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Author Topic: Over-Analyzing CBC Results...is it time to move on? NEED GOOD VIBES!!!  (Read 310 times)

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Offline nikol373

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Hello again everyone,
  As some of you frequenters may have read, I've been getting what I thought to be single petechia / purpuic lesions on my legs, arms and hands for about a month now. It all started after a day of gardening... Came in to find numerous spots of bleeding under the skin, maybe even slightly raised....the rational mind would assume bug bite.

THE HA MIND WOULD ASSUME LEUKEMIA. So after days, weeks of skin OCD non-stop skin checks and some mystery non-blanching dots that would fade within an hour or so / if I put enough pressure on them (this whole blanching thing is so vague to me! ) I went to an urgent care clinic to get a physical and CBC by a great doctor who is actually friends with my PCP just by chance. He called me stat per my request to tell me my results showed no evidence of leukemia or malignancy.

Few days later, I'm still getting these spots. Always at work - we do have bugs in my office from opening the window, but these little spots just look so much like petechiae I can't stop the wondering. I called the urgent care facility and ( despite all my efforts not to...) I had them fax me over the report.

RBC = 4.22, which is good for me, seeing as I sometimes run a little low.
Platelets = 225... A healthy mid-point number. Just what I wanted to see.

Here's where I start to pick things apart....
I was flagged for elevated WBC - not the first time this has happened. It's typically in my case associated with the high levels of panic I am experiencing when the testing is done / built up anxiety - stress induced. I had had a sore throat and stiff neck and stuff ears for a few days, but allergies had been so intense I thought it was that, and my anxiety always manifests itself as jaw / neck / shoulder and upper back pain. When I'm in a "flare" I wake up feeling sore - I know my body is even tense when I'm sleeping. So that results was 11.4... Doctor told me no worries, didn't even request a retest. My monocytes were elevated most on the diff, but I believe all of the percentages still were in their normal ranges ( as well as the actual counts) despite the WBC being elevated.

absolute eusinophils were at 11, when range suggests 15-19(?) to be ideal, so this was also flagged. I believe it was a stress- induced low, and chose not to worry about it.

Platelet-wise, my MPV was 7.9 on a scale of 7.4-10.5, I believe. I found that to be low-normal, but I guess MPV is only really indicative of platelet absnormality if you are already suffering from either increased or decreased platelets. It was still in normal range, and I don't know the typical rate of change / variance for this parameter, but I think it's okay. Platelets were my big fear with the whole petechiae issue...confirming those were normal kind of alleviated my leukemia fears ... I'm still coming down from weeks of such a heightened anxious state, but I'm getting a better grasp on this.

Basically - I need people to talk me back to normal. I'm taking whatever I can get - I like to come here to weigh in and hear other people with the same HA issues explain to me why I shouldn't worry. Yes I am also in therapy, but I use this website as a form of therapy, too.
When my brain is idol, which is a lot lately since I am living on my own until I can move in with my boyfriend once he is relocated this fall and my friends have all moved across the country for various jobs and life experiences ( I'm 24, btw, and think this plays a HUGE part in my HA) I start to worry and inspect and google. I'm definitely working on it and making progress, but I benefit a lot from social interaction.
Of course, the idea of this potentially being an auto-immune disorder has crossed my brain, especially since anxiety- induced flare ups seem to present themselves very clearly every few years. Stiffness and joint pain, sore skin to the touch, rib cage pain / floating rib and connective tissue pain... I always chalk it up to anxiety. Do I delve further with this, or is it safe to leave it alone? I did schedule my routine yearly physical for next April ( you have to book like a year ahead...go figure. ) and I will probably just have the full gamut run again to keep an eye on things, for my own peace of mind. Right now, I don't really want to start going to hemos and rheumys and derms and worrying about test results etc,etc,etc all because of a few red spots and a bad month of HA.



I'm sorry this is long. I just worry that my rationality will leave me if I see more spots, and I will find myself back in urgent care crying in a chair thinking I have leukemia. I know I can get past all that - I've done this before...but I guess I just want to hear from other HA'ers if, given my results and examination, you would throw in the towel on further inspections and go back to living life. There's a lot of good things around the corner for me...and I just want to go into this phase of life with the best attitude possible.



Thank you in advance to anyone who has anything at all in response to this post! I applaud you for getting this far in reading my rumblings!  :action-smiley-065:
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"Fight fires in your best clothes,
Touch skin with your eyes closed,
Chase thunder...
With the volume down
Pack a suitcase, wander to the next town..."

Offline 2sungo

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the little red spots (petechtiae) that you refer to can mean so many other things aside from what you are worrying about.  Many of the medications used to treat anxiety/depression tend to be blood thinners, esp the SSRIs, and same is true for aspirin and some other medications.  They can cause tiny pectechiae, as can, as you said, bug bites, maybe even an allergic reaction to heat or some weeds that you were pulling out when gardening.  I've also noticed some more of these lately, it may be an aging thing or as I suspect the medications, but they are harmless and nothing to worry about.  Like you I can get nuts about blood results, and for a while it seemed every blood report (and I got quite a few over the last year and a half of this) had at least one thing out of range.  Turns out those things were always slight and tended to be in range on the next test, I think sometimes they are prone to slight errors anyway.  The one thing that made my wbc go low and really made my bloodwork wacky was when I had mono, apparently, rather late in life I have to say. This was a few months before I got sick with the anxiety/depression stuff, I remember a weird tingling in my chest skin, no sore throat (the typical symptom) and when I got the bloodwork and diagnosis I was quite surprised, as my wife was also sick but her tests for mono came out negative.  Weird, but my wbc counts normalized afterwards.  WBC counts can go up, as I am sure you know, from any kind of infection so a sore throat could account for that, and of course its a temporary thing.  So I would recommend to try not to worry about the petechiae, its even possible they could have been there from before, b/c those of us with HA tend to notice things when the anxiety is acting up that may not have been noticed when we were getting on with our life and not worrying about stuff.  You are one step ahead of some in that you seem to recognize this for what it is, but believe me I know how hard it is to turn off the worrying about "what if" even when your logical mind knows its nothing serious.  And don't even worry about low normal or high normal values on cbcs they mean nothing other than there is nothing to worry about, and even when things are out of range, for most things its only notable if its seriously out of range, for most things a point or two extra or less than the range means nothing. 
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Offline marc

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My physician told me that slight variances in CBC results are of no concern, unless coupled with certain
other symptoms. If your doctor is not worried, than you should not be either.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
Never, Never, Never, give up.

Offline nikol373

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Thank you both! I just read into things so much...and then keep reading...it really eats away after a while. I just want to say "I'm healthy" and move on. It's a big choice to make in deciding to put your anxiety behind you.
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"Fight fires in your best clothes,
Touch skin with your eyes closed,
Chase thunder...
With the volume down
Pack a suitcase, wander to the next town..."

 

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