Posted 6/16/2014 6:12 AM (GMT -6)
I've read other threads on this topic but I don't want to overtake them!
I was diagnosed with GAD about 8 years ago, though I think I've struggled with it now and then all my life. about 9 years ago I had a short bout of globus hystericus, and as soon as the doctor confirmed that's all it was and there was nothing physically wrong, it went away.
From January to March of this year, I had bronchitis. I got on antibiotics at the end of Feb/start of March, and it went away. Shortly after, I had a slight wheeze in the mornings and was given an inhaler. Only used it about 8-9 times since then, and the wheezing seems to have gone.
I don't know if any of that is relevant, but that's the start to my year :(
In late March, I hit my head fairly hard (stood up in the cupboard under the stairs). Being a panicky person, and always fearing hitting my head, I had a few panic attacks over the course of a week.
about 2 weeks later, I began to have globus sensations again, and the doctor suggested therapy through the UK's LIFT programme. I also got a book on CBT I'm slowly making my way through. I've been to one class session of LIFT, and have a one-on-one assessment coming up. I've also been doing yoga and meditation and trying everything I can to relax, I've had a few deep tissue massages, have had fun weekends away and so forth, but nothing I does rids me of the anxiety and these sensations for more than a day.
The globus became more persistent, like the feeling of food stuck in my throat that others have described... after meals I either feel like bits of food are in my throat, or that my chest feels heavy, or I begin to panic I won't be able to breathe. Often I have to have several sips of whatever I'm drinking to get the food down, and sometimes it feels like bits of it linger in my esophagus.
I've had several panicky moments and a few panic attacks, more frequent in recent days. Yesterday after eating very soft French toast for breakfast, I had the feeling it was clogging my esophagus and I was going to choke, even about an hour or more after I ate. Eventually I calmed down but it was the scariest thing I've been through yet.
Some times it feels like mucus or phlegm, some times it feels more solid, and there have been a few blessed days where I've felt absolutely fine and was sure I had moved on!! Only to then find it came back with a vengeance.
I have tried Xanax a couple times (I have a prescription I basically only use for flying, usually lasts me about 2+ years) throughout this and both times, it calmed me completely, so I think anxiety and overthinking is a lot (if not all) of this.
This is the most frustrating, maddening, and scary thing that has ever happened to me. I'm 35, and otherwise fit and healthy, try to eat well, work out and run and play sports. But I am under a lot of undue stress, being a writer who works at home, and I've been trying to get a literary agent for over 2 years. My husband is a great support, and my family, too, though they're in the U.S. and I've been in the UK for 7 years. I think anxiety over getting older, not having sorted out a career yet nor gotten an agent despite all my work, etc. plus family health are adding to my already amped-up anxiety.
I've seen several GPs over the past few weeks. One twice has said she's certain it's anxiety and the therapy should help. Another said my oxygen levels and blood pressure were fine (he bothered to check them) and said he might recommend a low-dose anti-anxiety med, if the therapy didn't help. A third doctor referred me to the local hospital triage who decided on endoscopy. I told the doctor I would prefer an ENT referral to begin with, to have someone examine me in-office and listen to me, but the triage said the endoscopy is the way to go, to look for heartburn/acid reflux (I've had a bit of heartburn, but this might be due to stress now, who knows!). And he also noted that an ENT appointment could take months, even if I was willing to pay privately (which I would be; but waiting months is not an option).
So I've got an endoscopy booked for a week from tomorrow. I'm nervous. I think I'll choose the sedation because otherwise I may be too panicky to stop my gag reflex from postponing the whole thing. I don't seem to have much choice. My husband is fairly convinced it's anxiety-based and if the endoscopy shows there's nothing wrong then it will go away. It may be from anxiety, but the symptoms are definitely there. I've also read about cricopharyngeal spasms, but whether those are due to anxiety or acid reflux or something else, I don't know. It feels like I've gone down a rabbit hole trying to ascertain the cause myself, but the doctors are no better, especially if one at a surgery says it's only stress and the one down the hall insists on an endoscopy to "rule out anything sinister."
Thanks for reading, if you have. I've tried muscle relaxation techniques, hot baths, massages, yoga every evening, Calm.com's app, and am now doing a mindfulness online course. No matter how much I tell myself my life *really* is very full and blessed and otherwise healthy and I'm just dealing with normal things that lots of people deal with, I can't seem to get this under control. I'm not keen on taking a daily low-dose anti-anxiety med, but I AM scared of what all this daily, constant tension and anxiety is doing to my nerves and body. It's not good. Just wonder if anyone else has been in a similar boat, and how they're faring now if they've made progress. I just want to be my old self, to enjoy my husband and our holidays and my writing and take one day at a time! It's been 7 weeks of total hell :(