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    Old 08-07-2005, 02:50 PM   #1
    LonelyTraveler
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    Unhappy My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    Hi

    What follows is a private diary I've kept for the last 2-1/2 weeks. I've had anxiety and panic for ages but it's been just horrible lately and I really wanted to start keeping a diary and even share it with all of you to get some feedback. Here is a private look into my daily struggles with this beast. Perhaps many of you can relate. I'd love to hear from you...

    * THURSDAY (Jul 21, 2005): Drank 4-5 beers in an attempt to relieve the horrible feelings I'm having (RLS, anxiety, yucky feeling all over, etc). That night as I lay in bed, a mild shock-like sensation went across the front of my neck (weird). Awoke at 4:00AM, sat at the computer for an hour and finally crawled back into bed.

    * FRIDAY (Jul 22, 2005): Woke up feeling good and well-rested. Took a long walk, had only one cup of coffee and got a lot done around the house. I had some pretty bad heart palpitations later that day so I took a whole Atenolol (I usually don't take it at all or I just take a 1/2 of one). I also took a Lorazepam because my anxiety was acting up again and later, I had just one beer with my dinner. For the rest of the evening I just did'nt feel right at all. My stomach felt very sensitive (but not nauseous), I felt very weak and I had mild chills (but not fever-type chills) come over me every so often. I felt horrible but my temp was normal on the digital thermometer (97.9 just now when I took it). I've had diarrhea all day - perhaps from drinking yesterday).

    * SATURDAY (Jul 23, 2005): Woke up feeling quite a bit better. Had one cup of decaf coffee. It is now 10:48AM and I feel extremely weak and fatiqued. My stomach still feels a little sensitive at times but not as bad as yesterday. I have not taken any meds yet today. My nose has also been dripping a little bit. UPDATE: It's 4:36 now and I took a Hydroxyzine about 4 hours ago. I feel so weak and tired...like a limp dish rag. My anxiety is really bad too so I just took a Lorazepam. I think I was bitten by a mosquito about 3-4 days ago (my finger itched for a day and a half and I killed a mosquito in the bathroom later on) and wonder if I ended up with West Nile Virus or something. I hav'nt had a bowel movement all day.

    NOTE: for the past several months if I look at something head-on, I see it normally but if I turn my head to the left or right (while maintaining focus on the object), I see an overlapping image (or double vision if I turn my head really far to the left or right while focusing on the object). The farther away the object, the greater the double-visiion effect). My left eye is very blurry too and I see double out of it sometimes.

    * SUNDAY (Jul 24, 2005): I hav'nt had a drink in several days. My stomach burned like fire all night (I have GERD). I quit breathing during the night and woke up gasping for air but finally caught my breath and went back to sleep. I've been having some mild shortness of breath and the visual distortions are continuing (ie; when I look at my keyboard the keys look kind of scrambled, etc). I still feel weak. One good thing is that I hav'nt had "Restless legs" (RLS) in 3 days now. I am drinking a cup of decaf now and will write more later. UPDATE (11:38AM): My anxiety was acting up really bad so I just took a Lorazepam. My stools were "firm" this morning but now I have diarrhea again (alcohol withdrawal?). ANOTHER UPDATE (1:18PM): A little while after taking the Lorazepam, I was feeling considerably better (anxiety and some other symptoms gone) and cleaned both the goose and goat pen (a major task!). More later if I feel good.

    * MONDAY (Jul 25, 2005): Well, I ended up having a really good day yesterday. The Lorazepam seemed to wipe out a lot of my symptoms and I was able to get a TON of things done and even drank a few beers that evening (but did NOT get enebriated), ate a nice dinner and even watched a movie. I went to bed feeling really good too but sweated a lot throughout the night (anxiety?...alcohol?...illness?). I seem to sweat more often after drinking alcohol for some reason. Alcohol also makes me dehydrated and have soft stools/diarrhea I've noticed. This morning, I feel kind of drained/weak but not as bad as yesterday. I will write more later. UPDATE (4:23PM) I just remembered that when I woke up this morning, there was a stabbing pain in the center of my left wrist. I also noticed that when I poke at this area, it feels like powerful electrical jolts are coming out of my thumb and index finger. I've also had some mild tingling in the little finger and the finger next to that in my right hand.

    * TUESDAY (Jul 26, 2005): Well, outside of some mild anxiety and other problems, I don't feel all that bad this morning (not necessarilly good but I don't feel horrible either). I did have some mild RLS again in the middle of the night but not too bad. UPDATE (10:07 AM) My anxiety is starting to get pretty bad so I just took a Lorazpam. UPDATE (11:48 AM) My anxiety has calmed down quite a bit and I have been doing a lot of things around the house.

