jeffg

I know you all can help me...

Recommended Posts

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jeff. I'm 31, very happily married with a little girl. Now, here is what i'm dealing with.... it's long but worth it for me to get it all out.

I believe I have had anxiety issues most of my life but that recently came to a head about 6 months ago. Most of my anxiety has always dealt with fear of the unknown and the unpredictable future. I've never had any serious health issues. But about a year ago, one of my best friends was hit with brain cancer and i believe it started to make me hyper-sensitive towards my health. He's clear now but seeing what he and his family went through really tormented me. I was there for him and hid my fears but then they started manifesting themselves about 6 months ago when I felt pressure for a job promotion--pressure I put on myself. From that I was having headaches, dizziness, jaw pain, neck stiffness fatigue etc. I thought TMJ, neck cancer, brain cancer, meningitis, MS, etc. I did research--bad idea--which made me think the worst. Around that time i had a routine dental exam and he said, "you're grinding your teeth. you are in a lot of stress right now correct?" Of course he was right, I was given a bite guard, got new pillows for neck support and i was doing a lot better. And I got the job promotion.

Now onto my latest struggle. About 3 months ago i hit my tailbone hard on a surface at work. Then traveling for a 5 hour card ride a month or so later, the outside part of my left ankle got tingly. I knew it was from a long car ride but decided to google my symptoms--again bad idea. This lead me to neuropathy, thyroid issues, MS, ALS. Right after i returned, i had a panick attack and my wife who deals with children mental health issues said you need to go talk someone, you're fine physically but you need to get your anxiety under control. I started to twitch everywhere, had perceived weakness, couldn't focus on anything but ALS no matter how hard i tried. I had a routine physical that same week and brought up the concerns to my doctor. Reflexes fine, strength testing fine, balance tests fine. He did say from the tingling, it's probably a pinched nerve and perscribed PT and also told me to seek therapy to help my anxiety. 

Started PT 3 weeks ago, my doctor said it's a pinched nerve in my hip that hits when i sit down for long periods of time. Makes sense because it's gotten better with therapy. But since then, my twitching has somewhat subsided, still there and widespread but now i feel an isolated twitch in my right foot, specifically the 4th toe. It doesn't twitch constantly, just a rest randomly. And stops when I move it. Somtimes it will twitch so bad i feel it somewhat vibrating the sole of my foot. There is no weakness, no foot drop, i can walk fine, stand my toes/heels. And the other site says twitching is secondary, and i would have noticed issues already if it was real. And I know it doesn't jump from spot to spot. Everything points away from ALS. Right???

I got into a therapist back in early september, had 2 quick appointments but only 1 since then. I asked to be seen more often because i want to get control of this and not let it control me. Which is why i turned to here. My most recent therapy was 9/26 but not another one until 10/17 even though i asked for every week until i understand how to handle this. I had another panic attack last Thrusday and still feel on edge from that. I feel almost certain I don't have ALS but not sure how to move on and get over this paralysing fear that is consuming me. I'm guess I'm looking for some sort of reassurance that it's just my anxiety...which is bad for sufferers of health anxiety or so I've been told.

I'm reading a book to help as well and it does help while I'm reading it but the catastrophic thoughts come back. And I haven't been given the tools yet to combat them. Should I see a psychiatrist? Also, I have a PT appointment tomorrow. Should I bring up the right foot toe twitch or should I be convinced it's just my anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms manifesting?

I'm hoping you all can help me, or at least provide me some direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff,

I’ve had the same issues....neck pain, dizzy and immediately thought I had meningitis or a brain tumor....did I mention we had hand/foot/mouth go through the enter house, which is what had caused these symptoms (according to my dr, I did not have meningitis). I turned to google as well to look up my symptoms and before I knew it, I had meningitis, a tumor and all these other diseases. Google is not the answer, it just makes things worse. I’ve done therapy before which has helped a lot, as well as an anxiety medication and massages. Just try to stop googling symptoms, I know it’s hard to do. 

Hang in there, you’ll be just fine! This is a great group to discuss all your anxiety issues!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mandy123 said:

Hi Jeff,

I’ve had the same issues....neck pain, dizzy and immediately thought I had meningitis or a brain tumor....did I mention we had hand/foot/mouth go through the enter house, which is what had caused these symptoms (according to my dr, I did not have meningitis). I turned to google as well to look up my symptoms and before I knew it, I had meningitis, a tumor and all these other diseases. Google is not the answer, it just makes things worse. I’ve done therapy before which has helped a lot, as well as an anxiety medication and massages. Just try to stop googling symptoms, I know it’s hard to do. 

Hang in there, you’ll be just fine! This is a great group to discuss all your anxiety issues!

