Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Panic or Dementia?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 17 Replies
  • Posted By: Mattingly
  • October 2, 2008
  • 07:56 PM

About two months ago I was hospitalized with what (was thought) to be encephalitis. On the afternoon that I got sick, I first began feeling dizzy and disoriented, and then found that I was having difficulty remembering phone numbers, my address, and even the name of my wife. I eventually developed a fever.

The diagnosis of encephalitis was never 100%, though, because on the night I went into the hospital, the specialist needed to perform a lumbar puncture was absent, and by the time he came in on Monday, my symptoms had completely vanished and I had been discharged. It was scary but - whew! - all over. Right?

Well, not so much.

A few weeks later I was visiting my parents' house when I had an attack very similar to when I was hospitalized. These symptoms included numbness on both sides of the body, a temporary loss of word recall, panic, hyperventilation etc. Unlike when I was hospitalized, I did not develop a fever this second time, and my symptoms went away after a few hours of their own accord.

My mother, an RN, eventually decided that - at least this time - what I had experienced was an acute panic attack.

That was about a month and a half ago, and I haven't had an attack like that since. However, about five weeks ago as I was driving home from my in-laws' house, I began feeling somewhat light-headed. The sensation is similar to dizziness, but was not like I was falling over or the room was spinning. I suppose it was (and is) somewhat similar to being 'buzzed,' except highly unpleasant.

This sensation did not go away, and as time passed I began to increasingly feel like my short term memory was faltering. I wasn't forgetting where I was, or losing all sense of direction on the way to familiar places (like you might expect with dementia), but I felt (and feel) dull; almost blunted. I used to be an extremely sharp and quick-witted person who could juggle five tasks in my mind with ease. Now I have difficulty focusing on one, and repeatedly forget other things I need to do on a given day. I used to write for a living, and coming up with the right words was virtually effortless. Now, I struggle for even the simplest of synonyms.

Additionally, my head feels like it's constantly... pressurized; like there is a tightness that doesn't go away. I throw up… a lot. Like 5-10 times a day. It’s not typical, stomach-emptying throw up, but instead mostly bile.

My mother is convinced that I am suffering from depression and anxiety disorder, and I will admit; I have been absolutely obsessed with this memory thing over the past four weeks (it's been destroying my life). I've never had any problems like this before (I've been depressed before, but that was more like a sadness. Here, I'm apathetic about a lot of things that I was once passionate about), and now, suddenly, here I am sitting around worried to death that things are going to get progressively worse, and I'm going to forget everyone and everything I know, and then die.

My mom (as well as the nurse practitioner I saw Monday) is certain that, at 26, dementia is really not a concern, and that stress and anxiety explain all my symptoms, but I am really worried that she's wrong and that we're barking up the wrong tree. For one thing, college was extremely stressful a lot of the time, and yet this never happened for the four years that I was there.

My mother wants me to suggest to her other things that it might be (aside from some obscure form of dementia like Crutzfeld-Jacobs disease) other than stress so that she can rule them out and, frankly, I feel like it would ease my mind if I could just focus on it actually being stress. As of Monday, I am taking Paxil, but I've heard that it can take 1-4 weeks to show any affect, and as of Wednesday, I'm still feeling awful, and terrified that worse times are ahead.

Things do appear to be getting (rapidly) worse, as well. I am forgetting a lot of things, and am on the verge of panic that I am on the edge of losing my mind entirely.

Please suggest other things that I might have. If this isn't stress, what is it? Thanks for any and all help.

