Sunday, February 21, 2010

Because I often write these entries without labels, or even titles, I can't be sure if I have written about this before. If you are a friend on Face Book, then you already know about this. If not, this will be something new.
For the past year and a half I have been having these episodes. I call them that because at this point no doctor has told me what they are. In actually, no doctor is really following this situation, since the language of my primary care physician is not English, so who knows what she understands..And honestly, I usually say, "excuse me?" several times a visit, and usually just end up nodding my head. She does the same so I think we are missing the basic component of understanding. Not my fault. I know I have a southern/country accent, but it's MY Country...
Anyway, these episodes are completely random. I haven't noticed a pattern, except that they are all during the day. No particular time. It starts with me noticing a numb tingly feeling in my top and bottom lip and the surrounding facial area. God I love tv. Then I start to get a little woozy. In a way that makes me want to cry. And it makes me want to sit down and stare straight ahead. And there is a fluttery feeling inside my chest, yet when I put my hand on my heart, it is beating along at a normal rhythm. There is a fuzzy feeling in my eyes. As if I have makeup in them, and it makes me want to scratch them, and blink them to clear them. But the worst is the feeling that I want to faint. But not really.
I have on many occasions, found a soft spot, put my entire body on the floor or put my head on my table at school, and just waited. Sort of take deep breaths so that it will just come. And nothing. Haven't lost consciousness yet.
I usually find some peanut butter, and it makes it better sort of..The fluttery feeling eases, but the rest is still there. There is definitely a start to these events, but there is never a clear ending to them. It sort of just fades.
Saturday it happened again. There was one additional thing that happened that hasn't happened before. I had this little patch on the top of my head, above my temple and on the right side. This little patch had 2or 3separate pulses of pain. The kind of pain that makes you grab the spot and hold it..That was alarming. But not so much since I had a CT scan of my brain last year. I did get that referral from my English poor primary care physician.
After the episode I drove to the corner store, (not a mile away) and when I was at the red light, I felt like we were rolling. I smashed my foot onto the brakes thinking I had let up on it. But realized after blinking and trying to focus and blinking again, that we were at a stand still..
My sister is convinced it is anxiety. I am not. I can't say for sure, but I would think a panic/anxiety attack is mostly "all in your head." Not the "Munchhausen " kind of all in your head, but more triggered by stress causing you to lose it..My experiences are very physical. These things are happening in my body. I feel them. Not just thoughts or emotions or fears, but physical things that are happening.
My sister is bipolar and therefore knows everything about anxiety, stress, and meds. She is giving me the number to some doctors this week, and I am going to go!!
I also have a GYN appointment this week and we will discuss all of this further!

I just don't get how it could just be stress. I have eaten my way through 2 adoptions, one miscarriage, 2 years of infertility treatments, and one epic divorce,
so why would eating not work anymore? I prefer it. I have delighted in the delicious 3P's for years and they have gotten me through just fine! (pizza, pasta, and pastries)

The one thing I am really frustrated with is that I have to manage this. I don't know the words to express this my doctor. And if I did have the words, would my PCP even get it? And my GYN who manages the majority of my needs, cannot order tests and labs for things that aren't directly related to my girlie stuff. And then there are the referrals. Call get an appointment two months later, time off of work, and no one is really combining and summarizing the information...Not even me. I am happy that I have good health care, it just seems like the system is so convoluted. ONE doctor should be able to manage everything. PCP are kind of a joke. And don't get me started on dentists!


Tina in CT said...

OMG! First of all, ditch that doctor. It is so important to be able to communicate with your PCP or any doctor that you see. That doctor should recognize that and improve his/her English if he/she wants to live and practice medicine here. You need to have a PCP that you can have a trusting relationship with and talk with. Someone that will send you to a specialist when needed.

This is very important.

Go see a new PCP and then discuss the next avenue.

I am sounding like a mother but I am one so that's the way it is.

I'll be thinking of you.

Melissa or Missi said...

I agree with Tina. There are great PCP out there and you will just have to find one. If you want one closer to home let me know. I'll be praying for you. Love you!

Annie said...

I agree with Tina too, and I also think that you should print out your description of this and take it to your doctor. You can either read it or refer to it, and leave it with him/her. It is so easy to miss things and forget things when you finally get into the doctor's office.

My own experience tells me that anxiety attacks DO have what seems to me to be VERY PHYSICAL symptoms, many of which you have. I have anxiety attacks occasionally and while they sometimes are attached to feelings, sometimes I just feel as though I am horribly scared, while my mind ranges around for a reason I'd feel that way!

My guess is that this is something hormonal, though. That is the main cause of my panic attacks - at least it is all mixed up together.

Wow - good luck and you are now committed to telling us how it goes!

Stacey said...

Wow... I don't have a real solution but what concerns me the most is the numbness in your face and that you can't communicate what scares you and what is going on to your doctor! I wish you lived here - I'd drive you to see one of my favorite docs and get you all patched up (if required!) or take you for ice cream (or pasta, pizza or pasteries... whatever lol) Now I'm not suggesting google is a replacement for a good doctor but, do some digging, get some ideas, ask your gyn what she thinks you should do given that you are having challenges with your doc... BUT don't let whatever you might find on google scare you... it's not a doctor... if it's scary, put it into a file... just get checked out now... driving when these things happen is scary and I know you want to protect yourself and your babies!!! YIKES!!!

Annie said...

I remember experiencing numbness, too - especially in my fingers, and lips. Also, the prickles.... Don't worry too much!

Anonymous said...

For the past couple years, I was having nearly identical symptoms to yours. When a friend suggested it might be the artificial sweetener, Sucralose, I was skeptical. Then I started paying attention and noticed that the attacks would happen right after I drank a DIet Pepsi, or ate some sugar-free yogurt. I eliminated Sucralose from my diet entirely and voila! I haven't had an attack since.

The Internet, by the way, is full of reports of people who've had horrible side effects from artificial sweeteners. Check it out!