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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
epeach Offline
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Name: Emilie
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SO many health concerns - September 7th 2013, 05:27 PM

Hello everyone, this is my first post! I'm so glad to have found this forum, as I'm not sure what else to do about this issue. Thanks in advance for the advice and support.

Background information: I'm an 18 year old girl with no previous physical health issues, aside from getting sick seemingly more than the average person. I've always been hyperaware of my aches and pains and worried more than the average person about getting ill. But in the past 3 weeks, I've been suffering from such debilitating hypochondria that I can no longer live like a normal person.

3 weeks ago, I was doing a habitat for humanity project in West Virginia and was feeling (with th exception of sporadic back pain) healthy and happy. When I got home, I started feeling pain in both my armpits and immediately jumped to the conclusion of breast cancer. I got a doctor's appointment the next day and sat in the waiting room hysterically sobbing, certain they would tell me I was going to die. The doctors ran blood tests and X-rays of my chest and sent me home with a clean bill of health.

But it didn't stop there. These last 3 weeks I've hardly been able to leave the house due to a wide variety of symptoms that have left me completely paralyzed in fear that I have a fatal illness. My complaints are as follows:

-chronic difficulty taking a deep breath
-having trouble sleeping through the night
-dizzy/eyes seem to blank out
-horrible concentration
-tingling in both my arms, especially right arm, makes it feel like I can't lift my arm
-muscle cramps in my right calf
-head pain in the back right part of my head
-HORRIBLE back pain and neck pain, sometimes feels like I can't hold up my head
-chest pain and tightness
-sharp pains in ears
-pain behind eyes
-decreased appetite

I am SO scared. I've been to the hospital 5 times, twice in an ambulence because I thought I was having a heart attack. I've been to four urgent care appointments. They've run a CT scan w/out contrast of my head, TONS of bloodwork, a CT scan of my abdomen, an EKG, and two chest X Rays. Right now, I think that my leg is blood clotting and it's hard to even sit here writing this instead of picking up the phone to call 911.

Doctor's have found nothing so far, and say that this is a product of anxiety and going from being very active to very inactive in a short period of time. I CANNOT settle for this. It's my personal belief that I need a CT scan of my chest with contrast and MRI of my back to be assured that what I have is not cancer, MS, fibromyalgia, blood clotting, auto immune disease, tumors, spinal stenosis, neuropathy etc. My parents refuse to take me to any more testing or doctors and have now had me start seeing a psychiatrist who has prescribed xanex for the time being and lexapro in the near future. I don't think either of these things are going to work.

I have never been so scared in my life. I lay in bed most of the day feeling TERRIBLE and I've lost my will to do anything. I had to drop out of college after only 1 day because I couldn't sleep through the night alone. I'm at the end of my rope with all of this and I just need to hear some advice from a different pair of eyes. Sorry for the length of the post, please help!!!!! Should I go to the hospital and demand the tests? I feel it is life or death at this point
   
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Re: SO many health concerns - September 7th 2013, 07:25 PM

Hey Emilie, I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with all of this it sounds incredibly difficult. What's standing out to me about all of this is the fact that you've had all the tests and everything and doctors haven't found anything. It also seems like you have a tendency to jump to the worst possible thing that could be wrong, when in reality, the chances of you having even one of those things is rare. You also admit that this is "debilitating hypochondria." Hypochondria suggests that this is likely more of a problem of anxiety rather than something physical. I know you don't want to hear that because you think that there really is a physical problem, but in a way, anxiety is better because it's easier to treat than some of the conditions you fear you may have. I know you don't think that the psychiatrist or medication will help, but I would suggest giving it a try and if it doesn't work, then you can work with them to stop taking it or find something else that works better for you. I don't think you need to go back to the hospital demanding more tests because if you've had as much as you've already had and they haven't found a physical problem, chances are, they still won't find anything.


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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
epeach Offline
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Name: Emilie
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Re: SO many health concerns - September 8th 2013, 02:32 AM

Thank you SO much for the response. That's excellent advice, I feel like you're really empathetic which is not something I often get from people. I think you're right about going ahead with therapy. Thank you for giving me the courage to at least make it through this day a little less panicked!
   
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