In October '06 I got what felt like really weird, isolated flu symptoms. My head was very heavy, I had a LOT of fatigue (feeling like I needed to continually close my eyes and put my head on my desk), and "non-vertiginous" dizziness. I also had truly bizarre sensations that my body was shaking when it wasn't shaking at all--especially after lying down awhile--something I've since read termed "internal tremors"--but I don't know if that really is the accurate term for what I was describing.
The symptoms ultimately lasted almost a month total, but during the time I felt ill I had a lot of blood and urine work done--all of which came up negative. When the lab tests didn't show anything, it was suggested that I had anxiety/depression and I should visit the psychiatric clinic.
When the symptoms passed I was extremely relieved because living with them is extremely difficult. Unfortunately, the dreaded symptoms returned Thanksgiving day and so far haven't waned yet--so I've been sick for yet another month with little hope the symptoms will pass again soon.
I probably should point out that, indeed, I'm coming off the worst and most stressful year of my life. I had some stomach flu symptoms in March '06 which led to a CT scan to be sure I didn't have appendicitis. That precautionary scan expectedly didn't reveal that condition--but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) they did find a cancerous tumor on my right kidney. I was quickly scheduled for surgery and wound up having my right kidney removed. After the biopsy I was ultimately diagnosed with T1 kidney cancer which was estimated to not have spread due to its very small size and early diagnosis, etc. I was given quite high survival odds--about
90% (cancer never has a 100% survival rate)--but I'm 34 and had a (at the time) 6 month old daughter (she's about
15 months old now). On top of that, in September I developed an ulceration/
open sore in my mouth due to excessive inner mouth bone growth that was unable to heal, which led to a fairly barbaric dental bone removal surgery which I was ill-advised to only be under local anasthetic for. Perhaps the second surgery paled in comparison to the kidney removal, but it was still no picnic by any means and the experience shook me up pretty good--especially after my major surgery earlier in the year.
My first bout with the symptoms I'm having trouble with now developed about
2-3 weeks after this aforementioned dental surgery. They lasted about
a month as previously mentioned, then went away until Thanksgiving (almost 2 months), and have now returned.
Mentally I can say that before and after the onset of these symptoms, of course I was and am stressed by my recent health concerns and newfound focus on mortality. I indeed am quite afraid to die despite the good prognosis as I am not a religious man, and have lots of little aches and pains to provoke recurrence fears (I have a foot-long incision across my right side that will perhaps be tender the rest of my life as a result of the surgery). Still, I don't believe I'm dwelling 24/7 on this and felt fine for months after the cancer surgery and for weeks (twice) after the dental surgery.
And despite these obviously new mortality-related stresses, I don't have in comparison to others a highly stressful job--and my family/domestic situation is good. I really don't feel "depressed"--and I do believe I know what depression is and believe I've definitely experienced it. I also am not experiencing panic attacks at this point.
Anyway, It appears I'm going to get little help from primary care doctors at this point in relation to my current symptoms as they're content with a dignosis of anxiety for now. And docs don't believe there's any possibility this has anything to do with my previous cancer diagnosis (although a CT scan of my *head* was never actually done).
Treatment-wise, going away with an anxiety dignosis I was prescribed Celexa, which I've been on for about
3 months now. Honestly, I felt and feel no effects at all from the medication--and they obviously have absolutely no effect on what I'm experiencing now. I'm not seeing much point to staying on this medication right now.
I truly do feel physically ill though. I actually, at times, do wonder if I am actually dying from something currently undiagnosed as I experience these symptoms. The non-vertiginous dizziness sensation, which is with me almost all the time, along with the trouble I have occasionally focusing mentally and fatigue does give a personal impression of a serious, serious condition. I don't have headaches really, sometimes just a full pressure sensation or dull ache on the forehead or back of the head.
I guess my question is--do these symptoms sound like they really are caused by anxiety? Can you experience such symptoms without the perception that you are indeed anxious--i.e., have anxiety on some subconscious level that would cause such symptoms to manifest themselves?
I'm starting to wonder if the diagnosis was questionable and/or if I should be demanding a CT head scan or other treatments. Or would another anxiety drug treatment perhaps be effective?
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Post Edited (tomjonesrocks) : 1/2/2007 10:37:58 AM (GMT-7)