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Am I a hypochondriac? I feel so down:-(
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Am I a hypochondriac? I feel so down:-(

Hi, I am 34 years old married mum of 2 young girls age 5 and 3and a half. I have 2 disc bulges in my lower spine with some sciatic pain. I  also have a slight bulge in my c spine. I have had grade 4 cartilage damage in my right knee which improved after surgery. I have IBS which I can control except when stressed. I am anaemic, when iron levels are okay my stores are still generally quite low. I cannot take oral iron because of the IBS, I have depended on the injections but have noticed lately that my pain symptoms worsen after a few days of iron injection being administered. I sometimes have low b12. I also am aware that I am depressed and have been taking lexapro at times for this. Other symptoms I have are muscles spasms in my calfs, dead legs and insomnia at night, numbness in my hands feet and front if thighs. painful hands and feet especially when cold, I camt bear to touch frozen food.I get tingling in my tongue and lips and get a lot of mouth ulcers and sore throats. At the moment I have pain across my shoulders and going down my arms. I am extremely tired.
I went privately to a neurologist last year who did nerve conducting tests, blood tests and brain mri. Nerve tests were fine. Bloods showed low iron and slight inflammation. 2 lesions were found on my brain but he said these were nothing to worry about. He prescribed me neurontin and amytriptyline which slightly helped but along with the anaemia my tiredness became much worse so I took myself off them. He felt he could go no further with me, he mentioned fibromyalgia and rheumatiod arthritis and said the next step was a rheumatology referral. MS was ruled out.
I recieved an appointment for oct 2011 for a rheumatologist but this is too far away so I am trying to contact for a private appoiment. Can anyone tell me what could be wrong with me? Could it be that a combination of my problems that make me feel so bad or could it be that there is one thing causing the whole lot?
I have been forced to take ill health retirement from my job, I have had quite a tough life but I always fought to be happy, Ive bungee jumped and paraglided.I put myself through night college and worked during the day I would be the 1st with a karaoke microphone in my hand, but now except for my 2 babies who I adore and my poor exhausted husband I feel my life is not worth living. I self harmed as a child, I would never do anything to hurt my family but I do know I feel that low. Ive even wondered if I left my family would they get on better without me because my husband is a brilliant dad. He snaps at me but he is physically and mentally exhausted too and works very hard. Generally he is so supportive so I understand he is tired. I am only 34 but feel 94, I just want to be the best mum I can be and get to the bottom of this. Overall I feel unbelieved even by some family and friends, this is going on 4 years now. My depression has been made worse by the deaths of 5 family members in the last 2 qnd a half years. I feel lost. My memory is awful and i feel incapable of processing the simplest things in my brain.
Many thanks for reading.
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I would already like to add just in case it is of any significance and ive just thought about it. I have started to have sore hips, they feel bruised to touch. Also when I was with the neurologist he mentioned something about active lymph nodes, I think thats what he said.
Lastly, i just said I would throw it in, I had the shingles in march 2006, seems to be when all my problems started to escalate..... Many thanks again to anyone that can offer any advice.

Laney,

PS:I managed to arrange a private appointment with the rheumatologist, still have to wait till May, but I suppose its much better than october! :-)
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That was going to be my suggestion, to see a rheumatologist! I'm glad you have an appointment set up. :) I'm also thinking fibromyalgia and/or rheumatoid arthritis. They often occur together. Fatigue is a huge part of RA, and add fibro on top of that, it's no wonder you feel like cr@p. :)  

A huge, huge factor in RA/FMS symptoms is stress. Find a way to manage your stress, and you're half-way to managing your symptoms. I know you're laughing right now, with those two small kids at home! I've had two kids, too, and some of my worst RA symptom years was when they they were little. So much is needed of us as mothers, and society expects us to be perfect moms. I have some advice for you - Lower Your Standards. *grin* When my kids were small, I figured if at the end of the day they were fed, happy, and the house hadn't burned down, it was a good day! Everything else, and i mean EVERYTHING, was optional. Suffice to say my house was never guest-ready. :)

You know how on an airplane the flight attendants always tell you to put your own mask on before helping someone else? That applies to every other aspect of life, too. Care for yourself first, or your "tank" will be dry when your kids need you. That means asking for help from friends, family, etc. It's good that your husband is supportive, so is mine, but like you said, our hubbies work very hard and we feel bad when we have to ask for help from them when they come home. This will get better as the kids get older - and trust me when I say that your kids are never too young to start helping around the house.

Another thing with husbands - and men in general - is that men are hard-wired to FIX what's broken. They can't fix what's wrong with us, and it frustrates them. It's not that he doesn't love you, he just can't help you. This can sometimes manifest in anger that seems to be directed right at you, like it's your fault. It's not ... you both need to learn new coping skills. A few sessions of couples counseling might be helpful, with someone who specializes in helping couples coping with chronic disease.

In the meantime, look up the Spoon Theory essay on the internet. It's a wonderful little gem that helps explain how we feel to others who aren't going through it.
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