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15 years later...new twitch

PostPosted: January 4th, 2015, 10:51 am
by neodave
I started twitching nearly 15 years ago and it's been a rocky road since then. I've not been active on these message boards because thankfully I've not had much twitching in the last four or five years. I still twitch, but the twitches are few and far between. Furthermore, I've had nothing happen to trigger health anxiety.

That is, until recently.

Around 6 weeks ago I ended up in A&E (emergency room) because I thought I was having a heart attack. I'd had jaw pain all day which I read (stupidly) could be linked to heart trouble and an early sign of a heart attack; I then had perceived chest pain and perceived pain in my left arm. After two hours waiting to be seen by anyone in A&E (it was a Saturday night, but honestly they didn't take me very seriously when I walked in), and an ECG, it was quite clear nothing much was wrong. I left with my tail between my legs and thought no more about it.

Three weeks ago I was swimming and after only a few lengths, started feeling what I thought were palpitations in my chest: a continuous flutter which didn't go away for some minutes. In the days that followed, I had a few more bouts of this - a fluttering feeling that lasted for 5-10 seconds at a time. These events sent my anxiety sky high - I was terrified of having palpitations, thinking it meant there was a real cardiac issue (despite the fact I take propranolol (beta blocker) for anxiety and that I know this drug is used to treat palps) - and after a very stressful morning one Saturday when, lying in bed, I could feel them with my hand pressed on the centre of my chest, I felt convinced something awful was wrong.

It's quite clear, however, that the issue isn't palpitations at all, but an internal twitch. It's out of sync with my pulse and I've been extremely twitchy everywhere since this started - arms, legs, bum, you name it. I've had internal twitches before - in my pelvis - and whilst found them to be strange, never questioned it as anything more than a twitch. However, to have a new twitch after such a long period of rest is really frustrating.

I can't identify where the twitch is coming from, exactly - I'm worried that it's heart related and that it's actually my heart that's twitching away, but realistically I think it's more likely to be my chest wall muscles. I saw my doctor about the palps who ordered blood tests (they were all fine) and I'm having a 24 hour ECG this week. I know it's not cardiac but will do the ECG anyway and at least I can put my mind at rest following the "heart attack" scare 6 weeks ago.

What bothers me is this - the twitch started when I was swimming; it's a twitch I've never had before; when I breathe in or use my voice to sing, it sometimes aggravates the twitching. Since it first started, the twitching has been more frequent, but has only lasted a few seconds. It happened a lot this morning after I realised I'd eaten something with coffee in it (I've cut out caffeine from tea and coffee in the last 10 days to try and calm things down - which has helped) and this afternoon, whilst in the car, I started singing to something on the radio (which I haven't really done since this started) and the twitching was happening as I sang.

I've always had twitches whilst using muscles (e.g. my bicep used to twitch sometimes when flexing it or using it) so I shouldn't be too alarmed by this. Still, it is worrying me a bit that using this muscle - whichever muscle it is - is sometimes causing it to twitch. The rest of the time it does twitch when I'm relaxed and breathing normally. I've not been swimming since but plan to go this evening and I'll see how it is then.

Unfortunately, this proves that even after 15 years, I'm not fully rid of this - both twitching, and health anxiety. Sad times.