It seems to vary slightly from person to person, but I don't think we're the only people to have this by a long way - I've been googling it to :)
I've never been an athlete as such (I presume you do triathlon...) but I did used to be a very keen mountain biker and I'm also a non smoking, light drinker.
I've only been experiencing symptoms since christmas. After going out for a few drinks on christmas eve (nothing dramatic, but still a binge by my virtuallty t-total standards) I woke up feeling ill and needing to go to the loo. By the time I'd got to the bathroom I was sweating and had palpitations and dizziness. I had an ECG two years ago for a job medical and that came back clear as did several blood pressure checks more recently, plus there was no chest pain involved, so I'm fairly confident this was a panic atatck. Quite why I don't know, I was having a whale of a time spending christmas with my gf and her friends up north, it's hard to think about anything that could have been better. Anyway, it was like I never recovered from the hangover, I would feel light headed and 'not quite there' periodically up to the present. The tight sensation in my face centered on my right side, but seemed to appear to a lesser extent on my left too. I also had an ache in my right arm and stiffness in my right little finger. Crucially, it was my right side where the doctor had hesitated and changed lenses part way through the eye exam. As a result I thought she suspected a tumour (another Dr and an optician have since said the eye is ok, so I guess she just needed to adjust the lense afterall!) But, I think this set up a 'complex' about my right side. This seemed to be there more often than not although sometimes it was much less noticable (usually if I relaxed) and I started to have problem swith muscle tremors and spasms. For about a week I was convinced I had MS and I started to really depress the people around me with all sorts of doom ladden morbid comments. Then, I don't know why, things got easier - I could rationalise it. Ok, it was bad luck, but I could have anxiety creating the twitch, RSI in my hand and maybe a trapped nerve or something effecting my leg. It would be a bit unfortunate, but still far far more likely than a fit healthy 23 year old male developing MS or a brain tumor. I managed to keep persuading myself not to go to the doctor - I don't have any particular dislike for visiting them (apart from losing a mornings pay!) it's just that if as seemed likely it was just anxiety I didn't want to 'feed' it with doctors, hospital appointments etc. I also had a go at meditation which seemed to help.
That was about three weeks ago and for a while I was almost completely back to normal, I think a few twitches may have remained, but I honestly can't remember, as far as I was concerned I was well on the way to being back to my old self. The weekend before last I was feeling sooo happy to be almost back to normal. I had a night in with my gf and had a few glases of wine (litterally 2) along with a home cooked curry. The following morning I woke up feeling ill and shivering intensely. I ended up in bed with a hoodie and a ski jacket on. Then, I had a pretty much exact copy of the original christmas eve 'episode'. I started to feel warm, so took off the jacket, then the hoodie and was eventually sat there sweating profusely in just a thin t-shirt. I began to feel dizzy and get quite severre palpitations. My arms and legs had intense pins and needles and strangely my head felt really heavy as if my neck muscles could barely support it. Then all of a sudden, my temperature returned to normal, the pinsn'n'needles retreated back to my extremities then dissapeared and my heart calmed down. I can only assume that my less than profficient cooking skills had given me food poisoning which caused the sickness and temperature and that as this reached a peak it triggered a panic attack. Again, I didn't feel especially concerned about anything until it started to happen, but it dissapeared completely and there was no chest pain, plus I guess the doctors would have picked up on any heart problem (not to mention MTBing in Snowdonia being kill or cure!)
Recently the stifness in my arm has gone away. It has been replaced by twitches and very occasional tremors, but these seem to be anywhere from head to toe on either side. My right leg, particularly the calf feels like it's tensed up a lot of the time, but there again I do a lot of on/off driving round the M25 where you're constantly rocking between small movements on the brake and accelerator and when I was doing a lot of running a few weeks back I had a problem with my left knee, so may have compensated a little too much with my right leg and sprained something. I also get slight cold or tingling sensations in either of my hands or feet, sometimes accompanied by a slight feeling of tightness/pressure in the calf or forearm connected to it. I've had 'chill' sensations where the hair on a patch of skin stand on seem to stand on end and sometimes just a general tightness as if the skin has shrunk. I also feel very tired even if it's only lunch time. After that weekend with the curry I keep wondering if it's a heart problem. I start to analyse the slightest indigestion pain (as I am now in fact!!) but as discussed above I suspect any problems there would have shown up either at the doctor or whilst spinning the gears on my MTB. The tired muscles and spasms mean I still worry about MS every so often.
What I try to bear in mind is that if you pooled our symptoms and those of everyone else on here it would be possible to mimic virtualy every serious diseases known to man. I found the extent to which anxiety can attack peoples bodies really quite shocking and having experienced it myself I can testify to the mental exertion too. In my mind I did have a brain tumor, then did have MS. Who knows, maybe I do, but I can't have both so atleast one of those (and let's be realistic, almost certainly both of them, plus my other 'ailments') must have been entirely ficticous, but I was [briefly] put through the emotional experience of actually having it. At the end of the day I'd always rather be a hypcondriac who can get better, but you could say I've 'experienced' several life threatening conditions already this year.
I've been typing for ages and I'm not sure how much sense it makes, so I'll try and conclude!! I think the problems on my right hand side stem from a notion that I had a brain tumor effecting that side. Even when I ceased beliving I had one, the problems continued to effect my right more than my left, but I'm convinced that's just where it's taken hold in my subconscious maybe it's something similar for you? My doctor reckoned 'independant young men' were particularly liable to health anxiety because they weren't used to anything going wrong - she thought maybe a virus had triggere my original light headedness, maybe a slight circulation problem or soemthing is the root of our arm/leg problems - the anxiety takes it and turns it into something far more significant than it actually is, to the point when it remains after the underlying problem has gone. I've always had cramp problems whilst cycling, maybe my circulation isn't that great..... Also, if it's any comfort, after 15 or 20 years I suppose anything major would have shown up (I get the impression you know that anyway!!) that's got to be a good thing for me too. The other thing which occurs, is although I sometimes feel a little on edge for no particular reason I can never find a specific thing that I'm worried. I have a well payed, very low pressure job (in fact maybe too low - it's been argued my brain is left unnocupied at work and that's why it does this!!) and a good social life. I wouldn't say I was especially, irrational, highly strung or ''a worrier' by nature yet I seem to be afflicted by this. I'm careful not to underestimate anxiety, but at the end of the day that's something psychosomatic I can set about overcoming, I'm just worried about anything I can't combat. I have no problem with my own mortality, but just want to enjoy a normal unexceptional life before that becomes a factor. I can't bare the idea of becoming an observer on my own deterioration years before my time.
Post Edited (Chris711) : 2/20/2007 9:59:32 AM (GMT-7)