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Thread: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    100

    Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    I've always had health anxiety and have had different fears over the years which I've documented here, however, this latest episode has almost floored me to the point where I've felt almost suicidal at times. I've not posted in a while and wanted to come here to be amongst people who will understand my mind and hopefully help me to be logical whilst I am trying to tackle the devil that is anxiety because it's had me for months now and I'm desperate to get out of it's grip.

    Going back to this time last year, I'd been off the citalopram I'd been on for 3 years for a few months and was doing pretty good. Shortly after, however, I got made redundant and then started a new job (corporate law). The job was awful. I don't want this post to be of noval proportions but, I belive that job was the trigger that unlocked the anxiety door again. Everything about it was awful. It made me dread going to work, I'd have panic attacks at my desk, I'd become snappy and lost my confidence. I wasn't quick enough to realise back then but I was being to suffer with stress and by 3 months in, the physical symptoms started to appear which was mostly a pain in the upper right quadrant of my stomach and back. It comes and goes but I feel it most days, even now. Sometimes it feels like it's in my ribs, sometimes, my chest, upper back or stomach. It stays to the right but sometimes moves around. I went to the Dr's and had lots of blood tests. All normal apart from my ESR which was raised. Dr sent me for additional tests for inflammatory diseases, all okay. Went for an abdominal ultrasound, all normal apart from a moderately distended bladder which dr thinks was because I'd downed a load of water before the scan. I also had a gastroscopy which was normal.

    Tried to put it all behind me but the stress of the job was still there and getting worse. Shortly aftet those tests I developed a nasty episode of diarrhoea which lasted around 5 days. Dr said food poisoning or bug. Six weeks later I had a similar diarrhoea episode but this was awul. Non stop watery diarrhoea for 10 days which for the first few days also woke me in the night. I'd think I possibly had food poisoning from some undercooked monkfish but had stool cultures done that ruled out the usual bacterial infections but Dr said it won't rule our all food bourne illnesses. I also had a fecal calprotectin test done which came back very very high. Dr was worried it could be inflammatory bowel diseae but another stool test taken when my bowels settled came back within normal range so they didn't need to send me for a colonoscopy. They thought the inflammation in my bowel was due to the bad diarrhoea inflamming my colon. I also had the usual bloods which were normal apart from my ESR again which was raised but lower than the one I'd had done a couple of months prior.

    Following all of this I managed to see two of the Drs who I really like and trust and know my anxiety well. I questioned the ESR test and they both said not to worry because the test isn't really all that useful and they never order them (another dr ordered this test along with others), especially for middle aged women (I'm 45) as they nearly always come back raised. They said mine wasn't anything to be concerned about and not to worry.

    I've seen those two Dr's again a couple of times since about my concerns over my stomach. They have both said my anxiety needs addressing and so I was referred for therapy. I've now started CBT. One of the Dr's said they would order some more blood tests (usual FBC, liver function, etc.) and also cholesterol and diabetes as they wanted me off the pre diabetes scale and that if they came back all normal then I could wipe the slate clean and know I am healthy and can try and move forwards. Those blood tests came back normal (end of April this year) and I am no longer pre diabetic. I saw the Dr for the results but only a few had come in and some that had gone off to another part of the lab hasn't come back yet. I called for the results a few days later and the receptionist told me all normal. When I questioned if that included the delayed ones she repeated they were all normal but my anxious mind told me they hadn't come back or had been lost.

    So, here I am a year later and my anxiety is the worse it's ever been. I can't get through the days for fear or the stomach pains I get. Every twinge or cramp sends me into a panic. I fear getting the diarrhoea again after that nasty episode I had. I've worried about every cancer possible and have so far diagnosed myself via Google with pancreatic, colon, kidney and bladder cancer. Today for example I am on my period and when I've gone to the toilet there's been blood in my urine. I try to tell myself it's my period but I'm worried it's actually due to a urinary problem. I'm struggling to leave the house and can't have days out with my children. I just wanted to explain everything here to help me get it down on paper and to summarise my situation to see if anyone can offer and reason or logic because I desperately just want one day where I'm just living in the moment instead of my anxious mind conniving me I'm dying. The things that keep me in a spiral are:

    Could the raisd ESR test mean something is going on or can I trust my doctors?