    * WEDNESDAY (Jul 27, 2005): Felt fairly "normal" today. My restless legs have been acting up off and on (almost always when I lay down in bed to sleep) and I have varying degrees of discomfort. I have been taking Lorazepam during the day for really severe anxiety which starts late in the mornings (The Lorazepam has worked wonders for this!) and Atarax at night (sometimes). Still having numbness, stiffness, pain, etc in left hand where I have carpal tunnel, ulnar nerve entrapment and I where I just recently had tendon suregry.

    * THURSDAY (Jul 28, 2005): Ditto

    * FRIDAY (Jul 29, 2005): Ditto

    * SATURDAY (Jul 30, 2005): Ditto

    * SUNDAY (Jul 31, 2005): Ditto

    * MONDAY (Aug 1, 2005): Fell asleep on floor while watching TV. Woke up. Turned head to left to look at window to see if it was daylight yet and had severe positional vertigo. It felt like my whole body was spinning/rotating and sinking into the floor (VERY intense and very scary!). I've never experienced vertigo this bad and it was far worse that just a simple "head rush" you might get if you stood up really fast, etc. I am deeply concerned about this.

    * TUESDAY (Aug 2, 2005): I still don't feel quite right (kind of spacy and "out of it" from yesterday). I would really like to get a CT SCAN w/contrast just to rule anything out involving my brain. All these wierd symptoms are starting to really concern me.

    * WEDNESDAY (Aug 3, 2005): Woke up, had coffee. I took a Lorazepam for anxiety. Right now I don't feel too bad. Will write more later.

    * THURSDAY (Aug 4, 2005): Woke up very early (1:30AM) and felt very anxious and nervous. Sat at the computer for awhile and had a HORRIBLE panic attack at about 2:00AM. I took a Lorazepam and crawled back into bed. Had all kinds of weird feelings in my right foot, short of breath, weird sensations in my head and had a terrible time getting back to sleep. It was AWFUL!!. It's now 2:24PM and the anxiety is still there below the surface. UPDATE: (12:11AM) Just woke up and am feeling "ok" but still don't feel right.

    * FRIDAY (Aug 5, 2005): It's 7:33PM. I've been feeling anxious and my head has felt all foggy/spacey today. I'm concerned about my vision problems. My eyes just get all buggy and if I turn my head to the right or left, I see double. I had itching on my index finger where I had tendon surgery for a day and a half and it has been numb ever since but I may have been having problems before because of the reasons I've already stated in other parts of this diary. Again, I would be VERY interested in a CT scan w/contrast and an ultrasound of my neck/arteries. I don't think I've ever had one and would like to rule out anything serious. That positional vertigo attack the other day REALLY scared me to death!.

    * SATURDAY (Aug 6, 2005): Anxiety as usual. Took a Lorazepam and it went away within an hour but I made the mistake of having a few drinks later this evening (I don't drink every day by the way and I don't really get "drunk").

    * SUNDAY (Aug 7, 2005): I should never have had those drinks last night. Alcohol seems to make my anxiety MUCH worse and I had all kinds of lucid nightmares and panic attacks off and on throughout the night. I woke up and took a Lorazepam and I have not (and will not) be having ANY alcohol today!. I still hav'nt fully recovered from my initial positional vertigo attack and although I hav'nt had another once since the other day, every once in awhile, I still get this weird "elevator" like sensation in my head (it's really weird and causes me to have a panic attack). It's like having "butterflies" in your head instead of in your stomach and it scares me and makes me really want to have a CT scan/neck ultrasound to see what is going on once and for all.

    END

    I have had TONS of tests and so far, everything has come back "normal". Just wanted to share this and would LOVE some input, suggestions, advice, etc.

    - Regards, Lonely Traveler

     
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    Old 08-07-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
    Verucah
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    My first thought reading your diary is that I would be afraid taking lorazepam and then drinking any type of alcohol. I think interacting these types of medicines with alcohol cannot be good and are probably causing your symptoms to be worse.

    Have you tried any cognitive behavioral therapy to help you cope with your symptoms in a non-medicinal manner?

    I understand how awful and uncomfortable this disorder is. I hope you start to feel better...

    Verucah

     
    Old 08-07-2005, 03:40 PM   #3
    kertson
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    I would reccomend getting off Lorapazem or whatever it's called, I know its Ativan in reality. I took it for a month, I thought I could just take it one day when I needed it, and not take it the next day, NOT THE CASE! I would get extremely spacy and drowsy when I didn't take it, it was really weird. I am also an occasional drinker like yourself, even though you must be careful when mixing benzos and alcohol. I usually let the benzos wear off before drinking, anyways ask your doctor about xanax or another type of anti-anxiety med. I switched to Xanax and do not experience these extreme withdrawal symptoms. Plus, ativan isn't even that effective, I had to take like 4 .5 mgs for it to work. With xanax, just take 1 or 2 .5 mg.