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17 Replies:

  • Hi Matt, Don't give up! I know you are terrified about forgetting so much and having these other weird symptoms. The initial symptoms sound like a tick borne disease to me. It would follow that you are having mental stresses and issues afterwards. Those TOO are symptoms of different tick borne illnesses. Getting your blood tested at Igenex for tick borne disease would be a good bet. Igenex is in CA. They will give you a more sensitive set of results. Many doctors feel their local labs are just fine for such testing, but don't do it. You need answers NOW. I got down to where I was nearly a vegetable before I forced a doctor test with Igenex. THat saved my life. I am finally getting treated by a LLMD who is saving my life. He can explain everything I have gone through. Good luck. What state do you live in?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 3, 2008
    • 07:19 AM
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  • First of all, this is not lyme disease or any other tick-borne illness. It's important to be extremely careful what you read and respond to with regard to this forum. While there are a number of good and well-intentioned people who provide support here, there is also a tendency by some to try and practice medicine in the clear absence of training or licensure. There's absolutely no need whatsoever to have any test performed for Lyme disease and particularly not through the laboratory being solicited. Your symptoms are also unrelated to dementia or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. CJD is somewhat rare and the onset is rather acute and extremely progressive. It is sort of the human equivalent of mad cow disease and causes encephalopathy from a malfunctioning protein known as a prion. Dementia has a very insidious onset and symptoms do not simply remit and relapse in the case of true dementia that affects cognition. One of the most important facts about true dementia with memory loss is that patients with this disease almost always demonstrate something known as anosognosia, meaning that they are entirely unaware that a problem exists and even contest the fact that something might be wrong relative to their memory and other faculties. In the absence of another underlying condition, your mother's suspicions might not be too far off base. Realize that anxious depression works differently in people at different ages, so the symptoms are not universal. Importantly, depression can cause memory problems and other cognitive symptoms to such an extent that it's often called pseudo-dementia because of its ability to interfere with cognition. The reason that people with depression have trouble with their memory is not because of destruction of brain tissue as in dementia, but rather because the person's attention is being interfered with by the ruminations and racing thoughts associated with clinical depression. People feel that they can read something or take instructions from someone, only minutes later to find that they are unable to recall the information. This is because it was never properly attended to and stored in the usual manner. The physical symptoms you describe are highly consistent with panic threshold and can be very debilitating in some persons. Numbness, tingling sensations, cognitive problems, weakness, sweating, GI complaints and a host of other symptoms can exist during a panic threshold event. It is not a sign of underlying disease. People can develop panic threshold and clincial depression in the midst of dramatic life events such as divorce, loss of a loved one, loss of a job or other major difficulty. If your symptoms continue, then you may want to determine whether it's possible that your symptoms may be related to panic disorder and clinical depression, both of which are very treatable disorders. Since you've been examined and had tests run, it's very unlikely that an underlying physical disorder is causing your symptoms at this point. You'll be fine. Talk with your mother about your alternatives. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • October 3, 2008
    • 10:31 PM
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  • I've been on Paxil for about 5 days now, and I'm not feeling a whole lot better. Supposing that Paxil does start to make me feel more balanced - do you have any idea how long it will take my mind to become more focused again? Thank you for all the help so far.
    Mattingly 4 Replies
    • October 4, 2008
    • 04:56 PM
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  • Hello Mattingly, I hope Paxil helps you. I hope it is that easy for you and you have found some answers for your issues. I don't pretend to have all the answers to anything. I shared my experiences and knowledge acquired over 16 years from many resources and my years as a microbiologist. I am not a doctor. But it was many doctors who refused to think of what I had as a serious disease. So while I certainly hope you are going to find your answers on the medication, if you are still having problems after a long enough time, don't forget what I said. Even RNs can still learn more, as can doctors. Unless doctors are on the front lines of testing and treating a particular disease, they don't know what is current. What I talked about is the up to the minute information. And tick borne illnesses certainly do include your symptoms. Do not ignore any information you receive. Take it all in and perhaps bookmark or print the information given to you. Then try what your doctors tell you. Give each diagnosis and treatment a good line trial before you dismiss it. If you are still having those symptoms after a good long trial on the medication, don't forget what others have said. Even people who are not doctors. It was a forum full of supporters that saved my life, not a doctor. I so hope the Paxil helps you. You deserve to feel well and enjoy your life!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 4, 2008
