First of all, let me start by saying that about last March I started having some really weird things happen to my body, things that I had never experienced before, so I went to a doctor who originally thought it was meningitis, so I got an LP and everything came back clear and I was dx'd with a migraine. Anyway, the symptoms didn't improve and more started popping up, so I went back to my PCP who referred me to a neuro. The neuro tested me for MS with a clinical evaluation and a head MRI. It came back clear, so he told me it was anxiety and sent me home (I had been seeing a psych for ADHD/ADD and had been getting a Xanax scrip to help ease the ADHD medication in the evening).
So I left thinking that it must be anxiety, so that was my mindset and I continued to live my life normally and everytime I would have these odd feelings, I would just lie down and tell myself its all in my head and I really am not feeling these things. It seemed to work fairly well for a while.
Then, at the end of July, there was a 3-4 day stretch where I was having trouble breathing, my chest just felt weak, I was almost constantly naseous feeling, and I got dizzy and was really unable to eat or drink anything. I felt decent otherwise, so I told myself it must be anxiety, and slowly that improved.
But for the last 4-5 months now, I have been routinely getting these spells during the day where I just get dizzy, like my vision is off, I get a feeling in my upper stomach up to my chest that feels like a subduction zone if you will. It just feels like there is a pressure or something and that at any point that pressure will spasm and go away for a bit, only to return. It doesn't appear to be gas either. Also in these last 4-5 months, I get twitches and little movements of muscles all over my body, these are almost every day, but not always, and usually not anything I can't deal without.
Besides the daily 'stomach/chest spasms' and dizziness, my main reasons for discomfort are 1) a cold chill-like feeling that I get pretty much any time of the day, every day. It feels just like a cold wind is blowing on me and makes me tingly and my muscles tighter. These occur most frequently when I am yawning or urinating, but can and do occur spontaneously as well. The other thing is that my left big toe and, occasionally, heel will get numb, as if they were cold, but they are not cold and have no reason to be numb or sleeping.
There are other minor things too that happen fairly often, but they don't really seem to be anything too extreme.
Anyway, I still must accept what the doctor said that this is anxiety, whatever that may mean. I live a fairly happy, easy-going life and have never considered myself to be anxious, so it was a bit of a shock to me when my neuro told me it was anxiety.
Does this sound like anxiety to you guys, and do you think I should go back to a doctor just to have him check me up again?
I'm sorry that you are having all of these symptoms! MS can take a lot of time to diagnose. There's tons of great information in the health pages to the right on your screen and also articles on diseases that mimic MS.
I'm not sure that everyone isn't anxious when facing the thoughts of possibly having an incurable disease! You know your body, so listen to it! I would suggest that you have your PCP refer you to an MS Specialist and take copies of any test that have been done. From personal experience I've learned that not all neuros and radiologists are really "up" on MS and misread the evidence staring them in the face.
Keeping a timeline could be helpful too. I've learned that if I trhow 10 or 15 symptoms at any Dr. they must feel overwhelmed and just sort of tune me out (Although MS'ers certainly can have many varied symptoms that come and go and make you even doubt yourself)! I've now learned that before the appointment to determine the 3 most bothersome symptoms that I'd like to have addressed and I write them down as well as any questions I want to ask(I forget if I don't). All the varied "little stuff" is usually put on the questionaire when arriving for your appt.
I tried to go armed and ready. I can be calm, systematic and direct and try to use my time wisely. The docs seem to appreciate it and I get relief and answers everytime and they've never seen how anxious and stressed I sometimes am!
Have you had a spinal tap or emg yet? Please let us know how you're doing and ask any questions you have! I'm am pretty newly diagnosed, so I know that there are many people on this site that know more than me that will answer you too-this is a great place to be! Welcome!
Thanks for the answers. I may schedule another appointment in the near future. I have held off, because if it is indeed anxiety, I don't want to go back and pay for medical tests that won't be needed.
@lilminnie - It doesn't sound like anxiety to me either, based on what I've read about it and what my psych thinks, but nonetheless, he is the doctor and anxiety can cause these things, so I have been convinced that anxiety must be the cause.
I am 22 and have never had anything terribly wrong with me before, and no serious mental health issues, so this anxiety thing threw me for a loop, since I really had no idea anxiety is more a physical ailment than a mental one, apparently so in my case.
One other thing I want to add. Once early last year when I had my first symptoms, I had a moment where I felt like I could not take a deep breath no matter what I tried. It happened spontaneously when I was at home watching tv. It lasted for about an hour.
Then, last October, I had a similar thing, except I was riding in a car with my cousin, and I felt something pop in my left elbow, and then pain and numbness went down my left arm, then my right arm and all the way down to my legs. I started to get cold, and my legs started trembling uncontrollably, and I felt weak, unable to breathe fully, and felt like I couldnt think at all, so I took a Xanax thinking it must be anxiety. It didn't help, so I went to the ER, where they did an EKG and told me once again that it was anxiety. I am wondering now if these really were anxiety attacks, or if they were something else.
Is there something that you are anxious about? Like college, bills, or a relationship?
I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV (if you don't get it, that's okay, I'm older than you and its a reference to an old commercial), yet one thing I have been through is anxiety. Back in 2001, I moved twice, got a divorce, bought a condo and changed jobs. I had the heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, all that. Yet during that stressful, anxiety-filled year, I didn't have the symptoms I do now. And my life isn't nearly as "stressful" or "anxiety-filled" as that time period was.
Yes, anxiety can cause health issues. No question about that. The thing is, I have found that doctors use that as a "diagnosis" when they either don't want to deal with you or have no idea what is wrong. Case in point: When my neck started hurting severely and constantly, I was told it was stress. It took me TWO YEARS to get a referral to a specialist. They did an MRI and my neck is a total mess and I was then referred to pain management. That's how bad it is. Ummm. Yeah. "Stress" caused that. So forgive me if I am just a tiny bit bitter.
Doctors have to see so many patients a day to make money. Time is limited, and time is money. Us "complicated" folks take up time and money. Also, a lot of specialists tend to think that those of us who don't have "textbook" symptoms and test results are taking away valuable resources from people who have "legitimate" issues.
If you truly don't think it is anxiety, I would suggest getting another opinion. If anxiety fits, or you believe it is contributing to your health issues, then address it because as I said, it can affect your life, and it is something you want to treat.
I just hate that so many people are told it is stress or anxiety, then later, it is found that they had a health condition that they could have at least been getting some type of treatment for symptoms.
Its not that I don't believe anxiety could be the culprit, its just that I continue to have these strange symptoms that either don't fit with anxiety, or I can't imagine how anxiety could have caused them when I live a fairly stress free life. I just wanted to ask on here if anyone could identify with me, because I am not sure who else to talk about these symptoms with, since I have been told it is anxiety.
I mean I don't really live a stressful life is the thing. The only thing I could think of that could have triggered these 'anxiety' symptoms would be graduating college, which I did last May, a couple months after I starrted having symptoms. I still live at home with my parents, I was working at a golf course at the time (very laid back), I have a great circle of friends, I am not in any financial problems, I don't have a girlfriend, I don't drink much, I don't gamble, I graduated with honors... I mean, there wasn't and still isnt a whole lot in my life that causes much stress.
II do occasionally smoke pot now, but I never did when I was in school, when all this started happening. So really, that is why something is telling me that maybe this isn't anxiety as the doctor suggested.
I'm not sure what my next step is. I have just been trying to wait this thing out and see if it will pass, but as of today, those darn symptoms are still there!
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