Hello everyone. I just returned from having my 2-month-awaited echocardiogram today. I can honestly say I've never seen a more thorough doctor; most echos would take 10-15 minutes tops apparently, but mine took 40. The initial results suggest that my heart is structurally sound. This actually greatly surprised me as my mother has a leaky valve and my grandfather - father's side - suffered heart attacks in his later life (Eep!). I had an ECG at the same time which was also clear. Admittedly I was a lot more relaxed then I have been for the past 2 months when I got there, so hopefully that didn't impact on the results? It's just such a relief to finally find a doctor to take my symptoms seriously. As this forum often says, we of health anxiety fame can't take steps to recover until we know there really is nothing wrong.
And so I'd like to ask some advice on what I should do next. First things first, I still have some loose symptoms I need to clear up. I'm going to discuss them with my GP next week, but I'd like to confirm anyone else who suffers from anxiety/cardiophobia gets these? They're not very nice, in fact they're still making me check my chest/heart rate every so often..! (I know I won't get an instant recovery, but hey!)
- Dizziness/Lightheaded-ness and fatigue
- A feeling of a painless "zap" or pressure that moves up the chest and into the head. It sometimes makes my arms/hands and jaw feel weak too. One rush today made me lose my vision. Freaky!
- Nausea, and an airy feeling in the throat.
- More frequent sleep paralysis - stops my talking, movement and even breathing for 5 seconds as I try to drift off. Twice as freaky!
- Still feeling palpitations and tightness in chest. I still get chest pains, but I can find them with a finger at long last. I occasionally also get arm shooting pains, but so does someone else I know with anxiety.
- I wake up with a very rapid heart rate and a feeling that I'm verrrry hungry, even if I have nibbles in the night!
Just to remind everyone, I'm a 21 year old male, very skinny and tall (if that helps). I have mild aspergers and ectopic beats - exactly how many will be determined next week when I wear a 24 hour monitor. I'm not very good at sleeping, I suffer from migraines and I keep fitter than the average person.
Treatment wise, I'm looking into hypnotherapy, although I was wondering if anyone else hear has benefited from it before? Would I be better off with another form of psychotherapy, and if so which one do most people use? I'm also working through an online course called "Moodgym" and checking my local bookstores for health anxiety self-help books.
Thank you all very much for your continued support, and for any advice you can offer this time around. It's been a long, admittedly unpleasant battle so far, but now that I'm more medically safe and sound maybe I can make some headway in recovery!
P.S. I'm starting to get back into steady exercise, and if you are trying to as well and you have a smartphone, I highly recommend an app called "Zombies, Run!, 5k edition." It makes walking and running really fun and it's on offer at the moment!