I've been dealing with HA for almoat a year and read these boards often. I'm normally stressed about any number of things and my stress manifests itself VERY physcially. It's the beginning of march in the south eastern United States and we all know that means its time for Allergy Season to go hard. I've always suffered greatly from my allergies, but this is my first year with HA and allergies. The past few days, my nose has felt gross and stuffy from the time I wake up, and of course, this inhibits my breathing normally. Today my chest feels heavy and I'm having a twitch in my stomach area since last night. We had an awful (velveeta mac n cheese pizza) dinner last night and I'm pretty sure that's what has my stomach in a tizzy but it's still hard not to let physical symptoms consume me.
My worst fears are heart attacks and strokes. These are completely irrational fears and I know that deep down but I just can't shake it. I have no family history of heart attacks or heart disease and the only person in my family to have a stroke has been my mom, who is 50. BUT she's also morbidly overweight and her stroke happened as a result of her knee surgery when the internal stitches burst and let a clot go. So I have no family history of either of those things but they still terrify me. My most common physical symptoms are body aches that can appear anywhere and feel muscular or skeletal depending upon what's been making me anxious. I just know that it's been almost a year since I had my first very serious panic attack and there's no way I can have a year long heart attack or stroke that goes away sometimes.
I'm 21, 6'1", and weigh 140lbs. I don't drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes and take no medication. I do have a prescription for medical marijuana and it has been key in fighting my anxiety. I once tried traditional medications and they screwed me up pretty badly. I have a pretty gross diet that consists of a lot of fast food and I know that's part of the problem why I feel bad but it's just so hard to change sometimes. I had a full physical last June and the doctor said I literally could not be in better health and there's nothing wrong with me. I just don't get why it's still so hard for me to accept that and move on. In the last 2 months or so my anxiety has definitely been improving, but it's still there. I've progressed from 2 or so panic attacks a day to one every 2 weeks or so. I really feel I've been making improvement when it comes to catastrophic thinking. I can keep myself going most days despite the physical symptoms but it's hard some days and those are the days I feel terrible. I'm just not sure where to go now. My newest thing has been a fear that I'm allergic to an ingredient in whatever I eat and my throat feels like is closing.
I won't have health insurance until 1 May and I'm so scared something serious is going to come up and I won't be able to do anything about it. I know that's just the anxiety talking just like it is every time when my chest feels heavy and it's hard to catch a breath, but I still fight it. I just really felt like getting all this off my chest because I have no one around me who really understands my health anxiety to this extent.
So I'm going to say this here and hopefully it will help me: I AM OKAY. Every day when anew symptom comes up, I think "what it it's different this time and I really am dying?" I need to stop the What Ifs. I need to make myself believe that every symptom feels new and scary, but in the near-year I've been fighting this, none of my new and terrifying symptoms have taken me down yet, and they won't. For the end of this, I'm going to list all the physical symptoms I've personally experienced in the past just to show myself that this anxiety will do anything it can to scare me.
-Muscle aches everywhere (legs, feet, arms, chest, back, neck, face)
-tingling,(perceived) numbness, body parts "buzzing", tremors
-Twitching in literally almost any place you can imagine
-Shooting pains in the legs, arms, face, chest, head, and neck
-Itchy all over, small rashes that flare with stress
-Chest pains of all kinds: sharp, dull, pulsing, shooting, continuous
-Back tingling and pain but that's probably my terrible posture.
-Forgetfulness, feeling unable to say what I mean
-Slurring, tongue aches
-Tight throat, like I can't breathe, usually accompanied by heavy chest
-Pounding heart beat, feeling heartbeat through my whole body
If that isn't enough to make me see it, here's a list of medical conditions I've been worried I have in the last year:
-Lung Cancer (I've literally never smoked a cigarette and there's ZERO medical evidence marijuana smoke can cause cancer)
-Swelled/Cancerous lymph nodes (I have to poke pretty hard to find them)
-Blood clots all over my body (started after my mom's. ugh)
-Stomach/intestinal cancer/IBS (anxiety probably is causing IBS
-Like 5 STDs, despite being monogamous and my partner and I having been tested.
So yeah. I'm going to re-read this after I post it and try to see how ridiculous I sound from an outside perspective.