Down the Rabbit Hole...Again....
I suffer from severe anxiety and depression and health anxiety. Over the last three months I have been sure I have had some awful condition due to multiple symptoms. Initially started as chest pain. Had xray which was clear. Then the pain began in my neck and throat. I have seen two doctors WEEKLY since October and they have checked me thoroughly and stated my throat is fine and there are no swollen lymph nodes. I have had a full blood count which came back unremarkable. I am just back from yet another embarrassing doctors visit whereby I again burst into tears and stated that I feel bad as I can't believe they are correct as the symptoms are crucifying. Today my GP actually wrote a letter to me to read when I freak out...stating that he has seen me weekly for five weeks and checked everything and in his opinion there is nothing physically wrong but that I am suffering major anxiety. He has prescribed some medication for me.
I am in such a state. I barely sleep and I feel almost dissociated from life as every waking second is concerned with the multiple awful feelings I have...which are relentless! Pain in upper back, neck, ear, throat, behind ear, around eye socket....I have been 'diagnosed' in the past with Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia; Temperomandibular Joint Dysfunction and now to add to the list...Sternocleidomastoid Syndrome! I believe all the doctors are thoroughly sick to death of me and I don't blame them; I am sick to death of me too. I spend all day stretching, taking remedy rescue and covering myself in tiger balm and lavender oil...drinking gallons of water to try to quell the dry mouth and throat...googling remedies for all of my supposed conditions.....I am at my wit's end. If anyone can help me I will be very grateful.
Hey Panicmerchant - I think I can relate to this.
I'm really impressed that you kept getting it checked out - it can be so hard to go to the doctors and seek help over stuff when we feel they may not understand. But that's their job - and u persisted.
Ask them as many questions as you want, I say 🙂
I'm so sorry you can't sleep - I know these fears are enormous and big and I'm not discreditng them at all but I was wandering if you have tried to see what it would feel like to distract for a little bit - just to give your mind a break. Sometimes our mind doesn't stop and that can make us sickk....
I had obsessive thoughts last year that wouldn't stop and I couldn't set my mind straight - sometimes to break it up I hadn't to change scenery, watch a movie (i had to force myself- I wanted to switch the station, pause, keep googling my symptoms, go back to my worries...)... It definitely isn't an answer but sometimes distractions can just help us get some perspective.
Know you're not alone. And you will get better. Anxiety spirals are very tiring and also very common. I hope others here can share also how much they relate to ur honest and helpful first post. I've been there myself.
Thanks so much for your response, much appreciated.
Today I picked up a script for prescription strength melatonin which will supposedly help me sleep. Also my shipment of Happy Hormones (!) arrived so perhaps they will help with the menopausal symptoms! I agree that diversion is key; it is so easy to spiral out of control. I believe my insomnia is very much to blame for this latest catastrophic flare!
I read a very interesting article yesterday that stated 'chronic pain can become a neurological habit'. I absolutely agree with this. I need to be stronger within my mind and make myself stop the dreadful gut wrenching thoughts that go nowhere. Exercise; take my darling doggy out (although I already walk her twice a day and she pretty much goes everywhere with me!). Eat better and not drink coffee and alcohol. Alcohol is the worst for me. Initially I feel a bit more relaxed but a few hours later the anxiety is out of control. I simply can't touch the stuff!
Thanks again, it meant a lot to see a response.
Thanks for so openly sharing what you are experiencing. It can feel like we are the only person on earth having to deal with these issues, until someone is willing to share what they are experiencing.
I am immensely impressed with the Dr who wrote that letter for you to read. I do hope you are able to look at the letter, read it and tell yourself it is the truth.
On a good day, is it possible for you to write your own letter of good news and affirmations? I have been told that if we do that, then the mind starts to believe what we tell it.
I'm certainly not discrediting what you are experiencing! Recently I have had Drs tell me my issues are all in my head. To me that is a little dismissive unless they also express how I may be able to help myself if they feel they can't.
One thing I am learning, some days I am able to distract my mind easily and I benefit, other days it is not so easy or effective, and that is okay too. Telling myself I can try again is so much better than telling myself I am useless and should be able to cope with this.
It sounds like your dog is a great companion. I have a cat who very much does her own thing!
I'd like to encourage you to continue to seek assistance and research ideas and strategies that you can put in place as well.
Regards from Dools
I also visited the oral surgeon who quelled my panic last year (when I was convinced I had tongue cancer!!). He was very kind and thorough. Examined me at length and again...related all of this to anxiety (I do have temperomandibular joint dysfunction which can cause the pain around ear and back of neck etc). Thankfully he gave me some prescription painkillers as he knows I won't abuse them. Unfortunately I began my new job on Wednesday only to be informed that South Australia was going into lockdown at 11.59 pm that night! Needless to say this caused more anxiety; primarily around my darling doggy as she is used to being walked twice a day and going everywhere with me in the car. Luckily we are now allowed to walk to the shop once per day for essentials and take doggy with us....so we have already been out this morning. They say the first restrictions to ease will be outdoor physical activity/dog walking so I am keeping my fingers crossed this is the case. We are apparently in lockdown until Wednesday Nov 25. Will then be reassessed and may possibly need another 8 days of lesser restrictions. It is all very worrying and depressing.
