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Author Topic: The body can be so confusing.  (Read 648 times)

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Offline Kmj023

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2014, 12:22:57 AM »
You make a good point. I think what my big problem is, is that I don't know much about how brain Tumors work. I've heard different stories. Like I hear how it affects the persons balance. But not sure just what kind that is. Or when it says it affects the eyes. If I had someone to actually sit down with me and explain it to me maybe that would make me realize that I am really ok. That's why I went looking online to read people's stories and what the actual symptoms were. But it just brought up bad stories of people being misdiagnosed for it being stress related, sinus infections, and migraines. Not what I needed to hear. Then I hear that people can go a long time with just one symptom when I thought cancer could not wait that long. It just gets me confused cause the brain is responsible for so many things. I think that's why I have a hard time with the fear. If that makes sense.
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"The only illness that we can't accept is hypochondria."

"Never Google, everyone will catch an invisible tumor!"

"Anxiety is not a doctor. Neither is the internet."

Actual diagnosis : chronic sinusitis.
Google diagnosis : brain cancer.

Symptoms : dizzy head feeling.

Offline chunkymonkey

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2014, 12:55:11 AM »
I wish our body had more obvious symptoms like heart disease would cause your nails to turn yellow or BT would cause your hair to turn green or one single blood test would show all cancers and disease you may have. It sucks that some drs wont even consider writing a referral for ct or mri because they think its not necessary. My dr knows im a hypochondriac but he keeps saying i dont need an mri because he thinks its more sinus or migraine related. Its stupid since i pay copay for each dr visit and all he does it prescribe me meds that dont even work
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Offline Kmj023

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 01:00:58 AM »
I so agree with you there. Green hair for bt yes or if it's something else like ms hair turns purple or skin turns pink lol. A color for each symptom would be easier. Lol.

Is headaches the reason you think you have a brain tumor.

I agree your doctor should want to help you ease your mind at least. And I've spent tons of money on meds and have not felt much relief.
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"The only illness that we can't accept is hypochondria."

"Never Google, everyone will catch an invisible tumor!"

"Anxiety is not a doctor. Neither is the internet."

Actual diagnosis : chronic sinusitis.
Google diagnosis : brain cancer.

Symptoms : dizzy head feeling.

Offline sixpack

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2014, 07:55:39 AM »
the first thing a doc is tasked to do is to ''do no harm".  Ordering additional testing without cause  goes against that.  I know a lot of people (HA peeps) don't see the harm of ordering tests but the harm can be two-fold 1, medical testing, often, has its own complications and risks)  2.  ordering peace of mind tests. which some docs DO do under the assumption that people will accept the results and move on---which most do provided you are not suffering from anxiety---However such tests ONLY keeps a person mired in anxiety.  Here is a neurologist from my area speaking about a group of teens who developed conversion disorder that made the news about 2 yrs ago speaking on that subject.   Actually this neuro is from the same practice that my daughter goes to.



By Sandra Tan

NEWS STAFF REPORTER

Published:February 8, 2012, 11:41 PM

Updated: February 10, 2012, 5:37 PM


The national media spotlight has been shining on rural Le Roy for weeks, lending heat to the questions surrounding the strange illness that has led to 18 students exhibiting uncontrollable gestures, sounds and seizures.
 
The teenage Le Roy girls have made for riveting TV in recent weeks, with close-ups of one-time cheerleaders and student-athletes now twitching and pleading for answers.
 
The scrutiny has led to debates about whether the media are helping parents find answers to a "mystery illness" or exploiting vulnerable families and worsening the plight of sick children.
 
This week, WGRZ-TV announced it will stop repeatedly showing footage of twitching girls they've interviewed.
 
The initial diagnosis of the majority of the afflicted students was that individually, they suffered from conversion disorder, and collectively, they suffered from mass psychogenic illness. A few others had pre-existing conditions, including one with Tourette's syndrome.
 
Speculation persists about whether other triggers could have led to this cluster of illnesses.
 
The Buffalo News has attempted to summarize much of what's happening in Le Roy, based on data from the Department of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the school district and interviews with nearly a dozen neurologists, researchers, psychiatrists and other physician specialists.
 
Q: What's the difference between conversion disorder, mass hysteria and mass psychogenic illness?
 
A: Conversion disorder occurs when someone develops neurologic symptoms, such as involuntary movements and sounds -- "tics" -- that have no known physical cause. Conversion disorder is believed to be the physical manifestation of psychological stress.
 
 "These types of symptoms are a very important part of our humanity," said Dr. John T. Walkup, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Tourette Syndrome Association. "People who are vulnerable to this are usually highly smart, vulnerable to suggestion and very sensitive."
 
Symptoms in these cases are not fake but are believed to be produced by the brain's subconscious.
 
