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Health panic, no-one to talk to - please help!

(18 Posts)
RattusNorwegicus Tue 27-May-14 19:21:50

NCd for this.

I'm driving myself insane with worry about some odd symptoms I've been having for the last few weeks. About three weeks ago I started getting pains in my chest - I know this sounds bad, but I do an insanely heavy-duty job involving herculean lifting and pretty much always have muscular injuries. So I guessed that, as I had no other issues (faintness, dizziness, shortness of breath etc, still able to run 5k, actually got a PB!) it was probably muscular.

The pains seemed to be related to breathing - when I took a deep breath they 'zapped'.

They did worry me a lot to start with, but they've been dropping off the last week or so, and are hardly there at all. However, I've now started having some odd abdominal pains and a feeling of indigestion, burpiness etc.

I have a drinking problem in my history - I got help, massively cut down, got tested a year ago, everything was fine. But I've fallen off the wagon a bit lately after having recurrent miscarriages. I've got it under control again, but I was drinking more than I should for a month or so.

The thing is that I am now absolutely, panic-attack-inducingly terrified that I have stomach cancer. I feel like I 'deserve' it.

This is combining with my anxiety issues to drive me crazy with worry. I have a doctor's appt on Monday, but can't get anything earlier without saying it's 'urgent'. It's not urgent, I don't have chest pain any more, I'm just cold with fear. I can't tell whether the stomach problems are caused by worry or are real.

I have no-one to talk to. I don't have a good relationship with my parents, both my best friends are abroad and when I told my DH it just utterly freaked him out as well. I feel like I have to be brave for him, rather than being able to lean on him.

Sorry for the essay - I don't even know what I really need from this - just to tell someone I think sad

HumphreyCobbler Tue 27-May-14 19:25:44

I really think this is an anxiety issue rather than an actual health issue. Your symptoms are vague and much more likely to be induced by stress rather than an actual illness.

having said that, I think panic on this level rates as a medical emergency and you should go to the doctor in order to relieve your mind about your symptoms and to discuss health anxiety. I know how horrid it is to think the worst like this, but really you will be able to gain perspective soon.

RattusNorwegicus Tue 27-May-14 19:30:51

Thank you Humphrey.

I feel like crying just because you answered smile maybe I'm more stressed than I realised smile

It is horrible to be in limbo. It's very hard to tell the difference between justified worry and over-the-top anxiety, and without feedback you rapidly can't tell the difference.

wombat22 Tue 27-May-14 19:43:47

I don't have any medical experience but wishing you well OP. No one deserves to have cancer cake

HumphreyCobbler Tue 27-May-14 19:51:29

It sounds like classic anxiety to me - jumping to the worst possible conclusion with NO REAL REASON other than that you probably 'deserve' to have cancer sad

You have had more than one miscarriage, no wonder you are referring your stress into a health anxiety. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. I would speak to the doctor and in the meantime have a hot bath with lavender and try really hard to do some deep breathing.

I have had a feeling of indigestion etc lately, I think I am over tired and stressed. I do NOT think I have cancer. I do not think you have it either (of course I am not a doctor, but I see no grounds for such an assumption).

My DH is well aware of my health anxiety problems and really reassures me when I sometimes go off on an entirely unwarranted, but seemingly totally sensible at the time, health scare.

NationMcKinley Tue 27-May-14 19:56:54

Ah poor you. It's very easy to get incredibly anxious over something like this. I don't really like thread "diagnosing" but do you have any pain in your shoulders? Is the indigestion / burping worse after a fatty meal? I'm wondering if you have gall stones. Personally, if you're this distressed, I think it's completely acceptable to request a more urgent GP appointment.

NationMcKinley Tue 27-May-14 19:59:05

And you absolutely DO NOT deserve cancer purely because you once drank too much. You were strong and brave and sought help. Be proud of yourself for that flowers

RahRahRasputin Tue 27-May-14 20:02:09

flowers sorry for your losses. It's perfectly understandable that you fell off the wagon, but good that you've got that back under control.

You don't deserve cancer! Also, apart from the drinking, you don't sound like you have any other risk factors, so I would've thought cancer would be unlikely. Of course that's no reassurance, but hopefully seeing the doctor will set your mind at rest and they can sort out the symptoms.

Anxiety in general could be causing the stomach problems, especially if you were anxious about the chest pains, otherwise there's probably lots of possible innocent explanations smile

I'm sorry you haven't got anyone to talk to brewcake

RattusNorwegicus Tue 27-May-14 20:05:07

Kind but firm Humphrey - you are of course right. I have worked myself up to the worst possible conclusion. I just needed someone to tell me that - thanks! There's no evidence yet that there's anything physically wrong with me. The doctor will tell me if there's anything to worry about.

