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Reckful 04-20-2010 11:28 PM

Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Over the past 3 months I've pretty much been living in absolute fear that I might have a brain tumor. Here is what's going on:

I'm 18 years old. Back since around May or June of '09 I started to experience pain in my left testicle. I barely ever felt pain, and when I did it was extremely dull. No symptoms for testicular cancer, but I'm a hypochondriac so I immediately just diagnosed it as testicular cancer and pretty much stressed out about it for a while.

Now February '10 rolls around. Still feeling the same thing in my left testicle, and still sort of worrying about it. I went to take a nap one night, and I woke up with strange pressure in the back of my head along with being light headed. No headache, just pressure and light headed. This scared me to death. I immediately assumed it's a brain tumor and my life is going to be cut short. I was absolutely convinced that I didn't do anything about the testicular cancer, so it spread straight to my brain.

I spent multiple sleepless nights just sitting up, stressing like you wouldn't believe. My parents comforted me, telling me how uncommon it is for a kid my age to have a brain tumor. I still stressed uncontrollably. My mom took me to the doctor to ease my mind later that week.

I went to see the doctor, and I had him check my left testicle. He checked all over and told me he found no lumps or anything. Big relief there. I then told him about my head pressure and being light headed, so he checked me out and noted that my neck muscles were very tense due to stressing. He then took my blood pressure and noted that was high as well, also most likely due to stressing, because my blood pressure has been perfect for my whole life.

This still didn't ease my mind. I was absolutely CONVINCED that my problem was a brain tumor, and nothing else. I would feel the absolute SMALLEST muscle twitch ever, and think it's because of the brain tumor. My left eyelid twitches for maybe ~1 second a few times per day, and I assume it's because of the brain tumor.

I don't get headaches, don't feel dizzy, no nausea/vomiting, no blurry vision/double vision... none of that stuff. I don't notice any of this stuff when I'm busy doing things. It's when I'm laying in my bed with my mind set on it that these "symptoms" come on. I'll feel a muscle twitch and I'll grab my laptop and google until 4 am.

So here's my newest thing, as of around last week. I woke up one night and walked into my parents room, and I basically talked to them about my dream as if it had actually happened, and they have no idea what I'm talking about because I was basically just sleep talking. I was half asleep half awake, but I remember doing this completely.

So then it happens again the next night. I walk into my parents room and ask "Where are those pills that help me sleep, or help me stay awake?" Again, they have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, but it's a very weird situation. What I was saying made complete sense to me, but absolutely no sense to them. I then walked into the kitchen to go get the "pills," and when I opened the cabinet I stopped and realized.... what am I doing? I guess at that point I completely woke up and realized what I was doing, and stopped.

Is that just sleep walking, even though I was about half awake and remember doing it? I can't help but think it's a brain tumor. Through my life this has definitely happened to me before, but since it happened back to back nights, it's just driving me crazy and I can't help but think "it's because of the brain tumor that you have."

I'm so afraid that this is what I think it is =\.

rose4me 04-20-2010 11:45 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Hello Reckful - welcome to the Health Boards:wave:
Most of your symptoms sound stress related. I have had months of eye twitching, brought on by insanely stressful situations in my life and the lives of those close to me. Stress can exaggerate illness or twinges here and there in the body. As you stated, you have none of the classical signs of brain tumor activity. You can always allay your fears and get a MRI of your brain.
I have seen multitalented individuals who are by nature hypochrondiacs - I live with one and grew up with another. You are most likely a highly intelligent person, sensitive and relate on a very deep level with the ailments you read and hear about. The people in my life who have been conflicted with these things are very artistic, write well, and read voraciously. A good and bad thing. Depression is a way to analyze things on a very deep level, going layer by layer as with a onion. Working ones way through the maze of the issue.
I hope you find an outlet to focus your attentions on, thus giving your inner mind an outlet to free up some of that 'energy'.
These are just my thoughts from years of close association with folks like yourself. I will say that some of the anticipated ailments eventually came to fruition, but they manifested themselves in other physical ways - mostly from accidental occurances, rather than an innate physiological event.
I wish you well - I imagine others will chime in here to offer support. We are here to listen anytime.
Rose

Reckful 04-21-2010 12:21 AM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
I try to make myself believe all the time that it's just me being a hypochondriac like I've been my whole life, but it just doesn't ever help. I'm always just thinking about negative things, and just googling about it all day doesn't help.

