Mind or body? What's up with these symptoms?
November 15, 2012 7:43 PM Subscribe
YANMD, but what could be causing these bizarre health issues in a previously (fairly) healthy twenty-year-old female? Snowflake details inside.
posted by sarahgrace to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For the past eight or nine months, I have been having strange, unexplained symptoms that don't seem to have any particular trigger other than one panic attack in March of this year. I've been to three different doctors since then and had various tests run but no one seems to have any explanation.
First, some quick background details about my health. As I said, I'm 20-years-old and female. I'm 5' 2" and weigh around 135 pounds. I have a history of anxiety disorders and more recently some depression (the depression coinciding with the aforementioned panic attack and these symptoms). The most serious issue I've had with my health is a strange skin rash occurring on and off from around 2007 until 2011 involving flaky skin patches, redness, oozing, scabbing, and itching. This skin disorder was never completely diagnosed and was treated unsuccessfully with steroid cream before disappearing. I suspect psoriasis, but I'm not a dermatologist. I have also had problems with my joints (pain and aches), especially my right knee which partially dislocates every month or so. The only medicine I am on is generic Ortho Tricyclen. I have been a social smoker on and off for a few years.
After my panic attack in March during which I was convinced I was having a heart attack, I have had chronic chest pain on the left side of my chest. It comes and goes but has never stayed gone more than a few weeks. Two days after the panic attack I went to the doctor after getting an inaccurately super high blood pressure reading at Walmart. My blood pressure was checked (during a complete meltdown it was 138/80 or something around there) and I requested an EKG which was normal. The doctor prescribed me a low dosage of Celexa and I went on my way.
After discovering that Celexa made me feel insane, I stopped taking it (with my doctor's permission) and was fine for a few months. Over the summer, however, I started feeling anxious and the chest pain returned along with fatigue. I went to a different doctor who did blood tests for thyroid disorders and possible other problems, all which came back clean. He suspected depression and anxiety but was not prescribed medication.
Most recently I have been having strange sensations in my abdomen, back, and legs. My legs will ache occasionally when I'm trying to sleep and I can't stand to keep them still. They also fall asleep very easily and my left leg occasionally gets this seemingly nerve related shooting tingle. I know that's a poor explanation but it's the only way I can think to describe it. I have pain in my left shoulder and in my left side, next to my bellybutton. I also have "ice pick pain" right above my left ear, sometimes falling into a dull headache. I had another physical at my gynecologist on October 8 and my abdomen was palpated, blood pressure and heartbeat checked, etc. Nothing was out of place. My blood pressure is checked daily and runs anywhere from 100/60 to 120/75.
The chronic pain I'm experiencing is driving me crazy and I'm not sure what could be causing it. I feel like it could all be in my head from the anxiety and depression, but if it isn't I'm terrified that there is something seriously wrong with my body that I'm attributing to my mind. Has anyone experienced/heard of anyone experiencing symptoms like this? What type of doctor should I see?
Thank you in advance for reading this novel of a post, and for any advice you can provide.