    • 06:16 PM
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  • Paxil or paroxetine, is in a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and they reach therapeutic levels by developing steady-state plasma levels in the bloodstream, so it's important for you to remain on the drug long enough for these plasma levels to be achieved. It is not the sort of drug that you take for symptomatic relief like an aspirin. It will take about 10 to 20 days before you really begin to feel the positive effects and you should not discontinue the drug under any circumstances without the advice of your primary care physician. If you begin to have unwanted symptoms, contact your doctor as well. You'll be fine. You also need to be aware that drugs alone should not be depended upon to resolve any type of clinical depression or anxiety. You should seek a referral to a counselor who is best trained to help you in this area. A combination of short-term therapy with drugs like Paxil and therapy should bring about the most rapid response. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • October 4, 2008
    • 07:47 PM
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  • As I've stated on the forum on several occasions, having a disease or disorder does not confer any qualification in diagnosing a patient's symptoms. The value of support in sharing one's symptoms and any treatment is certainly beneficial and provides comfort and insight for members and guests. People who visit any forum on the internet are seeking answers to their medical dilemma. Surely as a microbiologist, you would not appreciate visiting your doctor for medical advice only to learn that they were neither trained nor licensed as a medical doctor. While the forum does not dictate how inquiries may be addressed, it would be reckless to advise specific medical testing or infer diagnosis toward guests and members without any type of training or experience in doing so, at the very least without informing your readers that you are not a medical doctor at the onset of your reply rather than later. People can be easily influenced and medical tests are expensive in the case where they must be elective, yet unwarranted. As physicians, we certainly don't pretend to know everything but your argument that we're somehow out of touch with the latest medical treatments and technology not only lacks any basis in fact, it alternatively suggests that patients should contact their microbiologist in order to get the answers to their medical questions. Lastly, it is repugnant at the very least to further try and steer persons on this site to obtain testing from a specific laboratory and would suggest an element of advertising that strikes a bit below the belt. Even if the test were warranted, any competent laboratory can perform the test accurately. regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • October 4, 2008
    • 08:04 PM
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  • Please excuse if this gets posted twice. I am having problems posting.I begin with a statement, I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I understand doctors defending their positions as the best source of information. I also know that after more than 30 doctors over many years, none of them understood my illness and none had the big picture answers for me. I am not saying I didn't see a lot of GREAT doctors. Some of them are wonderful human beings and great doctors, too. I had testing done by many laboratories in different areas, and somehow they missed that my blood had Babesia attacking my RBCs along with a few other issues. Not many people realize that if a lab test is requested to perform a certain test, even if ANOTHER disease is seen, most labs will not report it because it was not requested. The reason most of us have to seek information outside a doctor's office is because we have not had a diagnosis from a doctor. I did state I am not a doctor. I didn't mention my scientific training and researching to impress anyone. I am certainly NOT suggesting a microbiologist has all the answers either. But I figured those who read this forum would understand that. I was only stating that I had more than a casual or flitting bit of information under my belt. I could tell you wouldn't care if I was the second coming, if I was NOT a doctor then you didn't respect what I was offering. That is too bad. I am only hear to add to information available, not to tell people that I have their answers.After having to educate doctors on the life cycle of ticks and then realizing that they did not know the different possible stages that a spirochete can transform into, I would have to suggest that some doctors are not up on all diseases. I had to clarify these points with an infectious disease doctor from the East Coast. Now if that isn't a touchy subject when an infectious disease doctor mixes up the life cycle of a tick with the stages of a bacteria -- I don't know what is. But I do realize it is a physical impossibility for any doctor to be that up-to-date on all diseases -- there are not enough hours in the day, especially for doctors who actually see patients. I understand you are trying to help people on this forum. I appreciate that. And in many instances I figure you are very helpful. But I find it completely condescending that a doctor or anyone else would completely discount some of my comments just because they don't agree with