I just want to wake up one day and forget this stage of my life ever happened.

Reckful 04-21-2010 01:25 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
I don't know if this is from lack of sleep, because I'm really tired today due to not sleeping much last night (anxiety), but I had some minor muscle twitches in different places of my body throughout the day. Every time I feel a small muscle twitch, I go into stress mode and think it's a brain tumor.

I also noticed some floaters today in my vision. They aren't noticeable unless I'm looking at the sky / clouds making them become visible, but that also had me stressing today as well.

jennybyc 04-21-2010 05:59 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Reckful....all your symptoms are probably the result of anxiety...stress. You aren't a hypochondriac because by definition a hypochondriac thinks they are sick when they have no symptoms. You have body symptoms of an emotional disorder....an anxiety disorder. They are pretty common in your stage of life and I think, judging just by what I've seen on this board, that what you are experiencing is more common than anyone would think.

Your best bet would be to seek some counseling for a short period. Learn to control your anxiety now and you'll be doing yourself a huge favor because way too many adults can't do that. It's a lesson a worth learning as any subject you'll ever take in school. How many adults do you know who are stressed out to the point where they can hardly function? Learn to control it now!

You're a pretty normal teen who is just learning life's hardest lessons and could really use some guidance and tackling those problems now rather than later in life when they are deeper and harder to change. See a therapist....I did and I've never regretted it.

good luck..............Jenny

PS....floaters are normal and so are muscle twitches. Head pressure is not a symptom of a brain tumor but is of stress. As for testicular problems, if it was cancer it would spread to your spine(bone part) first, not your brain and since there was no mass....it isn't. Just somatic symptoms of anxiety.

Reckful 04-21-2010 09:38 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Thank you guys a lot for your support.

One thing I read about eye floaters is that anxiety doesn't create them, but it makes them a lot more visible when you're focusing in on it. More than likely these eye floaters were already present, I'm just making them a lot more visible by stressing out about it and focusing in on it.

Again, I really can't thank you guys enough for taking the time out of your day to help me through this stage of my life.

jennybyc 04-22-2010 06:49 AM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Reckful....your anxiety really is normal. You've come face to face with the reality that we all die.....a normal part of growing up. Some teens react to this by getting reckless, driving fast, drinking to excess, basically tempting fate. They figure if they survive their own recklessness, then they'll be okay. However, all too many die from their own reckless behavior.

You've taken the other route. You've realized what can kill you and it scares you. It scares all of us. And you're making yourself even more scared by focusing so much on it. That is why you now have the anxiety reactions.

Of the 2 ways of handling your own mortality, I'd far rather have a kid who is scared than being reckless.

But take advantage of it and get some counseling and learn now to handle the big issues of adulthood. They get bigger with time so learn now while you can.

Good luck Reckful...............Jenny

Reckful 04-22-2010 10:14 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
These muscle twitches that I'm getting occur mostly in my legs. I really don't notice them at all until I'm laying in my bed at night really thinking about it. It's very minor twitches that last for around maybe a second, and they happen anywhere in either of my legs.

It's me being stressed out that's causing these muscles to twitch, right? I can't help but get even more stressed out every time I feel a twitch that something is just dangerously wrong with me.

rose4me 04-22-2010 11:51 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Muscle twitches at night could possibly be restless leg syndrome. It's not terminal - but plenty annoying. High levels of stress, inadequate rest, improper rest, improper diet, not enough exercise - genetics, all these are possible triggers for twitchy legs.
Some of the other posters have suggested counseling as a way to gain control over your emotions. It is an idea worth pursuing.
Rose

Reckful 04-23-2010 08:18 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
[QUOTE=rose4me;4231483]Muscle twitches at night could possibly be restless leg syndrome. It's not terminal - but plenty annoying. High levels of stress, inadequate rest, improper rest, improper diet, not enough exercise - genetics, all these are possible triggers for twitchy legs.
Some of the other posters have suggested counseling as a way to gain control over your emotions. It is an idea worth pursuing.
Rose[/QUOTE]

I wasn't really stressed out today, but tonight I'm laying in my bed and I'm noticing my lower left leg (from my knee to my foot) there are muscles twitching and some are causing my lower leg to move a little bit.

