Bad Mental SetBack...need help (long)

Information about how to manage or reduce the severity of BFS symptoms

Moderators: JohnV, Arron, garym

Postby LeeNC on September 26th, 2004, 8:54 am

Mike, I was "lucky" enough that I started Zoloft within days of starting my BFS biz. So I never could clearly determine which yucky feelings (insomnia being a biggie) were due to starting Zoloft vs. the BFS vs. the gut-wrenching fear.

For a while, my arms felt truly funky, especially in my wrists and hands. I don't remember whether to describe my hands as stiff or just uncomfy. Stretching seemed to help, if only temporarily. Even now, 3 months later, my fingers constantly (every minute) jump/twitch, but not enough to see, and it isn't always in my right hand. And, like you, sometimes I notice that my arms are shaky (perhaps tested in a different way :wink: ), maybe even more than a lot of other folks here, but they still work just fine. Like pre-BFS, I can do 10 or 15 push-ups, so it seems shaky does not equal weak.

It's possible your arm/shoulder sensation is due to the unpleasantness of starting an SSRI.

Hang in there, and you'll have more info soon!

--LeeNC
LeeNC
Hero
Hero
 
Posts: 350
Joined: September 16th, 2004, 10:33 am
Location: North Carolina, US

Postby amy_twitch on September 26th, 2004, 11:33 am

Hi Mike,

I actually had to smile a bit when I read your post--because it truly reminded me of a stretch in time last year when I experienced the same type of symptoms. Like you've already heard from others, we've all been there!

TRUST ME, it's heightened anxiety (tying in with BFS). I never in a million years thought anxiety was the culprit for what I was experiencing. The SSRI is probably making your anxiety worse for the short term, and thus your physical symptoms are going crazy. That's the thing with anxiety---today it's one thing, tomorrow it's another and so on. The symptoms have such a wide range, it's hard to believe it's all due to anxiety--but it is.

Last year, along with my twitching, I had weeks where I'd get sensations like my leg or arm was falling asleep. I also had the sensation that someone was putting a rubber band around my forearm as tight as they could. I had tingling sensations through various parts of my body almost 24x7. I also had jelly legs and my left side felt sluggish. First I thought MS, then parkinsons, then ALS....the list goes on. After the barrage of tests, all that stuff was ruled out to confirm that I'm a healthy individual living with anxiety and BFS (or 'benign fasiculations' as my neuro calls it).

Do yourself a huge favor and stay off all health related web-sites except this one. Ok, well it's good to search about anxiety too--it will give you lots of info.

Anxiety can do really crazy things to our bodies--and it's tough to 'will' it to go away. Accept it, make yourself comfortable, and live your life with the knowledge that it will pass. Comfort is the key...and time is your friend. Mark a date on your calendar two or three months from now--then we'll see how many of these weird symptoms are still happening when that day comes. Chances are these current symptoms will be gone (the twitching will probably stay), but don't be surprised if a new symptom or two have cropped up. Thankfully, using this process, you'll see just what a weird beast anxiety is. It's not going to kill you, but you'll probably be living with it for a while. The key is not to worry nor let it get to you. That way you can stay in control of your life despite whatever symptoms anxiety throws your way.

If you can find the book: "The Anxiety Disease", read it. It's very helpful toward understanding anxiety.

Live on!
Amy
amy_twitch
Hero
Hero
 
Posts: 414
Joined: June 13th, 2004, 8:52 pm

Postby mike3456 on September 26th, 2004, 1:41 pm

Thanks you guys. This morning has been aweful. I opened my eyes and my shoulder and bicep still felt weak/fatigued and I just stared at the wall in despair. I mean, I'm a logical, educated, intelligent person, and I know I've never had this happen with my arm before. I mean, I know this past week has been extremely stressful, but, come on, can that alone cause one shoulder/bicep (my right) to feel weak? These are the bad things I think. I went on the "bad sites" this morning in desparation, hoping to find concrete evidence that I'm OK, but, or course, nothing is concrete. I'm trying not to burden my g/f and worry her, but I feel so alone right now. I can hardly eat I'm so upset. Sleep is difficult. I'm sorry for being such a whiner...I never thought I'd be in this much crisis. And I have to somehow suck it up and get through work the next few days before my EMG. It's no help that work has been aweful lately, and my "job performance" is in jeopardy, which is going to make it all the harder. I was in such good spirits after my neuro exam, and then this stupid arm thing had to happen *after* it.

