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Hi, I'm a new poster here and have read through the anxiety board quite extensively. I'm a 33 year old father of 2 young children and have never had any really issues with anxiety that I know of. Yes, I've always had tendency to over analyze stuff but for the most part I could just shrug it off.

About 8 months ago I had some light chest pains that would come and go but nothing major. My doctor sent me for a stress test and everything was normal. I competed in two triathlons and had no issues. However, about 3 months ago, I started getting some lightheadedness as well. I was running in a half marathon and got severely lightheaded and had chest pains and had to stop and walk quite a bit. I went back to the doctor and he sent me back to the cardiologist. After more tests, everything looked fine. I wasn't truly concerned with my heart as I didn't think it was anything. The lightheaded feeling also seemed to go away so I thought everything was getting back to normal.

Then, on July 3rd, I started getting some shooting pains in my arms and legs. They would just shoot through and be gone, no problem. For some reason I got nervous about it and the next week I went back to the doctor. On the way to the doctor, for some reason unknown to me, I got this thought in my head, What if it is ALS? I didn't know too much about the disease so I just sort of brushed it off. The doctor didn't see any reason to look too much into the arms and legs but he did decide to put me on a new cholesterol medicine for low HDL (Niaspan). Well after a few days the pains moved to my hands and feet which looking back was probably a cause of the Niaspan.

After having all these symptoms my mind just kept going back to ALS for some reason so I got online and looked up the symptoms. Nothing seemed to match really so I felt a little better. Then, I started having twitches in my hands. Well, that freaked me out and convinced me I had it. I made an appointment with the neurologist and the first appointment he examined me and went over my symptoms and told me that it was not ALS. He said I needed to stop taking the Niaspan and see what happened. I felt a little better but that night as I was trying to sleep, I started getting twitches in my legs. Thus, I was back to square one. The twitches slowly spread to all my limbs, plus my back and shoulders as well. It's not constant, but it is there everyday. During this time, I also lost all appetite and dropped about 15 lbs and started having trouble sleeping. I went back to the Neurologist and he re-examined me and said everything looked fine but he would do a blood work up and EMG/NCV just to check everything out.

I still didn't feel right so I went back to my regular doctor and he said I was doing it to myself and wanted to put me on Lexapro (which I never took).

One problem was that I was now walking around looking for symptoms. If I drug my foot a little as I was walking or if something slipped out of my hands as I was picking it up, I was freaking out. So, this stuff started happening more and more.

I went on vacation that next week and felt really good. My appetite was back, I still had twitches but they weren't as many, and I slept much better.

Once I got back, I went in for the blood work first (glucose, B12, lipids etc) and then for the EMG/NCV next. Everything came back normal. Then he sent me for an MRI to rule out MS. It was normal as well. The messed up part is that I think I was kind of hoping for MS because then I knew what it wasn't. The Neurologist said that it clearly was not ALS but I still questioned him on it so he said he would send me for a 2nd opinion. His quote was "You need to be happy, I know people walking around with cancer that are happier than you are." Why can't I believe him?

So that is where I am right now. My current symptoms are as follows-

muscle twitching all over
fatigue
shaky arms and legs
muscle soreness/tightness
insomnia (most of the time I can fall asleep fine but usually wake up around 4 AM or so and get nauseas and hot and can't go back to sleep)
cramp in left foot
sore throat or lump that feels like I can't talk or swallow (again freaking me out)
not much of an appetite
sometimes I get tingling in the tops of my hands and feet
My hands and feet seem to fall asleep easier than normal (not sure what that is).
feel like my breathing is labored
don't want to do anything I used to consider fun, basically just want to sit at home

I also tend to go around and obsessively pick things up or walk just to make sure I can do it. Then I will try and administer the neurological tests he did on myself to make sure I have the same strength. I know that isn't healthy but for some reason I can't stop.

I'm not sure if I will take the appointment with the 2nd Neurologist or not. Will it help or will I not believe them either?

Questions I have if anyone has any knowledge-

Can your brain trick you into having symptoms of something you think you have?

Is twitching all over common for people with anxiety? (If the twitching would stop, I really think I could let it go).

How can I get through this? It is really effecting my wife too but she is very supportive. I know I am not as fun to my kids right now either and that really bothers me.

And how does this start at age 33 when I don't feel like I have ever been like this?

I have an appointment with a counselor tomorrow. Maybe we can discuss CBT. I would love to do this without medicine. My doctor has tried to give me Lexapro or Buspar but so far I have declined.

Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to lay it all out there and hope someone had some advice.





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