When conversion disorder occurs in a group of people, typically from a close-knit community, the diagnosis for the group is mass hysteria or mass psychogenic illness. Mass psychogenic illness is the preferred medical term because of the negative connotations associated with mass hysteria.
 
Mass psychogenic illness is far more common in females than males.
 
Q: How common are these conditions?
 
A: Conversion disorder is common. Neurologists see such cases on a regular basis. Some, however, are careful when they explain the diagnosis to a patient because they don't want patients reacting negatively.
 

"I like to describe it as a subconscious movement disorder," said Dr. Thomas Guttuso Jr., a neurologist and movement disorder specialist with the Jacobs Neurological Institute. "I, generally, very much try to avoid terms like 'psychogenic,' certainly 'hysterical.' They tend to imply some kind of character weakness in the patient."
 
Most people experience conversion disorder on a much lower level. If asked to give a speech, for instance, some develop temporary hand tremors, rapid heart rates and shortness of breath.

Mass psychogenic illness is far more rare, but it's probably more common than people think. The condition has been documented for hundreds of years all around the globe and attributed to everything from unknown chemical warfare agents to demonic possession.
 
In recent decades, most cases of mass psychogenic illness have been found to affect female students in rural schools.
 
Q: How is conversion disorder diagnosed?
 
A: Neurologists are trained to recognize the difference between involuntary gestures or tics stemming from physical brain malfunctions and the abnormal movements generated from psychological triggers.
 
True tic disorders, such as Tourette's syndrome, look different than what these students exhibit.

"In neurology, this is what we do, this is what we've been trained to know," said Dr. Lazlo Mechtler, vice president of Dent Neurologic Institute, which has evaluated and treated many of the Le Roy girls. "It's a science that's been passed down for 300 years. To us, it's our bread and butter."
 

Neurologists recalled watching a news segment of one of the affected Le Roy girls with a flailing right arm. The video subsequently showed the same girl carefully applying eye liner with the same arm. They said that diversity of movement cannot be explained by any other neurological condition.
 
 Neurologists usually order blood work and imaging tests to double-check their initial findings and rule out other causes as a precaution, but the tests rarely contradict the initial diagnosis.
 
In the Le Roy outbreak, far more tests than usual were done on these girls because so many got sick. More environmental factors needed to be ruled out. Most of the afflicted students were seen and tested by multiple physicians.
 
Three of the original 12 were found to have pre-existing tic-related disorders, including one with Tourette's syndrome. The rest were repeatedly diagnosed as having conversion disorder by more than one physician.
 
Most of the patients seen at Dent were tested for thyroid disorders, lupus, Lyme disease, liver abnormalities, heavy metals such as lead and mercury, autoimmune disorders and strep, Mechtler said. They also had MRI brain imaging and EEG brainwave monitoring.
 
Q: Given family and community concerns in Le Roy, why not do more tests, just to make sure?
 
A: Neurologists worry that conducting too many medical tests can reinforce a patient's false belief that something undiscovered is at the heart of the condition and worsen symptoms.
  Patients who demand more tests over the recommendation of their physicians will sometimes also refuse treatment until the "real cause" is found.
 
"As the hunt goes on to find cause, often the people with conversion are waiting and not engaging in any treatment to get better," said Walkup, who is also director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
 

Of all the afflicted Le Roy students, the ones who have accepted their diagnoses and continued to receive treatment are the ones who have improved or been cured, said Mechtler and his colleague, Dr. Jennifer McVige.
 
   If enough tests are conducted on an individual, eventually, a test will turn up something abnormal. Doing all the testing required to check and see if every other patient has the same abnormality and determine a plausible link among them all is both time consuming and unnecessary, physicians say.
 
Q: Some of these girls say they don't believe they've led stressful lives. How could this be the cause?
 
A: Physicians say it is not unusual for a patient to initially inform them that they don't know of any trauma or stress that could be the underlying cause for their condition. Sometimes, a major life stress is subconscious -- it exists beyond a patient's awareness -- and does not come to light without more probing discussion or conversation with a physician or mental health professional.
 

The Health Department report released late last week noted that most of the students diagnosed with conversion disorder "all had significant life stressors, a common factor with conversion disorder."
 
Q: How can something completely mental lead to such physical symptoms?
 
A. The brain is extremely powerful. There have been countless documented medical cases of physically healthy patients suffering from numbness, paralysis and even blindness that can be attributed solely to a psychological cause
   


so while I know we anxious want more tests, more often than not, it only hinders getting the help we need to get better.

btw the girls involved (as of the last update)  are recovering/recovered.  they recovered through anxiety meds and therapy. 