     
    Old 08-07-2005, 10:54 PM   #4
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    Hi LonelyTraveler,

    I think its a really good idea to keep a diary. I just cannot make myself do it.

    If you have gerd, do you take meds for it? It would help your anxiety to get your GERD under control. Also, you should not drink alcohol or decaf. when you have GERD. It just makes it worse. I do have a fancy coffee every other day, but I take load of meds. to counteract it. I take Nexium every day, and Pepcid Complete and/or Zantac as needed in the afternoon.

    I do get dizzy when I am anxious or stressed. Just sort of like, I do not have my feet planted firmly on the ground. I take Lexapro, with just a little valium for the really bad days (1-2 x week). It does help a lot. I used to use alcohol for my stress/anxiety, but that is what tore up my stomach (in addition to aspirin and stress).

    I do hope you get your anxiety under better control. And your sleeping habits. Not getting enuf sleep can make you feel worse too.

    Take care and get better. Wannabe

     
    Old 08-07-2005, 10:58 PM   #5
    pjcat
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    LonelyTraveler,

    Hey man how are you holding up? I was looking over your post and your anxiety symptoms and I think maybe alot of your syptoms might be related to alcohol withdrawal. I know after a night of heavy drinking I get anxiety through the roof and some very weird symptoms -sometimes lasting a couple of days after the fact. My girlfriend developed a problem with alcohol last year and went through some pretty bad withdrawals when she stopped drinking. However, you seem to question if your symptoms might be related to withdrawal so I thought I would give you a list that I compiled researching when my girl was detoxing.

    * Shaking -mostly prominent in the hands and fingers
    * Rapid eye blinking
    * Sweating -more at night
    * Chills with no fever
    * Malaise (Feeling very bad all the time)
    * Insomnia
    * Vivid Dreams
    * Increased urination
    * Irritability and excitability
    * Cravings for sugar and salt.

    Alot of these are symptoms of anxiety disorder themselves -but if you've been drinking for a long time its something you might want to consider if they are particularly bad after a night of drinking.

     
    Old 08-08-2005, 07:09 AM   #6
    GanChan
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    Here are the patterns I noticed from your diary entries, going solely by what's on the page. And I may be totally wrong in my observations, but I'll leave that judgement to you. I offer them purely in the spirit of things you might not have noticed yourself....

    1. You have a tendency to run for the medicine cabinet (or worse, the liquor cabinet) whenever you have anxiety symptoms. This is probably dangerous to your health, at least in indiscriminate combinations, and may well be making things worse. You may eventually end up benefiting from cognitive therapy to increase your coping threshhold, which might allow you to be less dependent on meds.

    2. There's a certain amount of anticipating trouble, or waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anticipating anxiety can cause...well, anxiety! For example, hypohondria: getting a mosquito bite and wondering if you have West Nile Disease, etc. You also seem to be monitoring your bowels extraordinarily closely, when the truth is that people do get the runs or constipation without it necessarily portending anything.

    3. Night sweats are often from excessive drinking. Even after you stop drinking, it may take a while for the body to recalibrate its metabolism, but I would imagine that eventually the sweats will stop.

    4. Vertigo, vision problems, fatigue, etc, can all be physical manifestations of anxiety. If the doctors aren't finding any physical causes, then the answer is probably above the neck. If that's true, then dealing with the anxiety first and foremost should relieve at least some of the physical symptoms. (Mind+body connection.)

    Only my opinion, which is worth...well, not much really.

     
    Old 08-08-2005, 07:47 AM   #7
    tnmomofive
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    HI
    I agree with Gan chan
    I have felt alot of the things you have mentioned through my years of anxiety disorder.As far as drinking well I cant even drink if I have ANY anxiety because it makes it so much worse!I dont drink often maybe a handful of times a year like I said when I do I have to be anxiety free.I have had that feeling of the room spining feeling and swore I even saw it spin.As far as diareha well it could be from the drinking or anxiety ,but I doubt it is anything to worry about as long as it isnt every day.Please be careful with the meds and drinking.



    hope you are feeling better.......take care

     
    Old 08-08-2005, 02:42 PM   #8
    LonelyTraveler
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    There is no way on earth I could ever repay all of you or thank you all enough for the numerous replies and how much better you've made me feel. I wish I could address each individual reply in great detail but let me just say that it is obvious that you folks really DO care about your fellow human being and having freinds, online or off, is vital to keeping my sanity through all this. Again, Thank You!!.

    I've been at the heart center all day and have a bunch of tests lined up so I'll basically be "living" there for the next week or so while they do all these tests (stress test w/isotope, holter monitor, EKG, Cardiac Study, carotid artery ultrasound, etc). Then, I go for a CT-scan w/contrast of my brain and next, to the eye doctor. During this time, I have to fast, no caffeine, etc. Anyway, just an update and thank's again people!!!

