it was 170/100. Normally, my blood pressure is around 135/80. I went to my family doctor for a physical last week and she noticed that it was high too. She prescribed me with a blood pressure medicine and did blood work and a urinalysis because I was having some abdominal tenderness. My blood tests came back normal, but there was evidence that my UTI was still hanging around. She put me back on another antibiotic that I've just finished. The UTI seems to finally be cleared up. Unfortunately, the blood pressure medicine totally messed me up. I had to spend a few hours in the ER on Thanksgiving day with a terrible headache, chest pains, feeling out of breath and blood pressure that was 189/84. I went back to my doctor yesterday because I was absolutely terrified because of the symptoms I was having with the blood pressure medicine. My blood pressure was 140/90 when I got to the doctor, but after I had been talking to her about
my symptoms, it went up to 150/100. She listened to my heart, but didn't hear anything out of the ordinary and my oxygen level was fine. She will be scheduling me for a stress test and has changed my blood pressure medicine to one with beta-blockers. I have also requested for her to schedule me for a mammogram. I am currently also taking a probiotic, daily multivitamin and Azo to make sure the UTI does not come back.
I still have these feelings that something is terribly wrong with me though. I just can't get happy about
anything, I'm constantly irritated, I always feel like there's a lump in my throat, my mind is foggy and I have cried so much over the past 2 months. I'm always having these thoughts that I will be leaving my kids and that one morning I won't wake up. I'm afraid to go to sleep. I've had nightmares that I have cancer or some type of other horrible disease. I'm in constant fear for my life and feel like every little pain or every time I forget to do something, I'm going to die. I just want those feelings to go away so I can feel normal again. I have tried knitting, watching funny television shows and playing my favorite video games, but as soon as I'm done, the feelings come back. I try to tell my husband about
it, but I don't think he understands. I know that he's worried about
me, but unless you've had anxiety that takes over your life, it's hard to fully understand what someone else is going through. I have talked to my sister-in-law who has had anxiety but has hers under control now. It was nice to talk with someone who had had the same types of experiences. I have also talked to my mom. This past weekend, I stayed with my parents to get a break from things, but in some ways it only made me feel worse. I've gotten to the point now that all it seems like I see on television are commercials for some type of medication and when they start listing the side effects, there goes my mind again. I've also made the mistake of Googling all of my symptoms, which makes my anxiety 10x worse.
Thank you all so much for reading. It feels good to get everything off my chest.