I turned 50 a few months ago. About 3 months before my 50th birthday I started having a lot of anxiety about my age and started having nightmares about it. At the same time my right thumb swelled up. I didn't have any pain in the thumb, but after a couple of months I saw a doctor who diagnosed me with tendonitis. They took blood tests which came back normal.
The last 2-3 months I've been feeling awful. The swelling of the thumb has gone down, but it is still somewhat thicker than my left thumb. The other fingers on my right hand are also slightly swollen. I don't have pain in the hand. I've been feeling stiff in the mornings, my hands, toes, elbows, neck are stiff when I wake up. My left leg and arm feel slightly weak. I've always had anxiety, but now it has escalated into panic. I went on vacation recently and while out of town I had 2 full blown panic attacks. I was convinced that I was going to die. It was hard to breathe and I was feeling as if I was suffocating. My heart is racing most of the time and I am sure that I'll have a heart attack. I feel depressed and everything seems dark. Valium is the only thing that helps, it relieves the symptoms somewhat.
I am afraid to go to the doctor, partly because I am terrified to be diagnosed with something horrible, but also because we are living on the edge financially and I can't afford the endless tests they may have to put me through to figure out what is going on.
I feel anxiety about going to bed and falling asleep because of how I'll feel when I get up.
Some days are better, some are worse. Some mornings the stiffness is mild, some days it is so bad that I can barely move my limbs. I also occasionally feel as if something is crawling on my legs. As the day progresses I usually feel better, my body feels normal, but than it stiffens again during sleep.
The last days my eyes feel dry. I feel like my health is deteriorating rapidly. I am planning a vacation with my kids for Christmas because i feel that it may be the last vacation I am going to take with them. I also wonder what my health is going to be like by Christmas since I've been feeling worse on a almost daily basis.
I exercise, am normal weight and have always been healthy.
Any input will be greatly appreciated.
I am not a doctor but I do know that many women when dealing with menopause can find a terrible case of anxiety. A rapid heartbeat can also happen.
I am sorry you don't have insurance, because it sounds like you need a good blood work up to see where your hormone levels are at. Menopause can create SO many symptoms. Sometimes women think the only thing that happen is hot flashes. That is so far from the real deal.
Please keep us posted. The dry eyes could be a number of things. There is an illness called sjogrens that can cause dry eyes and arthritic pain. That sounds like it could be totally seperate.
Are there any health clinics in your area that may see you on a sliding scale, regarding your fees?
I wish you the best and if I can help any more, just let me know.
Thank you for your response. You are right, I was one of those people who thought that hot flashes are the only symptoms of menopause. I never imagines felling like I do now.
I've heard of Sjogrens and hope that's not what I have. The dryness in my started just a couple of days ago and is not present all the time, but the anxiety is. It feels like my life now is about waiting out the anxiety because it does become better as the day progresses and so does the stiffness in my joints.
I hope more women respond to my post and share their experience. Doe anyone experience symptoms like mine?
Aleksia, I've experienced dibilitating panic attacks and anxiety in my life as well! I have been on an anti-anxiety med for years now because of it. And frankly, it has saved my life! Taking it doesn't make me a bad person, I just need it, that's all. In peri-meno women, our fluctuating hormones can cause anxiety or panic too, as hormones are linked to many functions of the body, even the brain! A non-medicinal thing you can do too is to practice deep breathing & focus on what's in the room or your surroundings, and not what's going on in the mind. To stop projecting into the future and on "what-if's" and focus on the here and now, the present moment. This helped me several times, but does take practice.
I've heard of many women on this forum speak of health anxiety too. But then everything usually checks out fine when they've seen their doctors'. On an emotional level (& spiritual if you will), I think this is just fear... the fear of growing old, of dying. While I agree with Madison104, that a good checkup is definitely worth your time, much of what we experience just needs to be faced, and then ultimately accepted for what it is. ...However, there are definite real health issues that sometimes arise, especially in aging bodies (*cough* I'm in that category, lol). Like your tendonitis for example. Again as Madison104 pointed out, a clinic that does a sliding scale would be the way I'd go for sure. I believe we're not meant to have to suffer, and modern medicine gives us things for relief.
Might I also suggest if you're not already doing so, to amp up your vitamins (especially Calcium & Magnesium, along with a good multi-vitamin), and perhaps take something for joint health (since you suffer that). Plus a memory foam mattress has helped my joint problems greatly. I don't why, just is. I hope you can find relief, and psst, don't forget to laugh! In this together, ~Karen
All the panic and the anxiety is what led me to these boards about a year ago. I was fine living my life when all of a sudden I was hit with this overwhelming fear of anxiety. Every little thing would set me off and then the health anxiety hit with a bam!!! I too was just turning 50. I started analzying every single symptom I would get and thought I was dying. A bug bite, stubbing my toe, anything would set me off. Peri/menopause is a very strange thing. It really feels sometimes that it can mess with your mind.
I am still having periods, somewhat irregular, but still dealing with alot of the issues.
Hot flashes - black cohosh
Energy - B-12
Anxiety - L-Theanine (works great, really try it)
Hey, I just want to say, you're not alone feeling like you do. It's not the last vacation that you're going to have with your kids, sometimes our hormones just makes us feel like we are not normal anymore. We have gone so long feeling the way we were and all of a sudden are hormones are crapping out and things are changing. I feel like I have aged 10 years in the last year!!!!
I hope my post helps a little, you hang in there!