KM---  I do know some about brain tumors.  what actually needs to be said to you to help you move on?  I mean one of the biggest issues with people on az is that they look up stuff online and in their state of mind everything seems to point to their fear.  It makes them think doctors aren't listening.  Barring an actual incompetent doctor....it isn't that they are not listening.  it is only the've seen X disease so many times that they just KNOW that isn't what is going on.  In your case, you had a ctscan.  Likely because the doc wanted to help ease your mind.  Which, it plainly did not.

As far as which eye symptoms:  brain tumors will cause blind spots.  Once it happens, it is 24/7.  For my dad he lost all peripheral vision in his right eye.  I don't mean blurry or weird or fuzzy, but gone.   He had simple partial seizures.  His first symptom (in retrospect) was about a year before diagnosis --impotence.  About 3-4 months before diagnosis he lost the peripheral vision, he lost function of his left arm and left leg, he was slurring speech, and, of course, the seizures.    He went to the eye doc.  eye doc could see a shadow in/on his eye.  eye doc said, "you need to see a neurologist, I think you have a brain tumor."   He had a malignant tumor about the size of a quarter located in his temporal lobe.  The temporal lobe explains his simple partial seizures perfectly.

My sister had a  benign menigioma located on her right frontal lobe at midline (basically on top of hers just back from her forehead).  It was the size of a baseball at diagnosis.  It was there for about 3-4 yrs by time diagnosis.  My sister's first symptom, due to location, was personality changes  (and possibly thyroid issues).  About a year before dx, she was steadily having worsening motor problems.  she had balance issues.  I mean to the point that she needed help walking downstairs.  she couldn't get off of the lawn mower.  she couldn't support herself on her left leg.  Her left arm was used as just a "helper".  by that I mean it was only good to hold something in its place.... she said she just laid her hand the car steering wheel, for instance.  She had MOTOR focal SEIZURES.  this means, at times, her left hand would just curl up.  she would be going about her business then she would notice her hand was fisted.  it didn't hurt.  it was just closed up.  the seizures also would cause her left arm or leg to just shake.  I don't mean vibrate but shake.  she described one time, while at the beach, her leg just started to severely shake about.  again not vibrating or twitching or buzzing BUT bouncing.  Others noticed as well.  what got her to the hospital was a tonic/clonic seizure (aka gran mal).   My sister AND her husband KNEW for a long time something  was wrong, but she doesn't have insurance... so she carried a bugger of a tumor for years.   That was in 2008.  she is fine.

a classmate has a glioblastoma--- he was having seizures like my sister-motor focal.  his arm would just draw up to his side.  He was also having  TREMENDOUS headaches.

a neighbors grandson's tumor caused seizures.

a friend's brother's presented with a tonic/clonic seizure.

as a kid, I knew a little 3yr old who had a brain stem tumor.

my children's preschool teacher's 14 yr old daughter had a brain stem tumor--- her daughter began tripping and falling down all of the time.



the most COMMON feature that you will note is seizure.  that is because brain tumor stress a brain and when a brain gets stressed, it sends out messed up electrical charges.  VERY often the pressure of a tumor will cause pressure changes in the eye.  Meaning the glaucoma test, tests more than glaucoma.  If pressure is elevated in the eye (normal pressure is anywhere in the teens) it can point to issues within the brain.


Finally, AS I also mentioned in an earlier post, the problem with looking things up online is that one almost always only finds OR only keys in on is the HORROR stories:  the stories of incompetent doctors.  However that is not showing the true picture.  AS it is almost always only horror stories that get told.  the VAST, VAST majority of people with X disease are diagnosed early on.   AND those who are anxious or those who have decided that they must have X illness prior to looking things up are the people who are most harmed by these stories.






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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline Kmj023

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2014, 11:54:57 AM »
Thank you six pack for explaining to me what real symptoms are and can be of a brain tumor. And the ct scan I had was for my sinuses and I asked for contrast but they did not request that. After that day talking with the ent and seeing my ct scan results I felt relief I came home feeling great. And then I had someone to tell me on a forum that she and I had the same symptoms and same tumor and told me to get MRI cause hers was missed. I did not read that intentional by all means. What I was doing was cleaning out my phone to out away all the crap once and for all then as I was deleting the stuff I saw her comment and was like ugh and told myself no, you can't listen to her and sure enough my relief did not last very long. She knew I had health anxiety and she should not have said she and I had the same tumor I guess she wasn't thinking.

The brain just loves to stay focused on all the negative and I'm working hard every day to not entertain these negative thoughts. No matter how bad the symptoms are, no matter how off I feel, just trying to say there is nothing wrong with me despite of the what if voice. I try to keep my mind occupied. Hard to do when I feel so much pressure in my head and eyes but I try. My ent said I can go back for follow up and if my allergies are no better I will tell her. I hope that my new allergy pills work. My eyes feel so off right now and my head feels off. Allergies are no fun. I'm hoping to find relief.


