Hello friends, family, and people who may just stumble upon this post because they’re scowering the googles and yahoos and alta vistas using the same keywords that are used on this post…greetings!
I wanted to write a blog post about my current health situation, because things have been a bit scary, I’ve been pretty inactive on social media, and I’ve been working from home all week. So for those of you who are curious…here it goes…
NOTE: This isn’t a cry for help, attention, or anything like that. I just know I’ve kept this situation pretty quiet with friends, coworkers, and some family, and I want to be completely transparent. I will reiterate this further down the post..
On Friday, I had an anxiety attack. Which isn’t completely uncommon for me…I’ve had them from time to time, but I have typically been able to feel normal again within a couple hours to a day. But this one was quite different.
This anxiety, or panic, attack left me with no appetite, intense nausea, headache, and what’s typically described as “a feeling of doom”. It’s a wide range of physically draining and debilitating symptoms that I’m having a very hard time pinpointing and finding resolve for. Granted, it has only been 5 days, but things aren’t looking great at the moment.
In those 5 days, I’ve had zero appetite. Meaning, in 5 days, I’ve had the equivilent of a small bowl of soup and a cup of watermelon. That’s it. For 5 days. I’ve lost 8lbs in just 5 days, and seem to be losing more by the hour, as I often end up weighing less at night than I did in the morning. I literally cannot stomach very much; my gag reflex kicks in, I can’t swallow my food, and I end up feeling completely ill.
I know most anxiety symptoms and their physical responses typically die out after a day or two. However, when day 4 approached and I was still curled up in a ball on my bed, shaking and sweaty, not knowing if I was going to vomit or not…I decided it’s time to stop waiting and get on the road to recovery.
So, yesterday (Monday, the 28th), I had a visit with a primary care physician (PCP). She asked a number of questions, checked the usual vitals, and did a pressure test on my abdomen.
She ended up pushing on part of my stomach, just to the right of my belly button, and I felt a pain or a cramping sensation as a very audible noise took us both by surprise.
She told me she was concerned that there could be some underlying issues that the panic attack simply exacerbated, or brought those symptoms to light. The other thing that concerned her when checking my vitals is my heartbeat. She asked if I had a lot of caffeine that day, and I said “No, I haven’t had any caffeine in several days.”
What seems to be the problem?
After all the typical tests and whatnot, she was able to develop some theories, which we’re currently testing for.
- Anemia: My rapid heart rate combined with my fatigue and light-headedness are very common symptoms for people with anemia.
- Thyroid issue: thyroid issues are associated with a lot of symptoms – nausea, fatigue, rapid weight changes, light-headedness, depression, and anxiety
- Gastrointestinal issue: while anxiety isn’t directly related to GI diseases or issues, studies have shown that people with at least 1 GI symptom are likely to experience anxiety problems.
- None of the above – just straight up anxiety.
These issues – anemia, thyroid, and gastrointestinal – typically are treatable with diet changes, supplements, and exercise. However, all three have variants that can be serious or fatal, especially when left untreated. And I’m not a fan of death. 🙂
So this morning, I had a blood test to try and rule out anemia, GI, and thyroid issues being the culprit. In the meantime I’ve been prescribed medication for treating nausea, and medication for treating high blood pressure. The goal there is to treat the outstanding symptoms while investigating the root cause.
So what’s next?
Well, I’m still not eating much, still feeling incredibly ill, and still working to recover as quickly as possible. All the while, working from home as much as I possibly can, so I can keep living and being the best version of myself I can be during this rough time.
The prescriptions thus far have a very minimal affect and do not resolve the appetite issue at all. I’m still losing weight at a very rapid rate. On top of that, at least one of the new medications is giving me a slight headache.
Right now, as I type, I’m waiting on the results from my blood test. I’m a bit nervous. Gastrointestinal diseases, thyroid conditions, and anemia all have varying degrees of severity. And I’m hoping to get results back quickly so I can take action sooner than later.
More to come…
If you know me or work closely with me, you’ll know that I’ve spent this year trying to be as healthy as possible. And as I progress, I tend to update this little blog of mine.
So if you’re interested in knowing more, definitely check back in every so often. And again, this isn’t a cry for help, attention, sympathy, or anything of the sort…just a way to update my friends and family of my situation.