When in doubt…it’s anxiety

I’m 28 years old and after so many years of this, I still have a hard time really believing that the symptoms I am feeling are anxiety related.
After going through months of tests for MS, Guillome-Barr syndrome, lyme disease, etc. It was finally discovered that the source of my extreme muscle weakness, blurred vision, lightheadedness, swallowing difficulties, tingling fingers, and headaches…..it was all due to an anxiety disorder.
I seemed to be doing well for the past few months, but this week I have been ill again…nausea, muscle weakness, trembling and shaking while experiencing hot flashes. I felt like Billy Graham going through menopause. Because the shaking and trembling was something I never experienced before, I went to the doctor yesterday and she (my real doctor was on vacation, so this was a sub) ran blood work on me and told me to come back to the office the today.
I did….and on my way to the office, I started shaking, feeling dizzy….which then triggered the familiar beginnings of a panic attack. I immediately took some Xanax and most (but not all) of the symptoms went away.
I was still shaking uncontrollably when I got the office, but she truly felt that that was the adrenaline still pumping through system. My heart was racing, my blood pressure was high and I was still feeling a touch of nausea, but she came to the conclusion that this is all anxiety related. My blood work came back completely normal.
And yet…
I worry still.
What if…
What if this isn’t anxiety.
What if …. now don’t laugh at how my mind works, but what if I have some sort of stomach cancer. And that is why I feel so nauseaous and that is why I am so weak. She did say that my glands were swollen…what if that means something. Something bad.
I hate anxiety. I try to hide it from everyone when I am feeling the symptoms because the more attention I bring to it, the worse it usually gets.
The hardest symptom to hide is when I lose strength in my legs. A strange symptom, I know. I actually am reduced to shuffling and I can barely lift my legs. I wonder if other people with anxiety have the same problem.
Well, in any case….I am praying that what I am feeling right now is just anxiety. I’m just worried because it feels a little different this time – I have never had this type of feeling before and I am just worried that maybe something serious is really wrong with me.
But if it is anxiety, I can deal with that.
I have my Xanax….or my new favorite – Ativan. I also have my daily Prozac (40mg) and Zyprexa for my nerves. They have worked wonders so far, but these past few weeks have pushed me to the limit. If I don’t feel well enough by Monday, I will definitely be calling my doctor again and have him run a few more tests. My doctor is the best doctor in the world. I love him – he takes good care of me! :) I went for years jumping from doctor to doctor and this is the doctor I want to have for the rest of my life. He is thorough and honest and never makes me feel as though I am overreacting to anything.
I’m so afraid of illness and death….and I don’t take care of myself as well as I should. I don’t get enough sleep, I don’t eat enough, I am always fad dieting to lose the same 10 pounds….I probably abuse this poor little body of mine and every now and then it fights back to wake me up and get me back on the healthy track again.

I just want to feel normal again.

As I type this, I can feel my legs trembling a little and my stomach feels as though someone has punched it…it feels so odd. And, my most familiar symptom – “fuzzy head”. Kind of like someone is scratching the nerves inside of my head – like Velcro. I just feel “off”. Usually the medicine works, which lets me know that it must be anxiety since the anxiety medicine takes away most of the symptoms. But what about the people who don’t have medication and don’t have a way to test whether they have anxiety or not? I pray for them….while I pray for me. Anxiety disorder….that is something I do not wish for anyone. I know it’s not life threatening, but sometimes it really feels that way.
How this started, I have no idea….how to stop it, that I do not know, but I am going to start researching some self-help sites to see what kind of anxiety coping tools are available out there. I need to take control of this – that is the only way I can hopefully handle the anxiety without medication in the future. I think some praying about this would help, too.
Well, I shall ramble about this no more. I have some name prints to print and mail out for tomorrow. I received nearly a $200 name print order from my Namely-Yours.com web site. That was exciting! It’s amazing that I actually have customers who come to my site and want to buy my name prints. Exciting, indeed!

This entry was posted on Friday, May 2nd, 2003 at 9:19 pm and is filed under Anxiety & Me. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

13 Responses to “When in doubt…it’s anxiety”

  1. Lynn says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    I am where you are right now. I have a history of anxiety since I was about 25. (I’m now 39.) I am currently getting tested for Lyme Disease, premenopause/hormonal imbalance, MS, and a variety of other possibilities. But as soon as I mention my history of anxiety to any medical professional, they immediately jump to the conclusion that it is that, and I can see them “check out.”

    I am also researching a woman named Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, who specializes in many of these symptoms and how hormones play a role in how we feel. She has a few books on Amazon I’ll be ordering today.

    Please let me know if you get any other diagnosis, but your symptoms are identical to mine. It’s starting to affect my daily comings and goings.

    Take good care.
    Lynn

  2. Stacy Edwards says:

    Thanks so much for writing that letter Jennifer. I feel like a freak always because I am calling ask a nurse and thinking I need to call 911. I don’t understand this problem and why I can’t control it. I hate anxiety so bad and would give anything for someone to tell my my heart will work for 50 more years or I will be alive to see my 3yr old graduate high school. I always think I am going to die if not today soon. I can not believe it is just a stupid thing called anxiety that no one understands and just blows off as nothing. I wake people up at night and ask them to be w/ me at night because I can’t breath they get pissed and it makes it worse but no one understands. I don’t understand myself. All I know is this is not fair finally I am putting my life in order and something is ready to attack w/ out warning exspecially when I am alone. I hate to be alone because I know it’s comming but it knows I know that so I can’t stop it. I wish there were something I could do. I take medication. Zoloft and some kind of root valerian root I think that is natural. My doctor is stupid and won’t give me xanax because “it’s addicting” Whatever I will just suffer and drink lots of alcohol so if I am unconcious it can’t get me. It works but I have a little girl and it’s not fair to her can I win????E-mail me at Roadsterguy31@aol.com Best of luck;)

  3. Abby says:

    Jennifer!

