I would say I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression most of my life, throughout my teen years up until now at almost 25. I also have OCD and am a severe hypochondriac as well, especially about my health.
This all came to a peak in February of this year, I had just gotten engaged to my fiancé & was working two jobs. I’ve always to some degree dealt with slight fatigue, but it began to become severe to the point where I would feel dizzy and have to sit down, it would also trigger severe panic attacks.
Naturally being a heart patient, I contacted my cardiologist out of concern, he said he did not believe it was cardiac related because my numbers were good based on my last tests.
One Sunday night, as me and my fiancé were at a restaurant the same dizzy feeling hit me and I felt my left arm go numb. I stumbled to the bathroom thinking I was having a heart attack.
I eventually calmed down & ended up going to work a few days later and experienced the same issue, except this time it felt like the entire left side of my body. I couldn’t handle it anymore, so I went to the ER.
After a few tests and hours of waiting they diagnosed me with dizziness and sent me on my way, after following up with my primary he diagnosed me with a pinched nerve in my neck.
I began taking several different medications, steroid pills, anti inflammatories, etc, the medications gave me no sense of relief. So I went to another doctor for a second opinion, they ended up doing an EMG on me, as well as an x ray and advised that there was no pinched nerve in my neck, however I did have signs of carpal tunnel in both hands.
Again the medications I was given gave me no relief, I began becoming absolutely consumed with my health. I googled all of my symptoms and being consumed with the idea of myself having anything I found attached to my symptoms.
I started experiencing severe sinus headaches & had no idea what they were. I’ve always had a stuffy nose but sinus problems like these were something completely new to me. I ended up being told by an ENT that the left side of my nose was deviated and not draining properly & due to the rise of the Covid 19 pandemic, all elective surgeries were postponed.
So here I am, with stiff neck pain that radiates down to my hand that still and the sinuses from hell, you would think it can’t get any worse right? Well it does, I began feeling heat in my feet. It started on one side and then worked it’s way over, it doesn’t physically hurt at all, but dealing with all the other symptoms that brought on pain, it did nothing but make me even more uneasy.
Things only got worse dealing with these daily pains and discomforts as this pandemic got worse, everything began to shut down, my entire social life basically stopped. I was stuck inside the house with my fiancé & two dogs, I began to quarantine myself for two weeks, doing nothing but watching TV, barely eating and minimal physical activity. My symptoms ate at me everyday, as I continued to google and worry.
I had been to the doctor so many times at this point & again the only thing I was ever given were medicines that did nothing for me. I began to wake up in the middle of falling asleep, having panic attacks accompanied by awful headaches at the exact same time. I swore I was dying or had some debilitating disease.
Towards the tail end of my quarantine, I began to experience weird visual symptoms, I would see lights, halos, stars, shadows, crazy after image affects from lights, etc, it did not let up, it drove me insane and made me hyper-paranoid. I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist twice and twice..he saw nothing wrong with my eyes.
Following up with my primary my worst fears almost seemed to come true in that moment, “Multiple Sclerosis” were the only words I remember hearing come out of his mouth, I was terrified. Out of all the things I googled on my search for answers to my physical symptoms, this was something that came up and I was already paranoid about it.
I felt lost and I began to develop a stronger pain, this time in both fingers. It made it hard for me to type and hold things, my hands would also jerk from the pain, fueling my paranoia about my nervous system. I couldn’t do anything but worry, I myself was shocked when the test results came back.
Absolutely no signs of MS were found on the MRI scan of my brain. As thankful as I was my relief was short lived, I had an appointment with a neurologist shortly there after who received the same results from that scan..
I was advised that the MRI looked blurry and I would need to have another one done, when I asked the lady on the phone from the neurologist’s office if there was still a possibility of MS she responded “could be”...
The nightmare was starting all over again, on top of that, I was diagnosed with a rather common brain condition called Chiari Malformation, which in certain cases can require surgery, I almost couldn’t believe all of this was happening to me..
The day after I received word that the MRI had finalized and been sent to my neurologist, I waited and waited to receive the call to finally set me free and I finally received it later that evening, from what I gathered on the MRI report there was no concern for MS, however without the image not loading, my neurologist still had not been able to review to fully confirm, unfortunately I would have to wait a little longer..
I finally got word the next week that I there was no MS detected on my scan, what a relief? The day after even though I somewhat felt pain I was so relieved, some further blood work had to be checked for further possible auto immune issues..I had a good day that Friday full of energy..
Saturday started off horrible, I went to get a haircut and my body tensed up, from my arm all the up my neck to my head, the headache I had felt like it was going to kill me, but I made it through
Wednesday, I finally got my answer, no MS...now I was being tested for several different auto immune diseases..one huge hurdle is finally out of my way, now to get through the others..
The day came for me to see the neurosurgeon that one of my doctors referred me for the supposed chiari..and again, to my dismay, he almost made it seem like I never had it to begin with, “surgery wouldn’t fix your pain, your brain is fine” that same day I also received word that all of my blood work came back normal, my doctor checked for practically everything, lupus, lyme disease, anemia, rheumatoid factors, etc.. “you need to go to a spa” the nurse proclaimed after giving me the results..
I don’t know what to do at this point, my only question is can anxiety & depression physically do all of these things to a person?
I’m in daily struggle pain and fatigue. I have muscle spasms, weakness, my joints constantly pop, migraines, blurred vission, stiffness, brain fog etc, all of shich started as