You words are comforting, so thank you. Please keep the responses coming if you have anything to add...I really need it now.
-Mike
mike3456
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: September 21st, 2004, 2:31 pm

Postby mike3456 on September 26th, 2004, 1:47 pm

What's worse is the weakness/fatigue wasn't caused by twitching, in fact my twitching has'nt been that bad. What's even scarier is that I've notice 2-3 twitches in that muscle today. Sorry for venting so much...I'm in bad shape right now.
-Mike
mike3456
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: September 21st, 2004, 2:31 pm

Postby Stephanie on September 26th, 2004, 2:02 pm

Don't go on those bad websites!!! If you read 10 positive things and one neg., you will only focus on the neg. I am starting to feel much like you again, despite 2 emgs & 4 normal neuro visits. My back feels slouchy and I get the fatigue feelings in my arms. I even feel like it's getting harder to carry my kids. I think it's something we all go through from time to time. Hang in there.
Stephanie
Saint
Saint
 
Posts: 945
Joined: June 28th, 2004, 8:36 pm

Postby whatnext on September 26th, 2004, 2:08 pm

mike3456 wrote:Has anyone had a experience like this, sudden onset of muscle fatigue after doing a relatively minor lifting for just 30 seconds or so? I mean ,it's not so fatigued that I can't lift anything with it right now, just a left over sensation of tiredness and fatigue in my bicep and shoulder muscle.


Yep! Sent me reeling the first time it happened. It's normal with this stuff. Don't let it freak you out.
I will ultimately and completely crush, defeat, anihilate, and eradicate my anxiety so it cannot and will not do the same to me.
whatnext
Selfless giver of time
Selfless giver of time
 
Posts: 177
Joined: September 6th, 2004, 11:16 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby whatnext on September 26th, 2004, 2:38 pm

mike3456 wrote:Thanks you guys. This morning has been aweful. I opened my eyes and my shoulder and bicep still felt weak/fatigued and I just stared at the wall in despair. I mean, I'm a logical, educated, intelligent person, and I know I've never had this happen with my arm before. I mean, I know this past week has been extremely stressful, but, come on, can that alone cause one shoulder/bicep (my right) to feel weak? These are the bad things I think. I went on the "bad sites" this morning in desparation, hoping to find concrete evidence that I'm OK, but, or course, nothing is concrete. I'm trying not to burden my g/f and worry her, but I feel so alone right now. I can hardly eat I'm so upset. Sleep is difficult. I'm sorry for being such a whiner...I never thought I'd be in this much crisis. And I have to somehow suck it up and get through work the next few days before my EMG. It's no help that work has been aweful lately, and my "job performance" is in jeopardy, which is going to make it all the harder. I was in such good spirits after my neuro exam, and then this stupid arm thing had to happen *after* it.


Mike, if I didn't know better I'd swear we're twins. You're (perfectly valid) reaction to all this was nearly identical to mine. As you may already know, mine started with a sinus infection and incredible fatigue and perceived weakness in my legs. My doc told me all along that's what it was, but I refused to believe him. I was 100% convinced I had MS. He repeatedly told me otherwise but I wouldn't hear it. The anxiety built and built and I never actually realized that the sinus infection was long gone and the anxiety had taken over as my illness. I never knew that anxiety WAS a clinical illness! Only later in the summer did I begin considering *the bad disease* and it was only THEN that I started developing twitches. Note the order of events there -- first ms, then *the bad disease*, THEN the twitching. The twitching began to reinforce the illogical "belief" that I had something else. Two doctors all along were consistently saying "You have anxiety disorder. Get into therapy NOW!" but I didn't listen. I had anxiety disorder and didn't realize it. The bodily sensations were due to the anxiety all along, even before the sinus infection reached its peak!