Thanks Mandy! I appreciate the response. Right after my post I felt overwhelmed. I found an immediate mental health care facility in my city and just got out of there. I got prescribe some medication to help anxiety. I just really struggled today. I don't know how to quit obsessing about ALS and other fatal conditions. 

I know I'm not alone but when I feel like this I feel alone. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jeffg said:

Thanks Mandy! I appreciate the response. Right after my post I felt overwhelmed. I found an immediate mental health care facility in my city and just got out of there. I got prescribe some medication to help anxiety. I just really struggled today. I don't know how to quit obsessing about ALS and other fatal conditions. 

I know I'm not alone but when I feel like this I feel alone. 

Hi. Welcome to the forum..I'm was an als worrier. You don't have als. Deep down you do know this but your mind is being a jerk and is telling you horrible lies. I know all about that!! Everything you said points away away from als. I have done way too much googling and went to my pcp one too many times over this fear. So when I had the als fear and the thoughts become obsessive, every time I had a als thought I said als nope anxiety yes.. mind you I did this all day.. I had to reroute my thinking. You do not have als, you have anxiety about ALS.. your thoughts aren't real. I also kept a journal.. and it showed my twitches moved around . My perceived weakness moved too. It will get better. Take it day by day. Let the thought come in... And simpley say to it. No, als nope.. anxiety yes. Say it all day however many times you need to.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff,  first know you have friends here who also suffer anxiety.   It feels terrible but really it’s just a feeling,  it’s nothing more than that,  our feelings that is symptoms tend to trick us, and cause us to focus on worst case scenarios but the reality is the worst case scenario is the exception not the rule. From what you describe and the fact that you’ve had medical care to check things out, I am convinced you are stressed from the everyday things we all deal with.  I am also a parent with young children, with a demanding job, and know that sometimes things get to me,  mentally that’s is Usualy when I overdo it physically.  My panic attacks began after I tried to replace an 8 foot stockcade fence myself,   I definitely pulled something and felt pain deep in my chest and shoulders and thought it was my heart,  the panic led me to feel dizzy and it raised my normally low bp to crazy numbers,  I went to the er, multiple times, went to the cardiologist and had all kinds of tests done and a stress test and the end result was that my symptoms were muscular.  They took months to,resolve and I took tons of Advil per the doctors,  well guess what,  I got gastritis from all,the Advil.  It ate away my stomach lining and I had new pains.  Causing new panic attacks, I went for an endoscopy and they confirmed what we thought, but said th  inside of my stomach was just red and not an ulser so they put me on Prilosec for a month and it’s fixed me up.   In between all this I went on meds , Xanax, lexapro, Zoloft, buspar, mirtazapine, amitrypline,  and I went to therapy for months while they helped somewhat,  in the end this was my problem to solve in my own head,  and I did,  I take no meds anymore, Except for really low dose  amitrypline to help me sleep . I tackled this through this site and my own reading, which helped me to realize that it was all due to stress physically and mentally and that I had nothing wrong with me.  A few ailments which were explained and treated , but nothing serious.   I call them ailments , things which are bothersome, but not dangerous,  just annoying stuff, that I no longer let get into my head which means I don’t react I just accept and know there is a cause and effect, I have to take care of myself not overdo it physically or mentally and guard myself against the trick which anxiety is, when it comes I float through episodes by remembering how it ended up before,  nothing happened ,  literally nothing, everything was fine every single time I worried . I remember that now and it helps me when I am being tricked again by my own brain ,  it’s all suggestion, it feels real but it’s just a feeling an annoyance at worst,   You have to just roll with it,  it’s the only way, the meds will calm you down but to solve it you just have to get your head around it,  face it, accept it, and float through it, and be patient with it,  it does end .  It did for me, take solace in that and don’t stress over this,  take care of your thoughts that’s all this is.  You are fine,    Jimmy 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jimmy and Holls! I agree my mind is being a jerk. It's all just so scary. I keep apologizing to my wife because I feel like my ruminating is bothering her. She said it's not and she's very supportive and reassuring. I know weakness would come before twitching but the fact that I seem to feel it more in my right toe is what is getting to me. When i saw the psychiatrist at and immediate health care clinic yesterday she asked if i was ever this aware of any physical symptoms with my foot prior to this scare. I said not that I can remember. She then said well then isn't it possible because of your hightened sense you are constantly aware of any "abnormal feeling" in your body, specifically your foot. I'm sure she's correct. 

