where do i even begin?
i've been in a CONSTANT state of anxiety for a year and a half ever since getting very sick while far away from home last year. i fell ill with a very bad fever due to my wisdom teeth becoming infected, and ever since then i've been an absolute wreck about my health, shifting from one disease to the next. i've gone to the ER at least a dozen times in the past year, getting every possible test taken, all in which come back clear. you'd think this would assuage my fears but i'm at a point in my life right now where i've gotten so bad that i NEED to get better or else i'm going to lose my mind.
right now, i'm fixated on autoimmune diseases. because ALL of my symptoms go back to that. this past winter i came down with a rash on my toes that was extremely itchy and had tiny little red bumps on the tops of my toes. for once i actually remained pretty calm about this and assumed it was athlete's foot or something common like chilblains since my feet are usually pretty cold.
welp, the doctor ordered tests for lupus/vasculitis/connective tissue diseases. i was NOT expecting that at all and what makes it extra fun is that i had actually felt pretty okay about the rash and assumed it was nothing! it was one of my rare moments of clarity in which i wasn't freaking out over my health, and then it was completely ruined the moment the doc ordered tests to rule out autoimmune diseases.
so i eventually go and get bloodwork done. i wait two weeks in which i'm on the verge of an emotional breakdown, expecting the worst out of the results. they come back clear. this means NOTHING to me since i hear that many people with autoimmune diseases have false negatives and aren't diagnosed until it's too late. cue MORE anxiety of top of my already overwhelmed mind.
then in february of this year, my stepdad passes away in his sleep from an undiagnosed heart defect. cue more emotional breakdowns. cue more health obsessions. cue the depression and the hopelessness and the CERTAINTY that i'm going to die within the year of some undiagnosed illness.
after a few months pass, i take a trip to texas to visit some friends in hopes of getting my mind OFF of all this crap. the temperature there is VERY different from where i live and it was quite hot the whole time i was there as opposed to being pretty chilly here. this is when i suddenly get a whole new batch of symptoms that i'm STILL dealing with now and it's been two months since the visit: HOT BURNING HANDS. i remember being in a car with my friends there on our way to go somewhere and i had to press my palms against the glass of the window to cool them down because they felt like they were burning from the inside out.
if i'm in a room that's even one degree too warm, i can feel my hands filling with blood and they become very warm and turn red. this is the flipside to my hands normally being sensitive to the cold and usually being pretty chilly to the touch. they don't turn white or blue, but once they warm up, they turn red and my fingertips and palms feel like they're emanating a LOT of heat.
of course i end up googling this despite my better judgment and it tells me that it could be scleroderma. or maybe multiple sclerosis. or maybe lupus. or maybe literally every autoimmune disease that i've been obsessing over for months now. i'm constantly checking my hands for what color they are, and it feels like they're always either cold or hot and flip from one to the other very easily. sometimes my palms get splotchy and red as well and feel very warm, and when i press on my fingertips they turn white for a split second before the blood rushes back in and they go back to reddish-pink.
this is driving me insane. on top of this for the past month i've had a horrid sinus infection that has given me very bad vertigo. then i hear that frequent sinus problems are ALSO indicative of an autoimmune disease! i also get muscle twitches in random parts of my body, and my constant anxiety has me exhausted all the time with chronic headaches, nausea, and dizzy spells. how convenient because those are all indicative of autoimmune diseases as well, especially the vertigo which i'd like to blame on my bad ears and sinuses but my anxiety would rather blame it on my undiagnosed MS/scleroderma/lupus.
please god if ANYONE can relate to this or has shared the hot hands symptoms, please help me out a little here. i'm at the end of my rope, can't get into therapy, have been practically house-bound for a year because of this horrible fear of carrying around a disease that doctors haven't found yet. i get the most horrible thoughts of winding up in a wheelchair or being on life support or dying young and leaving my mom and all my friends behind. this is causing me some very bad depression since my thoughts typically revolve around my own demise for most of my waking moments and it's just NO way to live. i'm only 20 years old, i should be out having a life, not stuck in my room waiting to drop dead out of nowhere. i rarely enjoy anything anymore, can't go out, have lost most of my friends, have even ended relationships because of my anxiety being so bad. this is making me miserable and i feel like there's just no way out. i've had ocd and anxiety since i was a small child but this is by far the worst it has ever been and i feel like i'm never going to get back to my old self and it's all just very depressing.
edit: i also forgot to mention that my cousin on my dad's side has MS and my aunt on my mom's side has fibromyalgia. i feel like this just further proves that i'm bound to end up with something autoimmune-related.