Now, if we have to have an illness, consider the posibilites. MS isn't the death sentence that it once was. Certain other diseases are death sentences. Cancer isn't the death sentence it once was. Of all the illness to choose from, anxiety is a good one to have. Why? Becuase it's treatable with therapy and meds used in combination and, more importantly, we can make anxiety disorder completely go away! WE CAN MAKE IT GO AWAY! The first step is being able to acknowledge that anxietiy IS OUR ILLNESS. Only then can we start the healing process. My first therapy session was 29 July (a date I'll never forget...). It was only 6 September when I was able to say to myself, "My illness is anxiety disorder. Period." The next week, I was finally proudly able to admit that to my counselor and you should have seen the grin on his face! Now we can get down to the business of making it go away. Even after that, I went back to my doctor still complaining about fatigue and weakness (again, perceived and not clinical). This time, he insisted I start some meds for the anxiety. Note that it took over a month for me to finally admit to myself that my illness is the anxiety, NOT some neuromuscular disease. I have a master's degree in physics and a background in astronomy and I teach science for a living. I try to teach my students about logic, critical thinking, and rationality. Yet here I was, aware of the illogical thoughts that were going through my mind but not able to let go of them. Why? Because anxiety is an illness that keeps us from being able to dismiss the illogical and makes us second guess our doctors. Recognizing irrationailty is one thing. Being able to let go of it is quite another.

You CAN and WILL get past this!
I will ultimately and completely crush, defeat, anihilate, and eradicate my anxiety so it cannot and will not do the same to me.
whatnext
Selfless giver of time
Selfless giver of time
 
Posts: 177
Joined: September 6th, 2004, 11:16 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby Rolon on September 26th, 2004, 7:37 pm

Mike3456

I hope this helps you as much as it helped me.

What got me through my darkest period is I copied "BFS in a Nutshell" to a Word Document. I read it many times during the day.

I always found something positive in it that helped me come out of the dark.

Good Luck!
Rolon
Member
Member
 
Posts: 28
Joined: September 13th, 2004, 8:18 pm
Location: NW PA

Postby mike3456 on September 26th, 2004, 8:15 pm

Thanks Rolon, I've done that, unfortunately it's hard to focus on the positive things, but I'm trying. I'm scared of my EMG appt. Wed., but I want to get done...I think it will go a long way to calming me.

I even called my doctor and left a message with his answering service. They paged him and he called back within a minute! My question was if I could take my Diazepam with Zoloft (just started 4 days ago). He said yes and given my anxiety it would OK to bump from 25mg/day to 50mg/day. I talked with him about my sx, fears, the neuro appt., the MRI and the EMG. He talked with me for a good 10-15 minutes on a Sunday no less. He's a great doctor. I asked him if the shoulder can be extreme anxiety causing tension, coupled with being on the computer all the time (shrug my shoulder using the mouse). He said absolutely, and went on to describe why a muscle would get fatigued in that situtation. I haope he's not *just* trying to make me feel better, though I figure that's part of it.
Hopefully there's some real truth to what he's saying, because I'm scared.

Although my rt leg felt better overall this morning, I mowed the lawn (trying not to use my right arm) and went to the grocery store and my lower back, rt. buttock, thigh starting really aching and my lower leg/foot/toes had this really annoying "weak" feeling, like when you lose some control of limb when it falls asleep- not the pins and needles but that disconcerting dead, limp feeling that you just want to shake-off. I walked fine for the most part, buy my sensations were very worrisome. My lft leg felt fine. I'm hoping my rt. leg is just tired from my rt leg bouncing nervous habit and driving 1/2 hr each way to work in traffic. But this one-sided symptom thing is scaring me. I keep trying to tell myself its because I'm so out of shape, plus tired and fatigued from chronic/extreme stress and my right side is the one I use more often in day-to-day things. Just hard to convince myself. And of course I'm gettting the occasional random body twitch- today they've been both arms, I think both legs and one in my back near my shoulder blade.

