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WARNING: LONG POST

I should first point out that as far as I know, I've never been bitten by a tick and I've definitely had no strange rashes. But in about the second week of March of this year, I began to develop a strange flu-like illness. It wasn't severe or debilitating, but it was unusual for me as I very rarely get sick. I also noticed that the gum on my upper left front tooth had receded slightly and the tooth became very sensitive (not painful really, but it was sensitive enough that I felt VERY aware of the tooth being in my mouth). I could have sworn that I'd felt the tooth move and was paranoid that it would break and fall out. Then, after a few days, the tooth issue abruptly stopped. I should point out that I was already a little high-strung at the time as I was unable to get to my local patient assistance program to get my Celexa 40mg for about two months (I have no insurance). On Saturday, March 19, 2016, my left hand and forearm began tingling and burning and my heart was felt like it was going to fly out of my chest. I left work early and had my mom take me to the ER. They ran EKG, all sorts of blood work, and a nose mucus test to see if I had the flu. It wasn't the flu and I was diagnosed with a viral syndrome. They told me that they had no explanation for the hand tingling (which subsided greatly after a few hours) and sent me home with a note excusing me from work for three days. The viral syndrome eventually went away, but the hand tingling and heart palpitations remained. I became convinced I was dying and that the EKG that the doctors told me was normal
had to have been a mistake. Oddly, the symptoms seemed to go away at night. I also began having difficulty sleeping. In the middle of the night of March 30, I awoke abruptly to find that both triceps burned and felt really weak (but it was a perceived weakness) and when I tried to go back to sleep, I had difficulty breathing as though my body forgot to exhale. I went into work later that day with by left arm feeling incredibly weak and tingly. I again left work early and this time I went to a local urgent care. In the waiting room (luckily they weren't busy), I had what could only be described as the worst panic attack ever. I was completely clammy, pale, breathless, and I felt what I can only describe as an electric jolt that shot down my left arm. They examined me, reassured me that it was a panic attack, and advised me to call a local mental health clinic to get back on my Celexa. I did so two days later and got my prescription. I was still having odd pains, palpitations, dizziness, etc., that seemed to die down at about 8pm every night. I still couldn't sleep and had no appetite. After a week, the Celexa seemed to start working as I was less jumpy and had more of an appetite.
Then it would abruptly stop working.

I was able to get accepted as a patient at a local free clinic in which local doctors volunteer their time to treat people. The doctor on call on April 15 told me that she'd give the Celexa a couple more weeks to see if it would take full effect. If not, she'd prescribe Buspar. The following day at work, I seemed to be okay. Then when I was ringing up someone at my register and my left arm went tingly and felt REALLY tired. I got through the rest of my line as quickly as I could and went on break. I called my mom in tears, saying that I thought I was I having a heart attack. She told me I was fine and to calm down. I kept trying to explain to her (and to doctors, with little success) that I felt the pain FIRST, at which time I panic, not vice-versa. Of course, it went away on its own later that day. I was somewhat okay for the next few days, until Friday, April 22 when I began feeling really nauseous. I didn't actually vomit, but it was like I was having motion sickness even though I was basically just walking or sitting normally. This continued off and on for the next two weeks. It was May 6 when things got really bad.

That night, I was sleeping on the couch when I woke up randomly like we all do in the middle of the night. When I attempted to go back to sleep, my left arm and both legs took on a life of their own. My legs began flexing and extending back and forth and my left did much the same thing with my hand grabbing uncontrollably at my night shirt. I thought I was having a seizure. I pretty much had to lay on my arm to get it to stop moving. Luckily, I had a doctor's appointment later that day and explained the situation. She gave me the neuro exam (i.e., pull back against her with my arms, don't let her push my shoulders down, etc.) and I passed. She put me on Buspar 7.5 mg along with my Celexa. On around May 9, I began having really bad short-term memory problems. People would tell me something and five minutes later, I'd ask them the same question. I was dizzy and had muscle twitches. I had another appointment with the same doctor on May 13 and explained what was going on and she simply upped the Buspar dosage and told me to come back in a month. In the meantime, I went back to the mental health clinic and told them what was happening with my memory. They assured me that it was likely the combination on Celexa and Buspar abd that I didn't have dementia. They put me on Effexor XR, Visteril as needed, and Gabapentin to help with the tremors I'd begun having. I went back to the regular free clinic and that doctor AGAIN did the whole "it's anxiety" routine. A month after that, I saw different doctor there who suggested it was B12 (I had suspected this too) and to take the sublingual pills. I've been taking 5000mcg sublinguals for about a month and see little improvement. My memory is still awful and I can't always remember my words. When I again explained this the mental health people, they just took me off Effexor which the substituted Wellbutrin and upped the Gabapentin. Two nights ago after work, I went to the ER and complained of my cognitive issues, dizziness, tremors, coordination issues. They did a CT scan on my brain and found no structural damage or fluid build-up. All blood and urine tests came out normal. Again, I left with no answers and symptoms that continue unabated.

