I didn’t really know what had happened until I was in the middle of it all. It really didn’t make any sense. Looking back, it made more sense than I realized at the time. I didn’t see it coming, but it hit me really hard.
I started having physical symptoms…my heart would flutter, occasionally I would wake up in the middle of the night shaking like I was cold, I had trouble with digestion and intermittent muscle spasms. I really didn’t think very much about it as these “strange episodes” came infrequently. Then the worst of it started while I was on vacation, about 1000 miles from home. My heart started to skip beats more dramatically, the dizziness intensified, the nausea and digestive troubles worsened. I spent 2 ½ days of my vacation in the hospital having more and more heart tests (total bill of about $12,000). When I was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health, I was weak and confused. I had to somehow get back home. I didn’t think I could manage the plane trip, but I did. I thought that when I got back home, I would surely get some answers from my own doctor and quickly get better. For a long time, I didn’t get any answers and so the cycle started.
Over the next several months, the physical symptoms multiplied…continued dizziness and nausea, left eye pressure, tingling in the left side of my face, fatigue, racing heart, inner shaking and tremors to name a few. My symptoms often focused on my left side. I was confused. What was happening to me? I started seeing doctors … Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neurology Surgeon, Cardiology, Gynecology (hormones), Ear Nose & Throat, Ophthalmology, Infectious Disease, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Homeopathy, and Psychiatry. I was told that I might have Lupus, or Lyme Disease, or that I may have been poisoned, or maybe I was having stroke symptoms, or a blood clot. My head was spinning. I wanted a diagnosis, not maybes. Each time I thought that I had the answer. Each time I was let down. I even managed to get an appointment at one of the best clinics in the country to get a second opinion regarding my neuralgic condition. I had test after test…MRI after MRI, hearing and inner ear tests, checks for Parkinson’s Disease, and on and on. I had sinus surgery and a hysterectomy. I ended up in the emergency room once. I was so confused. I was really scared.
While in the worst of my physical symptoms, the neurologist had suggested that I see a psychiatrist to deal with what their diagnosis had been…generalized anxiety. I didn’t think it was anxiety, but I agreed to see the psychiatrist. We talked about all of the physical symptoms that I had been experiencing. How could anxiety cause all of them? I didn’t get an answer. Eventually, I started on several medications. I was having trouble accepting the diagnosis and the psychiatrist made me feel as if I was neurotic. How could I accept it when I didn’t even understand it? He told me not to give in to the anxiety and I agreed that I was going to fight it, although I had no idea what that meant. Our insurance changed and I started to see a different psychiatrist. She was more understanding, but basically told me that anxiety was just something that I needed to live with. It could be worse or better at times, but it would be with me forever.
Nothing was bothering me, so why was I anxious? I didn’t feel anxious about anything other than about what was happening to me. I kept asking that question, but never did get an answer. I was sure that there was something wrong with me that all of the doctors had missed. I spent so much time and emotional energy trying to figure it all out. I tried different medications. Some helped and others made me sick. The symptoms continued to intensify and I started to have mild panic attacks. I didn’t know what they were at first, I just thought I was losing control. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I spent my days in bed. I cried. I prayed. I cried some more. I was afraid to be alone. I just wanted to be normal again. Eventually, I started to listen to relaxation tapes. I started on some new medications. I was on a combination of three different ones to get me through the day. Over time, they helped and I started to feel a little bit better. They helped me to be able to focus enough to try to gain some understanding. Maybe it was anxiety? No one else had any answers. The more I learned about the condition, the more sense it made. It sure sounded like what I had been going through.
Through the grace of God, I found the way out. God led me to this website through the family of a friend of a friend. Jim had experienced a similar nightmare…different symptoms, same story. Someone else had suffered like I had. I was not alone. He found the way out and showed me the way out also. It took a long time. It took practicing acceptance and lots more prayer. It took setback after setback as I took baby steps on the road to recovery. It took remembering how far I had come when I thought I wasn’t moving forward. It took lots of love and understanding from my family, friends and the help of the teachings offered through this website.
I just weaned off the last of my three medications. I can still have bad moments, but with time and acceptance, they are coming less and less often. They definitely matter less and less. I keep passing right through them. It works! If I can come from where I was…so can anyone else. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your particular symptoms are or how long you have had them…IT WORKS! I thought that I would be the exception to recovery, but I wasn’t and neither are you! Good luck!!