'Have you thought about seeing a shrink?'

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'Have you thought about seeing a shrink?'

Postby tlotoxl on May 21st, 2003, 1:41 am

I dropped by the neurologist's yesterday. It's a nice place -- you don't need to make an appointment, and with Japanese health coverage, it's pretty cheap -- and it's on my way to the lab at school.

I hadn't slept at all the night before because my myoclonic jolts had been so bad and I've been under a lot of stress from school, so I thought I'd go to the neurologist to ask for a tranquilizer prescription (good for the jolts and the late-night worrying) and maybe get a few things done that I'd never had checked out. I had an EMG in Canada and I've stopped worrying about ALS, but I never had my thyroid checked out and with the tremors and occasional dizziness and paresthesia, I thought that having an MRI might be a good idea -- if just to rule things out and maybe for reference later.

I didn't get any further than asking about the thyroid test before the neurologist, very affable and jolly, looked very serious and asked, 'Have you thought about seeing a shrink?' I laughed nervously.

I don't want to see a shrink. I know I'm under stress and I know I'm a basketcase of a hypochondriac, but with three years of twitching and all the other symptoms, I think it's worth getting a proper full-over. I had some blood drawn and the thyroid results will be on the way, but am I crazy in being annoyed with the guy? He's so likeable and friendly, and it does reassure me a bit to think that he doesn't think my symptoms are very serious, but surely the thyroid check and the MRI aren't completely crazy inquiries?
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Postby Jenn311 on May 21st, 2003, 8:25 am

Hey Al,

I think it would be very reassuring that he thinks it has a psychological basis....and you said yourself that you suffer from hypochondria. I think you should definently get all the tests you need to rule out any possibility of other causes for your neuro condition...but you have to admit that BFS is very closely tied to your mental state! Esp. if you tend to be a worrier. But you said yourself that Japanese doctors tend to be very pragmatic.
I had one experience in Japan where I had a skin condition, so I went to the dermo and he couldn't see anything terribly wrong with my skin, despite the fact that it was very itchy...in fact I went back several times and it was the same story everytime..."Daijoubu desu". Well, when I got back to the US the doc here did a biopsy and found I had some rare skin disorder that was cured up in a week with steroid cream. So if you are really suffering, there are other doctors you can see to get the help you need. You don't have to take one doctor's word as the gospel.
O daiji ni, ne!
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Postby tlotoxl on May 21st, 2003, 9:00 am

!! Your story about the skin disorder sounds very similar to a problem I had with my skin when I was living in Tokyo a few years ago working for Toshiba. At that time I noticed little translucent 'bubbles' that appeared right beneath the skin. They weren't itchy or painful, but they seemed to be spreading and they were causing me a lot of concern.

Anyway, I visited the Toshiba doctors countless times and went to the Toshiba hospital, even, and was given many different creams -- athletes foot, things I don't know what they were, and finally some steroid cream. The steroid cream did actually make them go away, but as soon as I stopped using it, the condition came back. Eventually I just gave up on it, and the condition disappeared shortly after my return to Canada.

There seems to be something funny going on with my toes, though now. Hmmm..

Anyway, for your supportful post. I feel a bit better now.

odaiji-ni, indeed. thanks. it's a much nicer thing to say then the 'genki o *beep*!' that some people will give you. 'look/act more healthy!' only goes so far ;)
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Postby Jenn311 on May 21st, 2003, 10:45 am

Toes eh? A little flaky? Itchy?

I know what you mean about the genki o daiji ni....when I was in labor with my first child I was in killer pain..(duh!). I was begging for them to just put me under and cut it out...all the nurse would say was "gaman!" and "gambatte". It's a good thing they don't understand the f-word. Plus they made me walk up and down the stairs to see the doctor whose office was on the first floor, then I had to walk to the birthing room and climb up on the table to give birth...it was surreal...and it turns out the midwife at this birthing clinic was also the maid.

Hang in there. I'm sure you'll be fine. At least you seem fairly sane to me. :wink:
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Postby tlotoxl on May 21st, 2003, 10:18 pm

Haha, yeah, 'gaman' only really goes so far, eh?

I can't believe my previous post got censored -- I tried to write 'genki o da sh i te', but the 'dashi te' bit got bleeped ;)
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Postby Jenn311 on May 22nd, 2003, 7:42 am

Hey Alexis...

I am really cracking up at you getting beeped on that one! I mean...it's not like kids read this site....I have gotten censored a lot of times for words I thought were pretty unoffensive...

How are you feeling? Any better?
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Stress, Translucent Bubbles - Psychs

Postby g1 on July 11th, 2003, 11:15 pm

Yes, my wife became pregnant with our first child last November. Soon after my stress levels were off the charts. Over the holidays we purchased a Tivo. The remote was heavier and the buttons were on the close side rather than the far side such as our tv remote. I noticed that my thumbs would tremble using the remote. My doctor said it was an intention tremor, perfectly normal for someone in their early thirties. Then I went to a psychologist who agreed and would not refer me to a neuro. I accepted the fact and life went on. Then I developed tapioca eczema in my hands. The translucent bubbles you spoke about. A friend of mine with stress issues mentioned she had tapioca eczema. I went to look it up and sure enough it was exactly what I saw on my hands, clear tapioca pudding like bubbles. The psychologist also helped me deal with this. Following this I worked out for weeks, lifted weights, attended a pro performance athlectic training center for speed and agilty training etc... I am a fencer (no weakness here, my vertical jump increased 4 inches in 6 weeks, weight amounts went up etc..) Then I had to stop the training and go to a three week trade show/trip in June. No stress symptoms for 3 months. I returned from the trip this Monday, took one look at my wife and realized that we were going to have a baby at any time. The next day I unhooked the trailer from our truck myself, and moved it around in the parking lot. The tounge weight is a few hundred pounds and the trailer weighs 1000 pounds. I managed to move it around and roll it into its resting place. I went inside to my office and started to use the computer. Then the twitching began. First the meaty part between the thumb and index finger began to twitch, my thumb and index finger moved. I got freaked out and of course thought I was dying from PD or ALS. By the evening I had twitching all over my body and was convinced I was going to die. I called my psychologist to set up an appointment. (keep in mind that I have never seen a psych prior to my doctor's suggestion following the first intention tremor scare.) Fortuantely, following the call I found this website. Once I realized it was stress related the twitching decreased. Within 48 hours and a new lease on life I am typing this to you with no twitching at all. 48 hours ago touching the computer keyboard would send the muscle between my thumbs and index finger into a tailspin.

I am going to keep my appointment with my psych. I never dreamed of seeing one until last November and it is the best thing I ever did. I always thought it was a sign of weekness. I was wrong. My first question to her on this next visit will be what stress related disease can they throw at me next. I am certain that when we have our first child in a few weeks that all of this will go away. My eczema seems to clear up based on her 9 month cycle. This website is great. It details every symptom I have from: bugs crawling on your skin, pins & needles, twitches in multiple spots, no loss in strength - You name it.
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Postby tlotoxl on July 12th, 2003, 6:34 am

Wow, what an awesome post. Thanks for your story, g1.

So maybe a shrink is in the cards after all ;)
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