I found this site after reading a really great post about health anxiety and how it can make you feel that you have symptoms of different illnesses.
The reason I've been looking is that my boyfriend has been unwell for almost 3 months now and he believes that he has MS.
It all seemed to start up out of the blue after his face became tingly down one side while he was at work one day. He went to the doctors and they told him he had Bells Palsy. They sent him away with some steroids and told him it would go away soon. At this point he started to google Bells Palsy and saw 'MS' at every turn. MS comes straight to the top of the page for a huge number of symptoms it would seem.
From then on things just seemed to get worse. He started to experience more and more of these symptoms. Nausea, pressure headaches, fogginess, tingling and numbness in his hands and feet, slowed speech (although I couldn't tell, he said felt he wasn't speaking properly) stiff neck, floaters in his eyes, the list goes on.
He became really distressed about it and went back to the doctor. At this point the doctor said that it possibly wasn't bells palsy but that he had some kind of virus that was attacking his nervous system. He said that there wasn't an enormous amount that medicine could do about it but that his body would fight it off and he just needed to take good care of himself.
This didn't help and the symptoms continued and seemed to worsen occasionally. He went back to the doctor a couple of times and at this point the pressure headaches were so intense that they booked him in for a CT scan. The CT scan came back clear and the doctor went back to his original diagnosis of a virus.
He then sought a second opinion from another doctor who did a very short neurological exam (after he explained his MS fears) and told him that it was highly unlikely that he had MS and that once more, this was a virus and that he would just have to wait it out.
My boyfriend then asked to be referred to a neurologist. I went with him and the neurologist did his thing, told him that he was neurologically normal and that he did not believe that he had MS. He said that he could refer him for an MRI but in his professional opinion it would be a waste of money for him and an unnecessary cause of anxiety.
A week or so later, he was still panicking and it had intensified to a point that it was all consuming. He called his doctor again and said he wanted to have an MRI. He was booked in and he had the MRI about a week later.
The MRI came back all clear.
That was around a month ago now and things haven't got any better. He has absolutely convinced himself that the doctors are wrong and that they're missing something. It's so difficult to see him so anxious and upset about it. There's nothing I can say or do that seems to help and he wants to go back to the doctor again.
I wish I could help but if I try he thinks I'm just writing off how he feels and that I'm not taking him seriously. The doctors have given him anti anxiety medication but he is yet to take it.
I'm not sure what else to do. I'm trying to be understanding but I can't stop him feeling the way he does. 4 different medical professionals have now told him it's not MS and nothing else sinister at all but he is still convinced. I'm stuck.
Can any partners offer advice? Or for anyone suffering from the same kind of health anxiety, is there anything your partner could do that would help put your mind at ease even a little?
I've pointed him in the direction of some of these forums but he rarely takes away the positives from anything like this.
Thanks for your help