Hi, I'm new here, and this is my most recent anxiety story...
All my aches and pains started after I quit smoking, 2.5 months ago. I started getting chest pain, googled it (big mistake) ended up getting all sorts of aches.. fingers, wrists, arms, back, jaw. Even tingly hands. They come and go all day every day, most of the time they don't even hurt, they're just terrifying. I also get pains in my legs, feet and ankles, but they don't worry me as much and I don't notice them as much, because I'm extremely worried I'm on my way to having a heart attack, and the upper body pains are the ones that concern me.
Right from the start they worried me, but at the beginning at times I could tell myself they were just withdrawals from quitting smoking. I am absolutely terrified of going to the doctor, I have high anxiety just thinking about making an appointment. I'm convinced that I do have a disease, and going to the doctor will confirm it, and my life will change forever. Possibly I will even have to get rushed to emergency, have open heart surgery. I get anxious having my blood pressure taken, I hate it when doctors listen to my heart, but that moment in the waiting room, it's the absolute worst for me. I feel like I can't breathe and my heart races. Simply put I hate everything about going to the doctor. Enough was enough though, I was sick of these pains that were totally ruining my quality of life. I thought, I'd rather find out what's wrong with me and possibly fix it, than go through every single day like this or worse.
The first doctor I went to see wasn't worried at all about my pains, he listened to my heart, told me it was fine and that it was probably anxiety and they would go away on their own. Phew, that was a relief, I didn't even have to do any tests! Wait.. I didn't have to do any tests, that's not right... I can't believe I just put myself though going to the doctor, only to get a "meh you're probably fine" type of answer. The funny thing is that this is the exact type of response that I wanted to get, but after receiving it, it wasn't good enough.
I decided to go to a different doctor, again this is a huge deal for me. The second doctor, had pretty much the exact same attitude. He listened to my heart, "Everything sounds really clear. You're fine, it's your body getting used to not having smoke in it, and you're worried way too much about these pains." I had to ask him if I could get some sort of test done just to be sure. I got a chest X Ray. Okay, now I have to go get an X-ray, totally quick and painless except for the worry. Good. Trusty ol google informed me that a chest X ray wasn't really good enough though, really I need an ECG, and some blood tests done. Seriously, what is with these doctors not concerned about my daily symptoms. Probably because I'm a female in my early 20's noticeably on the verge of a panic attack while I'm trying to talk to them. Well the chest X-ray was normal, the doctor told me I could relax now, and stop worrying. At this point my chest pains have disappeared. Yes wonderful news, I know, but the other pains were still coming on a daily basis and I know you can have heart problems without chest pains. The doctor seemed happy that my chest pains went away, but I told him I was still getting these other pains. He laughed at me. Yes, laughed. Said they were nothing to worry about. I told him I can't help but worry about them, as they are there every day. He prescribed me lorezapam.
It is possible that smoking was a stress release for me and now that I don't have it, the stress is causing me pain. These pains are not panic attacks though, I have had panic attacks before, and these pains are completely different. I can't tell if anxiety is causing me these pains, or if these pains are causing me anxiety. I worry about them all day. It seems like I can't think about anything else for more than a couple of minutes. Sometimes if I go out with friends I can distract myself enough that I don't feel them, and if I do I barely notice them. Some days when I'm extremely stressed out about the pains I take the lorezapam and it does help. Still they never completely disappear.
Anyway, my goal of the day was to make another doctor's appointment so I can get the proper tests and hopefully put my mind at ease or get my "heart problem" dealt with. I worked up the courage to phone a clinic and make another appointment. The receptionist informed me that none of the doctors were taking in new patients, in fact they were so busy that they were looking to hire 5 new doctors, and I should try somewhere else. I got of the phone and started crying like an idiot. I didn't phone anywhere else, and now it's too late. I will try again next week.
I can't help but think back to when I was a child and convinced I had a parasite. I didn't even have any symptoms, I was just so convinced and worried I had them for months. I've had anxiety since I was a child, but it's never been this bad for this long.
I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the correct place, and I apologize for the length of it. Talking about it makes me feel a bit better and I will end on that somewhat positive note.