It's going to be rough couple days. Thank again rolon for your reassurance....I've been looking for it all over the place today.
-Mike
mike3456
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: September 21st, 2004, 2:31 pm

Postby whatnext on September 26th, 2004, 9:50 pm

One sided perceived weakness is common. In my case, both my right arm and right leg displayed it but sometimes my left leg did too. My left arm rarely felt that way.
I will ultimately and completely crush, defeat, anihilate, and eradicate my anxiety so it cannot and will not do the same to me.
whatnext
Selfless giver of time
Selfless giver of time
 
Posts: 177
Joined: September 6th, 2004, 11:16 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby amy_twitch on September 26th, 2004, 10:35 pm

I have left-leg perceived weakness all the time.

Your doc sounds awesome!

Do me a favor and try to step-back and recognize how much you are obsessing about your body. We all tend to get in 'ruts' where we not only notice every little sensation, but we tend to seriously think them through. It's like all our mental energy reserves tend to dwell on those sensations.

When life is good, we might notice strange sensations, but we just cast them off and don't give them a second thought.

Soon you will be able to 'not worry' when parts of your body feel fatigued. It's normal and it honestly happens to everyone on earth from time to time. People with anxiety get it a lot more often.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about your appt on Wed. I'm sure all will be fine. So many of us are rooting for you because we've all been where you are now. Soon enough, you'll be the one doing the cheerleading for other new members.

Rest easy!

Amy
amy_twitch
Hero
Hero
 
Posts: 414
Joined: June 13th, 2004, 8:52 pm

Postby mike3456 on September 27th, 2004, 8:23 am

Thanks, you all are great to take the time to read and respond to my posts, and reassure me.This morning I feel pretty good. I took a valium last night, and of course sleep pretty well, but was having vivid dreams. I do feel a bit "hung over" this morning...probably from the valium and all the stress yesterday, plus I pushed my self to get out and do something some housework yesterday. My body still had little points of ache here and there, but not too bad

I'm trying to take it slow and calm this morning...ate a good breakfast, took my vitamin, and my Zoloft. My doc suggested keep a journal, he said it might help me, so I've been doing that also.

Thanks again for your support...I'll keep you posted.
-Mike
mike3456
Senior Member
Senior Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: September 21st, 2004, 2:31 pm

Postby JerryMc on September 27th, 2004, 8:37 am

Mike, if I didn't know better I'd swear we're twins. You're (perfectly valid) reaction to all this was nearly identical to mine. As you may already know, mine started with a sinus infection and incredible fatigue and perceived weakness in my legs. My doc told me all along that's what it was, but I refused to believe him. I was 100% convinced I had MS. He repeatedly told me otherwise but I wouldn't hear it. The anxiety built and built and I never actually realized that the sinus infection was long gone and the anxiety had taken over as my illness. I never knew that anxiety WAS a clinical illness! Only later in the summer did I begin considering *the bad disease* and it was only THEN that I started developing twitches. Note the order of events there -- first ms, then *the bad disease*, THEN the twitching. The twitching began to reinforce the illogical "belief" that I had something else. Two doctors all along were consistently saying "You have anxiety disorder. Get into therapy NOW!" but I didn't listen. I had anxiety disorder and didn't realize it. The bodily sensations were due to the anxiety all along, even before the sinus infection reached its peak!


I also had these symptoms. Sinus infection with headaches. I initially thought it was a brain tumor, then MS, then the bad thing. I still feel weak all over because everyday I have to walk across the house on my heels and then on my toes and then do pushups and attempt to do chinups which I am in no shape to be doing. I still feel weak, but my muscles are never as sore the next day, that is until I start my ridiculous strength tests all over again.
JerryMc
Member
Member
 
Posts: 34
Joined: September 10th, 2004, 10:04 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Sponsor

Sponsor
 

Previous

Return to Symptom Management

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests