.. And seeking a little support. Not much, just a little. A hug would be nice too but that's not possible yet with today's technology, now is it?
I'm Lo and I'm 23 years old. I've had severe anxiety since I was 12, which usually involved major panic attacks, but something that is the absolute worst for me is health anxiety. I become very hyper-aware of my own body and I begin to notice anything that feels "off", then I obsess over it and convince myself something is there when it isn't, or I make it worse until I end up with a quick ER visit. Example: I get a headache, I convince myself it's a brain tumor, suddenly the headache is more pronounced and sharp and persistent, so I'm scared to death for two days straight. Then after rushing to the hospital, I find out it's just a tension headache, and being so concerned had increased my tension.
But my most recent hospital trip was different. For a month or so now I've been having bouts of numbness on my left side. Well, not numb, but the feeling it was going numb, like the skin on that side has lost a little sensation or is being touched through several layers. I still have full control over the limb, the skin just feels.. off. By the time I finally got to the hospital last week, they couldn't tell what was wrong; It can be anything from a pinched nerve, to MS, to fibromyalgia (the latter being the most likely, as my mother and grandfather both had it and I'm seemingly in the right age for the first flare-up, and since the numbness I've been having more muscle aches and stiffness. But who's to say that's not my imagination?) But with testing they could tell me what it probably wasn't, and that's a tumor, stroke, my heart, etc.
I have an appointment with the neurologist on the 19th. It feels so far away. I've been having daily anxiety attacks when the numbness hits (it never lasts, maybe about 30 minutes, an hour if I really focus on it and stress about it, but it's not constant) that are entirely irrational. I can live with fibro. I can live with a pinched nerve. God forbid it's MS, but if it is, I can live with that too. But when my left side begins to go numb, I immediately begin to feel like I'm having a stroke. I can't help myself. The ER doctor had me on a blood pressure machine for over eight hours, it was fine. I had two CT scans (one normal one and one with contrast), no blood clots or bleeding on the brain. I had an EKG, my heart rate was a little fast but no faster than with the past ones EKGs I've had (Mitrol Valve Prolapse-- my heart just beats fast naturally). They took blood, nothing on the test results there either. Chances are, if I'm going to have a stroke, they'd have seen something, anything. But they ruled that out. Still, the numbness feels like a stroke. I work myself up. I begin to poke/pinch/slap my left cheek and arm to make sure I can still feel it, I make strange faces to see if the left side is drooping, I raise both arms above my head or walk in circles to see if the left side drops, and without fail everything seems to be functioning just fine and it passes.
I feel like my quality of life is declining more than ever lately. I can't do anything because I feel unwell and get these crippling moments of fear that I'm dying. The 19th feels so far off, and I honestly just want a diagnosis, so I have something to tell myself when this happens. "You're not having a stroke, it's fibromyalgia.", etc.
I'm even on an anxiety medication, so I've really no excuse at all to be like this. It seems like it's something I can't keep under control and it utterly exhausts me.
I know none of you are my doctors/neurologists/etc and you can't diagnose me. You can't even tell me with confidence I'll be okay, because we don't know. But I could just use a little emotional support as I try to get through this. The panic attacks make this so much worse than it already is and I'm so tired of feeling this way.