I have had a hell of a year. I was sacked from my last job because they found out I was TTC (when I had my 3rd MC). I've had virtually no income of my own since then, and had a 4th MC. Under investigation at the mo.

Plus all my and DH's insurance policies on our lives, house etc have been suspended because I disclosed my medical history to the insurance company (foolish honesty) and they have spent the last two months poking through my records and asking questions about my mental health and addiction history. It has really upset me.

I am running the bath as we speak smile

RattusNorwegicus Tue 27-May-14 20:10:05

Thank you so much national and Rasputin.

I feel so guilty about the drinking. Like if there's anything wrong with me, I'll have done it to myself. And it could have been avoided.

national, I have a little shoulder pain, not much. But to be honest, so much of me is inflamed so much of the time that it's hard to tell whether it's 'different' to other muscular injuries smile I dread to think how much I've spent on physio.

I haven't noticed a change after fatty meals. I'll keep an eye out . . .

HumphreyCobbler Tue 27-May-14 20:12:35

oh you poor thing. It sounds very tough. I have had repeated miscarriages and it is hell sad.

Your anxiety is so understandable. I find it really helps to remember that I have anxiety, and while I have to have issues checked out as this is a sensible thing to do, there is no need to assume the worst case scenario.

Remember you have a doctor's appointment booked and file your anxiety to be dealt with then.

I promise I will stop the lecture now!

BeeBlanket Tue 27-May-14 20:29:48

I understand a bit about how you feel. I have had health-anxiety related panic and it's really horrible. It can build up and up and cause a lot of physical symptoms which of course just makes it snowball. Stomach and chest are absolutely classic places to get physical sensations that make you worry even more.

I can't promise you will get a nice doctor but when I went to the out-of-hours GP – I didn't wait, I was convinced I was terribly ill – the one I saw was really lovely to me, said I was right to go, checked everything throughly and convinced me I was OK. Subsequently, I felt better and I was amazed just what a strong physical effect the worry could have.

Without wanting to psychoanalyse you, I think feelings like this are an expresssion of distress, and of course you have had distress with your MCs, I'm so sorry you've been through that. It helps to be kind to yourself and think about and accept your feelings. Crying helps. I have a different backstory which I won't go into here, but I find I need to get upset and cry at intervals - you don't just get it all out at once.

You could phone the GP and on the off-chance they have a nice receptionist, ask if they can squeeze you in because you are having panic attacks? I should also add they can give you something like valium or diazepam to use in a one-off, short-term way to calm you down if it gets overwhelming. I only took it a couple of times but it works, and just knowing it's in the bathroom cupboard helps me not get in such a state.

RattusNorwegicus Tue 27-May-14 20:42:06

Humphrey, I'm sorry you went through the same thing. I hope it turned out OK for you in the end.

The lecture was great smile many thanks.

bee, I though I was OK, had actually been feeling a bit better lately, but when I write down what's happened and how I feel about it it all comes to the surface again and I want to cry. I'm a bit lost right now. I never thought my life would turn out this way. When I look at my life realistically I can see it's full of good things, and I can be happy, but there's a lot of sadness and loss there too.

I've had a lovely GP for the last three years. I've just changed practices - hope the new one is as good!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 27-May-14 22:36:28

Do you know, it did. It seemed as if it never would, but it did. I do hope for the same result for you.

RattusNorwegicus Wed 28-May-14 14:04:26

Thank you Humphrey, and everyone else who has responded.

I am feeling a bit calmer today.

I will come back on Monday and let you know what the doctor says.

thanks

RattusNorwegicus Mon 02-Jun-14 13:12:09

Hello everyone,

I've been to the doctor, and he has checked me out - he thinks the pain is from straining my chest wall doing heavy lifting at work. He checked out my heart and lungs, which were fine, and said that the pains just below my ribcage fitted with muscle strain. He seemed completely unconcerned about it, which was a good thing smile

The symptoms got a lot better after chatting on here as well, I think the panic was making me tense and adding to it.

Thank you so much to all of you for your kind responses. You have really helped me to cope with a very panicky episode thanks

RahRahRasputin Tue 03-Jun-14 17:41:57

Brilliant news smile what a relief! It's amazing how much of an effect anxiety can have on physical symptoms.

Without wishing to be nosy, have you had any counselling? I just wonder if it might be worth talking through some of your feelings about deserving to be ill because of your history, especially as you mention not having anyone to talk to. Please ignore me if this is completely inappropriate.

Anyway, I'm really pleased you had good news today flowers

NationMcKinley Tue 03-Jun-14 22:12:26

Yay! I'm so pleased! flowers for you.

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