    Oh my god! I’m totally bawling my face off right now. i’ve been searching online, like i do every night, trying to explain whatever mystery ailment i’m feeling today. i too suffer from panic disorder and i never thought i would fear so much about life. this disease is eating me up.

    but you are such an angel. to write so candidly about what you are going through. i can’t thank you enough. just knowing you are out there has reduced me to tears. i wish there was something we could do. get a conference together. i don’t know. something. i just know that when i read about other people going through this it gives me hope. and i have so much despair right now that that hope is truly one of the only things holding me together.

    i just found your website by typing in a search for panic disorder. i’m going to take a look at it now that i’ve written you.

    i hope that we can find strength and peace of mind. i’m thinking of you jennifer and sending you back some of the hope your letter gave me.

    with gratitude,
    abby

  4. Gary says:

    Jennifer,

    Finally some solace! I thought I was going crazy, but you just explained a normal day in my life. I’m searching for the answers to getting over this terrible afflication as we speak. I hope things better.

    Peace,

    Gary

  5. natalie says:

    my life sounds just like yous.the only difernce is for years i recieved no help.my parents told me i was a hypercondract.no that i am the ripe ol age of 30.my doctors have diaognosed me as bi-polar with panick attacks/anxiety.i take zyprexia.effexor xr.depakote.and ativan.i still have my bad days but i feel much better nowing that someone finally belilieved the hell my life was before hand.good luck to you>

  6. Andres says:

    Dear sirs: I have the same exact symptoms as Jeniffer. It’s horrible. One does not feel like normal and the worst is the head feeling like with tingligs all the time, and extreme sensible and weak legs and even numb hands and arms. Xanax has helped me but lately not as much. Doctors also diagnosed anxiety since I have had a couple of panick attacks..the rest of the tests so far show I am the healthiest of people but I still feel not good enough as I used to feel.

  7. Leah Mengelkoch says:

    I’m in the same boat “it” has taken over my life. I’m married with a 3 year old and a soon to be 2 year old. I feel incrediblt guilty that I sit here on this computer and look up symptoms for x amount of hours a week, instead of LIVING my life. I’ve have numerous tests as well, that all came back normal. But whenever I get a “new” symptom, it all comes back and hits me in the face. It’s a vicious cycle. After not going to church for years, I’ve gone and I find it really helps me. I also have relatives and friends who are getting sick of the “what if I have this?” questions. I just want to be me again. I really miss her. My advice to anyone that reads this is, you have a choice. It’s good to worry about your health to some extent. But too much worrying can make you sick. Find your comforts in life and love them. I have so much advice to give, if only I could take it from myself. Good luck to all who are dealing with this anxiety. My heart goes out to you.

  8. chris says:

    wow….i have searched all over the net..because i thought somthing was seriously wrong with me…I was diagnosed woth anxiety 5 months ago, after a severe allergic reaction landed me in the hospitall, ever since …like you, I have been very afraid of illness and death…after the allergic reaction, it made me feel that life was so fragile… i just want to tell you, I have the identical symptoms!!! every single one…because I went to other sites, and they never had my exact symptoms…i was sure somthing else was wrong!! my legs feel as if they are going to give way, I feel very weak, shakey (stairs are the devil, i shake all the way down) my stomach is bothering me, and i know what you mean about fuzzy head..its very strange… i also have days where my mind is just racing! my eyes are glancing around very quickly, non-stop, every sound I hear and notice, and everything seems to be moving so fast!! then other days everything moves in slow motion!! anyway, I hope you are feeling better, for I am not, but I hope I will with christmas coming up and all,
    take care!!!

  9. jen says:

    Jen,
    Thanks so much. I am going crazy. I have panic disorder and asthma. Everytime I have to use my asthma meds (2 X year), it sets off a cascade of physical, panic, high BP and pulse for weeks. I am miserable. I know whats happening, but I still freak, get tests, call 911 and just make everyone nuts.
    Thanks again,
    Jen A.

  10. emma says:

    i cant believe i have found this i am so scared of life you would not believe i have 3 beautiful young girls and i just wana give them the best and take care of them but all i can think about is the way i fel and that im a freak and that i have no point in carrying on anymore i have felt like this for 7 years and never had meds because i darnt as i dont like feeling out of body and all the symptoms of meds i just dont kno who i am or what to do i jus wana give up and sleep forever

  11. Barry says:

    This statement – How this started, I have no idea….how to stop it, that I do not know, but I am going to start researching some self-help sites to see what kind of anxiety coping tools are available out there. I need to take control of this – that is the only way I can hopefully handle the anxiety without medication in the future.- is that is of grave concern to me. I can help you.

  12. Great site, thanks! I really like it!

  13. mike croteau says:

    I have many sysmptoms from anxiety and none of them bother me more then having my legs so week I can not walk, I panic and feel I am having a stroke, Is there anyone else out there who suffers from this, That one leg gets so week it feels like it is just hanging there and can not carry any weight. Help I need tyo hear from someone who may suffer from this
    thanks

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