This is really scary, because I wasn't really stressed out too much today and this is happening. Do anxiety symptoms occur even if you aren't stressed out one day?

damone 04-24-2010 02:53 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Reckful - I'm new here, but really wanted to post a reply. I'm 34, so obviously I've got a few years on you, but I know what you're going through. In fact, still going through something very similar.

I know it helps to talk with someone who's been there before.:)

Odra111 04-25-2010 07:21 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Anxiety doesn't simply go away. You have to learn how to manage it for the rest of your life.
I had many of these symptoms and was extremely scared. I saw many doctors, went to the ER twice...was in constant fear.

I was having panic attacks and was told to take prozac. I didn't take it because I knew it wouldn't change what was causing the attacks.

I do recommend relaxation exercises, some light yoga and meditation. They need to be part of your life. I've gradually incorporated yoga and relaxation exercises in my daily schedule. Meditation is also extremely beneficial - it's a way you can get much closer to your own body. You should definitely try.

Reckful 04-27-2010 09:10 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Man, this will just not go away.

I can't sleep at night anymore. I'll be laying in my bed and feel some twitching in my legs, and I'll go from tired to being wide awake thinking about how I might have a brain tumor. I'm not experiencing like full leg jerks, just a small muscle in either of my legs get twitchy for a few seconds and go away. It has me worried sick.

Now I'm getting these small itchy red bumps. They aren't all over my body, but say before I go in the shower I'll notice a few of them on one area of my body. They go away in a few hours, but I don't know where they're coming from. I keep convincing myself these are all signs of me having cancer, but is it from anxiety??

jennybyc 04-29-2010 07:56 AM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Reckful, seeing as you are still obsessed, I felt sorry for you and spent quite a while last night reading through every medical book I've got to check the symptoms of a brain tumor. You'll be happy to know(or maybe you won't) that muscle twitches were not a symptom of any kind of brain tumor, malignant or benign. Nor were rashes of any kind.

We all twitch, especially at night. Our muscles are trying to relax and so they may jump suddenly as they give up some of the lactic acid that accumulates during the day from activity. If you ever saw a video of how much we move and twitch at night, you'd be really surprised. It's just your muscles doing their thing.

As for your rash, a rash that comes up like that and then goes away quickly and then shows up somewhere else is usually stress. Some people get hives from stress(I do), others get a rash that can look different and more like yours. Others get a rash that is flat but spread out.....but all can be stress induced. The hormones that stress produces can cause a lot of reactions. Why don't you go and just lurk on the Anxiety board and just do some reading and you'll see just how many people get physical reactions to their stress.

But your symptoms have nothing to do with a brain tumor....in fact, they are the very opposite of what a brain tumor would cause.

Good luck....................Jenny

Reckful 04-29-2010 08:04 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
[QUOTE=jennybyc;4235849]Reckful, seeing as you are still obsessed, I felt sorry for you and spent quite a while last night reading through every medical book I've got to check the symptoms of a brain tumor. You'll be happy to know(or maybe you won't) that muscle twitches were not a symptom of any kind of brain tumor, malignant or benign. Nor were rashes of any kind.

We all twitch, especially at night. Our muscles are trying to relax and so they may jump suddenly as they give up some of the lactic acid that accumulates during the day from activity. If you ever saw a video of how much we move and twitch at night, you'd be really surprised. It's just your muscles doing their thing.

As for your rash, a rash that comes up like that and then goes away quickly and then shows up somewhere else is usually stress. Some people get hives from stress(I do), others get a rash that can look different and more like yours. Others get a rash that is flat but spread out.....but all can be stress induced. The hormones that stress produces can cause a lot of reactions. Why don't you go and just lurk on the Anxiety board and just do some reading and you'll see just how many people get physical reactions to their stress.

But your symptoms have nothing to do with a brain tumor....in fact, they are the very opposite of what a brain tumor would cause.

Good luck....................Jenny[/QUOTE]

Wow. It actually does sort of ease my mind to know that the muscle twitches / spasms that I'm feeling aren't from a brain tumor.

I have a question though. Basically, I've been thinking that I've had a brain tumor since late January / early February. If I actually had a brain tumor for 3+ months, would I be experiencing pretty severe symptoms? I've been seeing some floaters in my eyes, but only a few, and I only really notice them when I'm looking up at the sky. That's what also had me worried for a while too.