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"The only illness that we can't accept is hypochondria."

"Never Google, everyone will catch an invisible tumor!"

"Anxiety is not a doctor. Neither is the internet."

Actual diagnosis : chronic sinusitis.
Google diagnosis : brain cancer.

Symptoms : dizzy head feeling.

Offline sixpack

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2014, 12:52:47 PM »
definitely can be difficult.

your ctscan was of only your sinus' or both sinus and brain?  you got me confused. 


I know I was mentioning on a different post the hardest symptoms for me not pay attention to were breathing feeling weird and eye issues.  because we do both breathe and see all the time.  so if eyes see funny, it is hard to not notice.  I know I've had pressure and eyes being jumpy and uneven pupils and blurry and just feeling weird.

I had a miserable headache the other day behind my right eye down to my ear.  yeah, not so fun.  I know when I give more credit to those headaches, nothing gets them to go away.

regarding eyes:  last year when I was losing my vision in my right eye, it was scary.  It was like looking through thick, dark smoke.  Everything was smaller and how the eye perceived light was very diminished. Because of my dad's issue with his eye and because it came on pretty quickly, I thought a brain tumor was possible.  As it turned out, it wasn't a brain tumor.  But it was something.  My eye has cleared up.  took 6 months though.  :P   I am still followed by a retina specialist.  I go again in July.  I saw my regular ophthalmologist in May.  In the last year I have developed "slight cataracts" in both eyes.    My point to all of my rambles is that everybody gets stuff.  It just isn't always what we fear.  In your case just the symptoms scare you.  I wouldn't be surprised if your allergies aren't THE cause of your symptoms anymore.  It is more of the initial scare of the allergies that just ticked off the fight/flight and kept the symptoms going. 
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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline Kmj023

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2014, 01:00:50 PM »
It was of my sinuses and top of head I think. All I know is I saw a round circle solid grey and she said that was my brain. Did not look anything like I expected. From what I recall just sold grey. She said if there was a tumor it would light up. It was only part of my brain not all.

I think it's allergies with anxiety on top. Making it worse. I noticed it got worse when I stopped taking Claritin and which is why I'm gonna try allegra. My ears feel kind of full right now, head is hurting and tight over my eyes and eye is watering up. It's miserable stuff.
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"The only illness that we can't accept is hypochondria."

"Never Google, everyone will catch an invisible tumor!"

"Anxiety is not a doctor. Neither is the internet."

Actual diagnosis : chronic sinusitis.
Google diagnosis : brain cancer.

Symptoms : dizzy head feeling.

Offline Toasted Butter

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2014, 01:18:04 PM »
Yep, this is the physical manifestation I am most struggling with right now, too; not because I worry that it's anything serious, but simply because the symptoms themselves are very good at triggering anxiety, and anxiety really makes the symptoms worse, so it's a difficult cycle to break! With allergies acting up lately, my ears and head feel like they are going to burst. They hurt all the time. I'm always feeling off-balance, and occasionally will even feel "spinny". I wake up with my ears feeling like they're full of cotton, my eyes are puffy and red and watery, and my jaw clenches up as I sleep because of the pain and anxiety, which makes it so much worse. I have to constantly remind myself to relax my muscles. The feeling of imbalance makes me want to hermit at home and not go anywhere, but in the long run that makes it so much worse. I force myself to get out and do things, and while it's hard and uncomfortable and sometimes even scary, it's really the best thing you can do to just try to keep getting on with your life.
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Offline Kmj023

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Re: The body can be so confusing.
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2014, 01:27:59 PM »
That's me up and down. Right now my forehead is so tight and I'm breaking out in sweats. It's not the fear if a brain tumor it's what you said, the symptoms of the allergies and automatically my body tenses up like crazy. My tmj is so bad too. My jaw clicks worse and gets painful. The anxiety does make my allergies worse. Right now my anxiety is up cause of all the pressure in my head and I'm trying to tell my brain to chill the heck out. This is nothing but bs! It's allergies for goodness sakes! And I have a friend who scares me and says go to er. Go admit yourself In the hospital and that just scares me more. I tell her to stop saying that.  It's just getting rediculous. Anxiety is horrible and I'm trying to tell my brain to stop acting like I'm in a fire when I feel these allergy symptoms. It's just allergies. And allergies are harmless. I hate it. 
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"The only illness that we can't accept is hypochondria."

"Never Google, everyone will catch an invisible tumor!"

"Anxiety is not a doctor. Neither is the internet."

Actual diagnosis : chronic sinusitis.
Google diagnosis : brain cancer.

Symptoms : dizzy head feeling.

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