I hope this all finds you having a happy Monday. My name is Jen. I am new to Anxiety Zone.
I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder just a little over five years ago. I was fortunate enough to find an amazing Psychiatrist who worked with me after about a month of what he determined was chronic pain (arms tingling, pins and needles, back and limb pain, headaches, insomnia, nightmares, etc). At the time he placed me on Lexapro, cognitive therapy, and monitored my exercise and diet. I was lucky enough to recover fully within a matter of weeks. I continued on the meds for two years until I became pregnant. For three years, I was off meds, taking care of my beautiful baby and symptom free. I feel so blessed and so lucky to have had that time away from my anxiety.
Recently, though, we had a very stressful family episode with a relative (along with daily stress), and similar symptoms came back. At first it was a pain in my left hip, then lower back pain, then burning pain up my spine and between shoulder blades, and insomnia. I went to my GP who ran a urine test and decided that it was a possible UTI, but cultures came back negative for infection, so they did nothing. I returned to my Psychiatrist, who after evaluation, felt this was still stress and placed me back on Lexapro and an exercise and diet regimen. For two weeks, I was great. Back to my old self. Then I started getting hot hands and feet at night (enough to keep me awake), then my neck started clicking (no pain) every time I turned to the left (this has been going on for about 4 weeks). Then I experience mild joint pain in my middle knuckle on one side followed by two days of very mild swelling - not warm to the touch. My joints in my knees and lower back are cracking more than usual (no pain). Even with lack of sleep (due to insomnia), I'm not finding myself very tired...I still have my usual energy. But, I have googled the heck out of this stuff (its like a sick obsession) and am convinced I have rheumatoid arthritis. I'm so afraid. I know it is somewhat common, and there are amazing, strong folks out there who lead a fairly normal lives with the disease (at least that is what I have read), but I am just scared and looking for support and reassurance.
Thanks so much for reading/listening. Any advice would be so appreciated.