To summarize, my symptoms are:
* memory/cognitive issues. I swear, it feels like someone took at least half of my brain.
* trouble finding words
*getting numbers in my head mixed up. For example, if your total came to $15.20 and you paid me with a $20 bill, I might accidentally give you $4.20 change instead of $4.80 because the twenty cents from the initial total was still in my head. I'm usually able to catch myself, but it's a scary feeling.
* muscle twitches and odd jerky movements. Sometimes, it feels like my body forgets how to move if that makes sense.
* disorientation
* weird pains near my armpits when I'm running register at work
* weird pains in muscles that almost feel like I have a big bruise in that spot.
* restless legs
* legs cramp up and I get weird Charlie horse-like foot/toe cramps
* dizziness and lightheadedness. The other night, I rolled over in bed and felt dizzy.
* disorientation
* poor concentration. It's like I can only handle one or two stimuli at a time.
* shortness of breath even when doing simple things like going to the mailbox.
* head tremor that comes and goes
* weird heel pain when I rise from standing or laying down, noticeable when I first get up.
*burning and tingling sensations that come and go.
* A few weeks ago, my tongue felt an odd combination of burning and numb. I could still talk, but it was an unpleasant sensation.
* pressure in head and slight pain behind my eyes
* floater and the other night, for the first time, I had an after-image after an on-screen text graphic on TV disappeared. I could still see an outline of the letters for a few seconds. It was long enough that I would have have time to read aloud what the text actually said.
* random diarrhea, sometimes only a few minutes after I've eaten
*stiffness when getting up from sitting or lying down
* late-night junk food craving, usually for something sweet like soda or peanut butter.
* I am sleeping better due to Trazodone, but I can sleep 10 hours, get up, and still feel like I need a nap.
* ringing in ears that comes and goes.
*Crying and tearful at random times usually because I worry that I have dementia or really early-onset Alzheimer's (I'm 28). I'm particularly worried that I'll forget who my mother is. We're extremely close. I'm actually in tears as I write this.

That's all I can think of for now. I don't know whether I have Lyme or not. I have no money or insurance to get tested and even if I do, it may not show up even if I'm positive for some strain of it. I can't exactly go into a doctor's office or ER and say "I have all these weird symptoms. Can you test for Lyme?". I'm sick of being told it's anxiety and depression and that I should just relax. With all of the symptoms I'm experiencing, who wouldn't be depressed, anxious, and terrified? But they just give out anti-depressants like candy. The whole thing is like a weird combination of dementia. ADD, MS, Parkinson's, and asthma and I can't get that across to people. I guess I should be a tiny bit relieved that the CT scan came back normal, even though that doesn't really prove much.
I feel like doctors think that because I can correctly use words like "neurological", "cognitive", and "tremor", I don't have anything wrong with my mind. It's basically the whole "But you don't look sick" routine and it upsets me. I'm sure everyone here on this board can relate to the feeling of not being believed.

I don't believe this is, or ever was, an anxiety issue. I think people came to that conclusion (and at first, I was one of them) because I just happened to be off my medication when the symptoms first started. Anxiety and depression seem like neat little catch-all diagnoses that are used nowadays when doctors can't find the source of a symptom or problem. Yes, I have those things, BECAUSE NO ONE LISTENS TO ME !

Anyway, even if I don't have any form of Lyme, thanks for letting me vent.
You seem like a group of people who understand what I'm going through and how frustrating it is to feel like people don't take you seriously because you don't necessarily "look sick".





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