    What caused the bad diarrhoeal illness, is it something underlying and will it happen again? Were the tests I had done enough? I've read scary things about diarrhoea that wakes you from sleep.

    What if there's something wrong with my bladder if it was swollen on the scan but nothing further done? Dr was happy with the report. Could it really have been just water in my bladder?

    Why are the pains I've had for months continuing, there must be a problem that's been missed?

    Could my blood test results have not come back or gone missing and no one at the Dr's surgery has realised?

    These aren't questions for anyone to answer, they just keep me in my anxious spiral.

    My dr has said they will refer me for a CT scan as a last ditch attempt to try and ease my concerns. My CBT therapist asked me if I though this was a good idea as it will perpetuate my anxiety and keep feeding the beast essentially. I've found the CBT quite triggering lately as it's forcing me to confront my fears which brings back memories I'd been trying to forget.

    It's worth noting that I have since moved jobs so have eliminated the work stress but the stress and anxiety got so bad that it's left me in an awul place mentally. Although I now enjoy my job, the work I do is in clinical negligence for a law firm and I've seen all sorts which obviously does my health anxiety no favours. I'm also thick into the perimenopause which is another problem altogether and doesn't help as it makes me feel like I don't know who I am anymore.

    Thanks so much to those who have read all of this, it helps to get it off my chest. Any reason or logic or coping mechanisms that could help would be incredibly welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    Anyone? :(

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    I know how lonely and sad it can be when nobody replies ( and that is NOT due to lack of compassion here), so let me chime in, just to help you a little.

    1. As to diarrhea, have you been on antibiotics recently ( withing last several months), and if so, have they tested your stool for Clostridium Difficile Bacterium? I had it 8 years ago, so I know a little bit about it.
    2.As to ESR or anything else, you definitely can and should trust your doctors. I am the same, believe me, but we all are much better giving other people good piece of advice. It is that we cannot help ourselves.

    3.Bladder, again: nobody would let you go if they had ANY suspicion about the bladder. Radiologists read these tests, if the radiologist had any doubts, he would tell your doctor.
    4. Even if sometimes something happens to the results ( lost gone missing or something), they realize that and they call a patient to repeat the testing.

    Horrible anxiety can truly wreak havoc on many parts of our bodies, but especially stomach. I have been there for years.

    Bottom line: I do not believe anybody here lost your tests results, or was negligent to follow up. But to come back from the hole of unspeakable anxiety and fear when there are still symptoms, is close to impossible.

    I hope this calms you down at least a little bit.

    BTW:
    Waiting for some test results myself now, and it is horrible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    100

    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it. I'm the same - I can be sensible for someone else and give logical advice but can't do it for myself.

    Every day is a struggle because of how poorly my mind is. I acknowledge it but I just don't know what to do about it. I get told 'you've had all the tests' and I know I've had a lot but it never eases my mind. I truly don't want to carry on like this and something has to change but apart from the CBT I don't know what else to try.

    I worry about having days out in case I'm ill. I'm meant to be taking my daughters on a day out tomorrow and I'm scared to book anything in case I get ill and have to let them down because I can't go. I've no reason to think I'm going to get ill but that's my genuine fear. It's holding me back from so much. I can't even go shopping because if I get a twinge or a stomach cramp, I freak out. The thought of going on holiday fills me with dread as it was when I was last on holiday that I became unwell with the bad diarrhoeal illness. I'm not living, I'm surviving.

    Just now, I came over all nauseous and I'm sat here panicking why. Then the stomach pains start and then the getting hot and the cycle of fear starts again.

    I know it's hard coping with waiting for test results x

  5. #5
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    Sep 2018
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    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    Can anyone else relate? I alternate between "this is anxiety" to "how can it be?". Seems like I have abdominal discomfort to some degree every day. Going to the toilet freaks me out as I know I'll be worrying about the size, colour, texture, shape, consistency. I know my anxiety has control of my life but it's hard to move past it when I'm having a good day and then I suddenly get a cramp or a loose stool because then I think "I'm not anxious so why?". I guess I'm so hyperstimulated all the time though that I don't know what a normal no stressed out state feels like.

