Anxiety is no joke. My anxiety issues were always lurking, but came to full blast right after the birth of my second daughter. I'm still fighting it and figuring out how to move forward with my life, but it's been a journey. I'll make you a little list to prove how powerful anxiety can be.
November 2015: Felt short of breath-must be COPD or Lung Cancer! Had pulmonary test and X-rays and Blood work done....All Clear. Doc said it's anxiety
December 2015: Still short of breath-must have missed something! I still have COPD. Back to doctors, more x-rays. All Good. It's anxiety
January 2016: Woke up with arm pains. Googled it...must be heart failure. I'm overweight...must be heart disease! Had Ultrasound done, stress test, X-Rays, and all came back great. Doc said it's anxiety.
February : Tongue is swollen, sticks out to one side a bit. Must mean I have a brain tumor! Had a CT scan...came back all good. Anxiety Again.
February (again): They must have missed something. My research on google shows that CT scans don't show as much as MRI's with contrast!! Went to have an MRI done. All good........Doc says (gasp!) Still anxiety!
March: Shortness of breath again. They missed something. Searched frantically for answers on google. Now it makes sense! Shortness of Breath, plus heart pains, plus anxiety...I have Lupus! Went to Doc....they already tested for that in January...all good...still anxiety.
April: My hands hurt. Googled it. Must be Rheumatoid Arthritis! Compared my hands to my wife's hands for weeks. Studied pics of RA and compared my own for weeks. Didn't go to Doc for this one, because during my research and constant checking my pinky finger shook sometimes. This takes us to March.
March: Forget Rheumatoid Arthritis.....I have Parkinson Disease!!!! My pinky shook, research shows that's how Michael J Fox found his! Time to scour the internet for answers constantly! My wife is furious at me at this point as I'm video recording my pinky when watching TV to see how long it twitches!!!
April: Pinky isn't shaking anymore, but I'm clumsy now. Not to sure I have Parkinson's after comparing myself to 33 year old men with PD on YouTube. But since I'm clumsy, and when writing my hands feel tight. Put all this together, combined with my past Breath Issues and pain issues. Oh my God, it all makes sense!!! I have MS!!!!
May-June-July: Obsessed with MS research! But it doesn't make sense. I've had so many tests done already. MS would have shown up??? OH MY GOD!!!!!!! I HAVE ALS...I'M GOING TO DIE SOON ANY MY CHILDREN ARE GOING TO SEE ME CRIPPLE INTO NOTHING!!!!
Now, I've had ALS fears for over 3 month's now. Mind you, there are roughly 30,000 people with ALS in the U.S. at any given time on average. With a population (U.S) of 324,246,950 my odds of having ALS is 0.00009%. On top of that, with my past history of thinking I have all these diseases you would think I could logically reason that I'm probably OK and it's anxiety again.
But sadly, I'm checking my strength all the time. Checking my reflexes. Reading through ALS support boards from people who do have the disease. Researching what symptoms to search for. Checking for atrophy, checking for speech problems, swallowing problems, balance problems, handwriting issues. Watching videos of people diagnosed with ALS. Checking my will to make sure my kids are covered. Checking my life insurance policy for coverage and payouts.
Crazy thing is that the more I do this the worse I get. I've been anxious for so long and operating at such a high state of terror for so long that my nervous system is shot. I'm probably surging adrenaline through my body atleast 2-5 times a day. Loading it with chemicals that are just leaving me frazzled. I'm depressed, I'm exhausted, and I feel absolutely defeated. Most of all, I'm embarrassed. I graduated college with a 3.8 GPA with a degree in business. I manage a company workforce of 300 employees. I'm not bragging, but I'm trying to get it across that I'm no dummy. But, I still walk around daily thinking I'm dying and my demise is imminent.
My heart goes out to everyone with anxiety issues. My health anxiety is a terror, and I'm positive that anyone who is battling anxiety issues is just plain exhausted. Stay strong, and realize that anxiety can wreak havoc on your body and create all kinds of things, even physical symptoms. (When I thought I had COPD i would cough until I threw up every morning. Haven't done that since I moved onto other fears of disease) Heck, even as I write this I still think I have ALS, it just hasn't fully shown up yet and within a year or so it will come fully to light and my life will be over. I laugh as I type this though because if I follow my nonsense pattern then a few years from now I won't be worrying about ALS ( if it doesn't show up) instead I'll be worrying about some other super rare disease which will kill me.
I'm ridiculous, I know.