My dear mother is failing (she is 81) and my poor brother lives in Melbourne. Therefore he has not been able to come over. We were finally hoping he could come over in the next few weeks but that of course won't be happening now. This year truly has been a disaster from the get go.
I thank you for your response and I have to look at the bright side. I have a lovely house and garden and I feel for those cooped up with young kids! That would drive me nuts!!
Thanks again and take care.
I too live in S.A. I totally understand what you are feeling and expressing. Sometimes for me it is the uncertainty of it all that gets a bit too much. I am thankful we have been given very clear and definite directions...even if it does feel like they are changing every day!
Are you able to start your new place of employment next week? I do so hope that is the case. I mainly work weekends and have had lots of rules and regulations to change and adhere to . Makes life interesting.
I'm sorry to read about your Mother. Is it possible for your Mum and brother to connect via Skype or Facetime or some other means? I know Aged Care facilities are trying to do this so people can actually see each other. I know it isn't the same as being in the same room, but for some people it helps.
It must be a wonderful feeling knowing you can take your dog out with you now and go walking again.
I know we are not out of the woods yet, at least we have turned a corner!
Hope you find some ways to reduce your anxiety or at least understand it better. I need to do the same with my stress levels sometimes!
Cheers to you from Dools
How are you? I hope all is well?
I am still suffering numerous symptoms and attending pretty much every professional one can think of. It now appears my impacted wisdom tooth is a big cause of my issues plus the fact I have arthritis in my neck. Last week I saw a new physio who is great; very holistic...he has also approved a psychologist for me and a dietitian. I am seeing a new psychiatrist in a weeks time. I have a dental consult Wednesday re extracting the tooth.
I just wish I had pain free time. Every day the second I wake up it starts. Throat, ear, neck, jaw, cheekbones..etc etc ad nauseum! I definitely have issues with the temperomandibular joint and that apparently can cause a great deal of what I experience. The impacted tooth is growing into my jaw (!!) so no doubt that too will cause pain.
I am worried that as I have gone through this for over two years it has become my 'normal' and I will be that person who everyone dreads seeing because they always have a problem. I am hoping and praying that having all these new people on my side will finally get to the root of the problem and resolve it. Regardless of what it is! It has to change.
Unfortunately I am back again.
Same symptoms. Awful pain in ear, left throat, back of neck; I am so convinced I do have cancer. I have seen the Doctor twice in the last four weeks and he said there is nothing wrong. He tells me to relax and not worry. He prescribed an AD which I have been taking but all it seems to do is make me feel a bit spaced out.
I have been under enormous stress lately. Since October my life has been absolutely awful ( much worse than usual). I won't go into great detail here but suffice it to say that at one point I was ready to give up.
In the last 7 weeks I have started a new job; been under a great deal of pressure there.....tried to get reduced hours but they refused. So I had to resign. I have had a lot of stress with my teenage son regarding his schooling etc . I am on my own with him and have no help from anyone. He has been off school for 3 weeks and basically sleeps all day and games all night. The few occasions he has been out with his friend they did the wrong thing....brought some mushrooms off some random and got sick....I found out about it and I worry sick about him. He has zero motivation and he is a major worry to me.
I have had major worries about money, my son, my dear dog; we had a snake in the house last week 😞 which truly set my PTSD etc off. I had a rather unpleasant Christmas with my so called family. Whereby I bought all the food; did all the driving and basically it was a stressful day for me. That is another story for another time...suffice it to say I get no support from them.
I am looking after a friends' dogs. I love them to bits but they are very needy and follow me everywhere.....my old dog isn't very fond of them and there has been a few almost fights. Plus my old girl has lately been very wobbly on her feet and I am waiting until Wednesday to see the vet (they are closed over holidays). I am very concerned about her.
So...in a nutshell I have nothing but stress in my life. This awful throat/neck/ear thing is killing me. Surely if it was something serious the GP would see it? I feel like I am on tenterhooks just waiting for another disaster of some kind to rear it's ugly head. Oh I forgot to mention I was recalled for a mammogram result last week but that was clear.
I do not understand why my life has to be so awful and stressful. I am at the point where I truly think I have cancer and deep down I feel it will be my own fault anyway for drinking and smoking. 😞
Thanks for sharing your story. These are major challenges in your life and you should be as kind to yourself as you can.
What comes through to me is your strength and persistence. To go so long without the needed social support from your family takes such effort and self-reliance.
Please give yourself and your mind/body the time it needs to 'recalibrate'. There is no rush where good health is concerned. The opportunity to build relationships and seek positive support outside of your family will unfold naturally in time. The better you feel in yourself and the more opportunities you take to engage within self-care, the more you will find these positive opportunities opening up for you.
I hope you continue to enjoy the support group as It helps us feel less alone, provides some perspective, and offers unconditional acceptance.