  6. #6
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    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    It sounds like you've been through a lot and actually come out the other side. Well done for the job change for a start.
    I think you did incredibly well with all the tests as well.
    I get the poo thing, because any change from normal is a red flag with health anxiety. A year ago I also had about a 10 day diarrhea thing going on and no idea why but probably was a virus because I had other things going on too. I'm pleased to say I haven't had it since.
    The trouble is when you have symptoms of any kind, coupled with anxiety, it becomes a bit of mishmash of what belongs to what. We know anxiety can affect the stomach (the 2nd brain), it can make our muscles twitch and cause pain in our body and so much more.
    But the best thing you can do is stop trying to work it all out. You've had the tests and you are fit enough to go to work so you are fit enough to get on with living.
    You also mentioned perimenopause and that means your hormones are changing, so maybe some your symptoms are related to that. In the meantime your hiked anxiety needs some calm and you need time to settle from all the testing and the job you hated.
    Try to make time for some solace. You will feel the benefits.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2018
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    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    Hi Carnation, thank you so much for your message, it made me cry. I live a pretty stressful life and I had far too much on the last few months. As well as having a full time legal job, a small business I run in the background and 2 kids (one autistic), I was also performing for the last year in musical theatre. I would come straight home from work and straight out to rehearsals. I did 6 shows in 4 days over Easter and then came down with covid so that was also fun!

    I think I just feel so alien at the moment, possibly due to the perimenopause. I'm intellengent enough to know what I need and that's why your response sparked some emotion in me because you validated it. It's just I find it hard to put into practice. I also keep identifying with the old story which doesn't help. Thank you for reaching out, it means a lot

  8. #8
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    Sep 2018
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    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    My anxiety is raging again at the moment with these stomach issues. I've fallen down a complete black hole again...I've got a CT scan of abdomen and pelvis in 2 weeks time which I begged the Dr to order for me but now I'm of course horribly anxious about it in case they find something serious.

    I always seem to have discomfort in my stomach. It's random. Some days I'm okay, sometimes I get it after I eat or when I wake up. My anxiety is always so high that I don't know when this is anxiety induced or not. Last week I was away for a few nights at a campsite. I get a bit 'shy' using public toilets for number 2s and I don't know if this is coincidence but, I ended up constipated for a few days. Going to the toilet but not normally. I felt bunged up. Then now I'm home, the last two days I've had loose stools in the morning. My stomach is constantly growling and rumbling and squeeking. I always seem to have wind aswell. It's really making me panic.

    I mentioned in my earlier post that last November I had a 10 day bout of really bad diarrhoea. I'd been to a really fancy restaurant and ate some monkfish that didn't look quite cooked (I ate it though because I assumed that as it was a top restaurant that they'd know if it was cooked). I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme diarrhoea which continued for almost 2 weeks. I had a fecal calprotectin test which came back extremely high and was told I'd need to be referred for a colonoscopy but then said to have a repeat calprotectin test once the diarrhoea cleared up, which I did and that came back normal, not even borderline. So I never went for a colonoscopy the Dr was satisfied. They said it was probably a transient illness and my intestines were very inflammed due to the severe diarrhoea, much like the esophagus gets inflammed after vomitting. Thing is, it still worries me that I had such high inflammation and could it actually be due to colon cancer (I've read high calprotectin is seen in colorectal cancer. The fact I have changes in bowel habits and stomach pain and sometimes bloating and wind causes me to worry it's been some kind of stomach cancer that's been missed. I had stool cultures done which came back normal but Dr said these only test for the common nasties and doesn't rule out all food bourne illnesses. I just can't seem to get over my anxiety over my bowels and it's ruining my life.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2018
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    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    Can anyone else relate or have had anything similar? I feel so alone as I've got nobody to talk to about this

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    91

    Re: Need some help/logic ongoing issues - anxiety is at it's worst

    I can relate to what you are going through. When I first started college about 6 months into the coursework I started having stomach issues which seemed to be random too. Some days I would be completely fine but then the next day for no reason I would be going to the toilet a couple of times during the day. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me but after a blood test and stool sample test at my Doctors all the results said I was healthy.


    As difficult as it was with anxiety I really forced myself to accept that there was nothing wrong with me and I tried to focus on getting my anxiety under control. I'm not sure if this answer really does help, but I feel like I can relate with what you are going through. At the time I was obsessed with my stomach and bowels and it seemed to be a vicious cycle of anxiety causing stomach issues which then caused me to be even more anxious.

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