    Whoops...here is my diary entry for today (almost forgot)...

    * MONDAY: (Aug 7, 2005): I did'nt drink at all yesterday and don't plan on touching a drop today either. Last night, as I sometimes do, I took an Atarax to help with Alcohol withdrawl and to help me sleep. I lay there and felt hot and sweaty even though the AC was on and also had a small panic attack (shock feeling, adrenilin rush, heart racing, etc) but finally fell asleep. My RLS was kind of bad last night too. Woke up this morning and felt very drugged but slept well. More later.

    - Lonely Traveler.

    Last edited by LonelyTraveler; 08-08-2005 at 03:02 PM.

     
    Old 08-08-2005, 03:22 PM   #9
    tnmomofive
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    hi lonely
    your very welcome.....
    I certainly know how frightening panic and anxiety can be,so I hate thinking someone is out there with NOBODY to talk to or get advice and reassurance from.I would surely lose my mind if I couldnt have my online friends and these boards lol.I am glad you are getting a full work up! Hopefully it will all be clear.At least afterwards you should be able to find some peace of mind from it all.




    good luck! and let us know

     
    Old 08-08-2005, 03:38 PM   #10
    LonelyTraveler
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    Well, all the "excitement" was a little bit too much for me and I had a few glasses of my beloved gin and lemon-lime soda but I feel on cloud 9 right now and am especially thrilled about the carotid artery ultrasound because that was a BIG ONE for me since I have had dizzy spells and other problems for years and I have had LOT'S of people tell me that I should have this particular test done. I'm elated about it actually!. My doctor was a middle-eastern gentleman and his office had degrees from YALE all over the wall, etc so this guy is REALLY a serious pro. His bedside manner was also so friendly and professional that I almost felt like a spoiled kid. Anyway, you people are AWESOME!!!.

    - Lonely Traveler

    Last edited by LonelyTraveler; 08-08-2005 at 03:41 PM.

     
    Old 08-08-2005, 10:20 PM   #11
    pjcat
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LonelyTraveler

    I've been at the heart center all day and have a bunch of tests lined up so I'll basically be "living" there for the next week or so while they do all these tests (stress test w/isotope, holter monitor, EKG, Cardiac Study, carotid artery ultrasound, etc). Then, I go for a CT-scan w/contrast of my brain and next, to the eye doctor. During this time, I have to fast, no caffeine, etc. Anyway, just an update and thank's again people!!!
    Hope everything turns out fine. Hang in there

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 06:02 PM   #12
    LonelyTraveler
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    Well, I got very drunk last night (I'm sorry to say) and with my head spinning, I decided to go outside and clean up the barn. The next think I knew, I woke up at about 4:00AM and my pet goat was sniffing my face. I must not have gotten very far with my cleaning before I "passed out" because I found myself laying in goat droppings and the left sleeve of my shirt was soaked in goat urine. With all the hay, urine, etc plus my allergies and my HANGOVER, I felt like someone had pickled my brain in vinegar for two days. I went back inside, sat at the computer for an hour, popped a Lorazepam and hit the sack and woke up at noon.

    I went into the bathroom at some point and discovered that my last duck had died overnight so this was another blow. Then I spent the rest of the day fasting with NO caffeine and at 4:15PM took off for the heart clinic where I had a stress test done in which they pumped me full of some stuff, put me in some strange-looking machine for what seemed like forever, then onto a treadmill, then two more injections of whatever they put in me, then an EKG, then back into the machine again, etc. For some strange reason whenever, I have an IV put in even if they only use contrast dye, saline or isotopes, I end up feeling slightly under the weather for a few days thereafter and have mild sweats (anyone else get this??).

    Anyway, all day I've been feeling very foggy-headed, buggy-eyed and it's like I'm on another planet or something. Maybe because I skipped coffee this morning. Maybe from last night's drunk or from falling asleep in the filthy barn. Who knows.

    Anyway, just sharing. Thank's for listening and for all the nice replies.

    - Lonely Traveler

     
    Old 08-09-2005, 06:14 PM   #13
    tnmomofive
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    Re: My 2-1/2 week diary of misery

    hello
    What a night you had...I am just surprised you can keep drinking with all that anxiety! I am to scared to drink until drunk lol. I would say the foggy headed feeling is from drinking the night before.I hope you dont take offence to this,but your posts have a humor to them.I dont want to make you feel like im trying to take away from your troubles....I know they are real and scarey.It is just that you seem to be a humorous person.I got a laugh out of a few of the lines in some of your posts which helps I have been so worried an anxious of having a heart disease or disorder myself.Anyway,I hope those tests come out good.


    sorry about your duck..........take care

     
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