The following user gives a hug of support to missy222: PIA777 (01-07-2011)
aleksia, just so you know, and maybe to put your mind at rest a little, there are 35 well known symptoms of menopause and looking through the list the following are ones which seem relevant to you:
no. 2 irregular heartbeat
no. 10 anxiety
no. 11 dread, aprehension
no. 16 aching, sore joints
no. 22 depression
recognising that these are menopause symptoms and experienced by a lot of ladies is a great help in coming to terms with all the stuff which happens at this time of life. because there are so many things happening to us in a relatively short time it's no wonder that we get so anxious about our health and fear the worst.
best of luck
hi so sorryfor you it sound like your going trough the menapause really bad im having lots of problems too , burning sensations all over my body panic attacks depresion, carnt sleep body keeps jolting so scary .
Just wanted to welcome you to the forum. Am very glad you took the time to post & let us know you're here! Hope you post more to let us know how you're doing too! There's great support here for this tough time of life we're all going through.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I am posting today because I feel such severe anxiety and have no one to talk to about this. My husband lost his mother when he was young and she had been sick for years prior to dying so he can't stand hearing about somebody not feeling well. When I mention to him how bad I feel, he usually doesn't say anything and changes the subject.
I've had anxiety most of my life and that was bad enough, but it was nothing compared to what I am experiencing now. I also have heart palpitations and occasionally indigestion. But, what is worrying me the most is the joint pain. It is worst in the mornings. When I wake up my hands and fingers are stiff and a lot of times other joints, too, like toes, wrists, elbows, knees, neck and even back. The stiffness varies, sometimes it isn't so bad, some mornings I can barely move.The last few days my eyes are bothering me more. I have a slight dull pain in my eyes. I had this same problem a few years ago (at the time we had good health insurance which we lost) and the eye doctor couldn't find anything wrong with me. Now the pain is back, my eyes feel kind of stiff. I am terrified that I have an incurable disease. Every morning I wake up in a state of panic. When I look ahead I see only darkness, I don't know how I'll be able to go on feeling like this. Valium helps somewhat and gives me relief also from my physical symptoms. I've tried antidepressants in the past, but wasn't able to stick with anything because of side effects. I tried about 5-6 different medications. Lately I tried valerian root which is over the counter, but didn't feel any difference. Is there anything else over the counter that helps for anxiety?
A natural calming herb another woman on here suggested is L-Theanine. All natural, of course. They've been putting this in new herbal sleep remedies as well. And there's deep breathing exercises that have helped me with anxiety also. Practice staying in the here and now, and stop projecting into "what-if's," focusing on the moment. All suggestions for you to consider for your relief. Hope you (all) feel better soon!
All of this worrying is part of the peri/menopause phase. As we go through it, the health anxiety comes along. Now that we are getting older, I think joint pains are part of the package. I know myself I wake up with them too. The other day I awoke and I couldn't even move my fingers in my left hand. What's with that??? At first I thought arthritis, but then my anxiety increased and I was sure I was having a heart attack!!!
I think that Liverpool Sue and Ikaz have it exactly right, you need to know that this is all symptoms of meno and once you accept that, you will feel better.
All the worrying is not good. It can not only cause your stomach indigestion, but also the aches and pains that you are feeling when you awake.
Try the L-Theanine, it really helped me. It comes in capsule form or chewables. It was recommended to me by my health food store and is also recommended by Dr. Michael Murray, a naturalist. Do some research on the internet about it.
Hope you feel better soon, I know the anxiety can be extremely difficult.
I was also having trouble with my eyes and couldnt figure it out.They just felt "off" I had a good work up exam on them and was told i had just slight dry eye and she gave me drops for daytime and a gel type product for night time. My eyes hadnt changed .One is 1.00 and the other is 1.25 but it felt like somedays i needed bi foculs...Its still does.Ive read lots of ladies seem to have this problem in Peri/Meno..just a hormone thing. I even had some double /blurry vision going on but my eyes checked out ok.I wish this was my only symptom i must say.i,m having a really bad time of it..Meno really is exhausting
Snowflake51, I've been having the same problem with my eyes as you are! Some days they seem fine, while other days I can't see right. Blurriness, etc. Weird stuff! Seems they're getting worse too. Grrr, lol. I've thought it just a part of aging, and didn't know it could be related to peri/hormones. Plus I've never needed glasses my whole life. So I'll have to research this now, lol, finding this very interesting! Thanks for posting! In this together, ~Karen
your welcome glad someone knows i am not crazy i am almost 11 yrs now .I still get my stupid period..my boobs are not hurting because of the reduction but the scars hurt..the headaches are getting worse now and oh the newest thing is like a twitch in my eyes like my eyelid is folding only i feel it and no one can see it..got i hate it yes life is very unfair ..hope you start to feel better soon thanks for sharing tina2367
Last edited by moderator2; 09-01-2010 at 06:34 AM.
I will be 56 yrs. old next month. I too, thought that one little number (from 49 to 50) would/could not have the impact that it did on my so called life. I had been dreading this Menopausal Monster from my early '40's. Yeah, things started drastically changing both emotionally and physically. NOTHING, AND I MEAN NOTHING OTC worked, so I simply gave up and decided to screw all the Black Cohosh, Estroven, etc., and start exercising and losing weight - probably too much, as the more I lost, the less Hot Flashes and then none at all.
Mine is obviously NOT Typical, as I am always looking over my shoulder for my "time to finally come".
For sure, Life is a Bytch - and then comes the menopause. DOUBLE WHAMMY.
It's a shame your husband can't be more supportive, as that can help tremendously.