I just want to pass all of this off to anxiety and get off of it already =\.

Odra111 04-29-2010 10:04 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Reckful:

I always see floaters when looking up at the sky. They last a few seconds. I wouldn't worry about unless they are present for much much longer (and not only when you look at bright light.)

Like you, I would see some red spots on my skin and would think I had a terrible disease. What did I do? I went to the dermatologist who then told me what it was. Absolutely normal. And yes, he said my chronic anxiety could trigger those read spots.

In the past, I was sent to a treatment called "people with heightened illness concern". They did some cognitive therapy behavior for a few months and it was very helpful. That alone wouldn't work, though. Meditation, relaxation techniques and some yoga were essential for my recovery. And I have learned that I have to continue with this "alternative" therapy (meditation, relaxation, yoga, exercises) even if I am feeling perfectly fine. It's normal to stop doing these things if we feel better. But for people with anxiety like myself, that means the problems will return. In other words, it's a lifetime commitment.

If you do think there is something wrong with you, do look for medical attention. In the meanwhile, research about meditation and relaxation techniques.

Best,
Alex

jennybyc 04-30-2010 12:29 PM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Hi Reckful...glad I was able to ease your mind a little. As for the floaters you see, vision disturbances can be a symptom of a brain tumor but once again, floaters are not one of the symptoms. If you are concerned about them, see an ophthalmologist. I have them too as do most people at one time or another. I just ignore them.

And yes, if you have had these symptoms for 3 months, you'd be much sicker by now. And you aren't...so you made your own correct diagnosis.....no brain tumor.

We all go through this phase of life where we get afraid that we will get something that will kill us. But quite frankly, at your age, the #1 killer is traffic accidents. Suicide is not far behind. Look after your mental and emotional health...it is far more likely to kill you than any disease.

good luck..............Jenny

Reckful 05-03-2010 03:24 AM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
I'm almost off of this. I've been doing pretty good these past few days. One more question.

Since I've started worrying about a brain tumor, I've been looking closely into the mirror to examine my face / eyes, and I've noticed that when I'm really tired, in semi-darkness my left pupil is pretty big and my right pupil is big too, but my left one is definitely bigger than the right.

I don't know if it's been this way for my entire life, but when I started worrying about having a brain tumor, I noticed it and googled and read that it could be a symptom of a tumor? Both pupils go back to normal size at the same time when reacting to light, but why are they unequal when it's darker?

jennybyc 05-03-2010 11:04 AM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Pupil size in the dark really depends on just how much light is coming into that particular eye and how much you are focusing with it. We all have dominate eyes that do more work that the other eye so it could be your right eye does the dominate work of focusing in the dark and so it would be smaller as you try to see your left eye.

Here's an idea.....since we all should get our eyes examined every 2-3 years (or once a year if you wear glasses) why don't you make an appointment with an optometrist to have your eyes checked and ask him/her if you eyes look okay? One of the early signs of pressure in the brain is from the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye that we can't see but they check. If those are fine, then you are free and clear. And it's just good for your eyes to have them checked out periodically.

Good luck, Reckful...............Jenny

ashleybean 05-04-2010 04:38 AM

Re: Constant fear of having a Brain Tumor
 
Hi, Reckful, I'm a 36 year-old female with a brain tumor. Mine was diagnosed at age 14 after I began having severe headaches and dizziness. No one was able to tell me how long I had had it, so obviously mine caused no symptoms if I did have it prior to the headaches. Thankfully, my tumor, which is located on my pineal gland, is benign. I just have to monitor it with the occasional MRI. None of your symptoms except possibly visions disturbances, suggest that you have a tumor in any way.

I am well versed in brain tumors as my son also is affected. He was diagnosed with a genetic disease called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex two years ago. He has eight brain tumors. TSC causes the gene that prohibits tumor growth not to work. Therefore, he has tumors in every organ of his body; hundreds in some areas such as his kidneys. His tumor symptoms are classic: headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, disturbed vision, learning disabilities, and seizures.

I am pretty sure that you do not have a brain tumor! If you are that worried about it, go and get an MRI and you'll know for sure within a week. I think what you need more than anything is some good counseling for your major anxiety disorder!

Good luck to you!


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