She gave me 2 medications. Propanolol she said to help as needed in the short-term and prozac for the long-term.  She did mention the medication is designed to bring me back to the middle so then I can battle this with any CBT skills I learn. I know it's a long process. I put it off for way too long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to my pt today and mentioned the toe twitch to her. And told her it's mainly at rest or when I'm sitting at work. She said "well it can be a number of things, disc issues, pinched nerve around your foot, maybe that toe muscle or tendon is strained, dehydration, low electrolytes or vitamins. That's your l5 and you are having low back issues anyway. And when people work at a desk they can stay hunched over that can mess with the disc and why you don't feel it when you are walking. When you stand up it sucks that disc back into place. Are you having any trouble walking?"

I told her "no and that I don't have any weakness in the toe. I can stand on my toes and heels and balance on each foot. But because my health anxiety I googled"

"WHY DID YOU DO THAT!?!? Now you are thinking like muscular dystrophy, spinal problems, neuropathy, spinal cord issues right?"

I said "and neurological..."

"Why! Why! Would that even be remotely this?" She then discussed these and why that's not me.

She made me feel better. My toe is still twitching so it's still an issue but I know twitching is secondary and in this case since there is no weakness, I need not worry about this. I've got a lot of work ahead of me to tame this anxiety but at least I have a pt expert opinion on this. I thought before I needed to go to a neurologist but for now I'm ok. I will go back to my PCP if the toe twitch continues just to get this figured out.

I'm doing better today.... And that's what's important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dr told me the same thing! Don’t google anything!!! This day in age we have technology at our fingertips and it’s so easy for us to play doctor and self diagnose ourselves. I’m just as guilty, I hate google and what it has done to me.

I’m glad everything is ok!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since my first post on Monday I have prevented myself from going back the other forum. The last time i was there I copied all of the "this is why you don't have it" and sort of use that to help. I don't have another CBT appt until next Wednesday so I'm trying to find anything until then. I don't have any weakness--that's the trademark. I can still do everything. I can stand on my heels/toes. Can balance on each foot. Last doctor exam 3 weeks ago, my reflexes were fine, strength tests are fine. Last night i actually had a really good night and felt i was doing better. But I woke up in panic this morning like i have done almost everyday the last 6 weeks. So i immediately tested myself--strength tests, balance tests, my reflexes and babinksi best i can. But what really set me off this morning big time was when I was getting ready. I was buttoning my shirt and my left hand slipped...I FREAKED OUT AND STILL AM. Now I was able to immediately go right back and button it with no struggle, unscrewed toothpaste cap, grabbed keys, opened medicidne bottle, pulled door shut, opened car door, picked up child and backpack. Able to open up contigo coffee cup that has the button to allow drinking.

 

I went here and did these things with no issue. https://scarysymptoms.com/2012/01/twitching-muscles-als-panic-great-tests/ It's just a fluke right??? If it was real I wouldn't be able to go right back and finish... right? Hands can slip all the time right??? If this was it showing itself i would have had trouble with the other things i was able to do with no issue. And just now i tried at work and was able to unbutton and button the shirt back only using my left hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jeffg said:

Since my first post on Monday I have prevented myself from going back the other forum. The last time i was there I copied all of the "this is why you don't have it" and sort of use that to help. I don't have another CBT appt until next Wednesday so I'm trying to find anything until then. I don't have any weakness--that's the trademark. I can still do everything. I can stand on my heels/toes. Can balance on each foot. Last doctor exam 3 weeks ago, my reflexes were fine, strength tests are fine. Last night i actually had a really good night and felt i was doing better. But I woke up in panic this morning like i have done almost everyday the last 6 weeks. So i immediately tested myself--strength tests, balance tests, my reflexes and babinksi best i can. But what really set me off this morning big time was when I was getting ready. I was buttoning my shirt and my left hand slipped...I FREAKED OUT AND STILL AM. Now I was able to immediately go right back and button it with no struggle, unscrewed toothpaste cap, grabbed keys, opened medicidne bottle, pulled door shut, opened car door, picked up child and backpack. Able to open up contigo coffee cup that has the button to allow drinking.

 

I went here and did these things with no issue. https://scarysymptoms.com/2012/01/twitching-muscles-als-panic-great-tests/ It's just a fluke right??? If it was real I wouldn't be able to go right back and finish... right? Hands can slip all the time right??? If this was it showing itself i would have had trouble with the other things i was able to do with no issue. And just now i tried at work and was able to unbutton and button the shirt back only using my left hand.

You still have the fear.. I've had the als fear for almost 2 years it comes and goes.. like if I barely trip I will immediately think als.. not I'm just kinda of clumsy or crap happens.. nope it's als. I call it the als rabbit hole. It's long and dark but there is a light at the end. You don't have als. You know it and your PCP knows it. Stop testing.. stop checking stop thinking als. Shut down the thoughts . Tell them no, this isn't true. Meditate, go for a walk.. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now