them. There are many scientific findings that support what I wrote. I can list them if that is requested by people. As a doctor, I know you have these at your finger tips. Will you list your scientific references about Lyme Disease if people ask you? Are you an infectious disease doctor? Do you see patients in an office? How many Lyme Disease patients have you put on treatment? What do you feel about the current two standards of care for Lyme Disease patients? Do you believe that Lyme can easily be treated with a month or two of antibiotic treatment? Do you believe Lyme can go into late stage and need open ended treatment? I am interested in what you think on this particular disease, just for the record. I have found many doctors who don't like an informed patient. Yes, I can see that can be tricky to handle, and of course, some patients are coming in with incorrect information. But a competent doctor can easily field those questions and help guide patients to better conclusions or at least better questions. What about a doctor who has no answers? What about when 30 doctors and many months or even years have yielded NO answers for a patient? What do you suggest those patients? I feel that many people ON THIS (and other) FORUM are in this boat. Isn't that why the forum WRONG DIAGNOSIS exits? And without an physical exam and test results, how can anyone state that a set of symptoms/circumstances are absolutely not a particular disease... In your own words: " First of all, this is not lyme disease or any other tick-borne illness. It's important to be extremely careful what you read and respond to with regard to this forum." I do agree that everyone needs to be extremely careful --- about people have absolute answers. Now shouldn't we be able to "read and respond to" different people and ideas on this forum, even if a doctor doesn't agree with those ideas? Again, isn't that WHY we are all here in this forum labeled WRONG DIAGNOSIS? Telling a patient that some symptoms are absolutely NOT a particular disease is a bit scary for me or hear from a doctor or anyone else --especially when as a patient and a person who has perhaps 20 other people affected with those very symptoms, who have finally found out that they indeed DO have verified Lyme Disease and other tick borne diseases.I am NOT a doctor. I leave the practicing of medicine to doctors. I can only add that I don't go offering some flimsy information just because that has been my personal experience. After 100's of books, medical abstracts, case studies, working with doctors, and over 16 years of research (which you will have to give to me as microbiologist, I probably know how to do a tiny bit of research). I do feel I add to the possibilities of information which MAY be of value for other patients to at least become aware of possibilities. I don't think anyone on this forum who expects that any of the patients on here have all the answers.I mentioned I do NOT have all the answers, and perhaps I have no answers. But I sure as shooting I absolutely know that all doctors do not know everything to an absolute degree about all diseases. Personally, I prefer a doctor who is willing to do a bit of research in areas which are not with their specialties, if the needs of a particular patient would benefit. I realize many doctors do not have this kind of time. I do not expect my doctors to have all the answers, but I do expect them to say so -if they have any questions and would offer to look into such matters as opposed to tell me that "you will be okay" kind of answer. I heard that from too many doctors to recall. And in fact, I wasn't okay. Bedside manner is only good if we are actually getting answers to our medical questions.That kind of added statement works well for about 10 minutes while a patient walks out of a doctor's office, then the reality hits us. We got no answers, but we will be "okay." That kind of talk can be extremely painful and can further depress patients who have been searching a long time for answers. It is patronizing and helps only if we are getting REAL answers along with the pat on the back. As a patient who has heard those kinds of words for enough years to nearly kill me, I prefer straight out facts instead of a great bedside manner. Yes, it is a great idea for doctors to reassure patients. Patting people on the back without helping their situation could certainly be doing harm if it prevents the patient from continuing to seek information they need or care they may require. We are hear for more than a pat on the back. We come to these forums for help and education because the medical community did not figure out our situations. It is my opinion that every patient has the responsibility to look into all avenues of information available to them. We can not sit back and let a medical insurance driven medical community limit our information or answers. We cannot expect doctors to have ALL the answers. If that worked this VERY forum for WRONG DIAGNOSIS would not exist! Yes, money is a great concern and I am very aware of that side of this matter. It took my ranch to pay for treatment that is saving my life. After loosing my ability to work and even walk or think, I understand budgets. And my insurance paid for many labs over the years, but would not pay for the lab that actually ended up helping me on several aspects of my health. So if it is a case of not spending extra money on other labs, or continuing down a road that has not yielded any answers or help, I think money is certainly worth getting my health back! Waiting for 16 years did me no good. Going through the hoops our medical system puts us through these days did not help me. So I put out there WHAT did help me... just on the outside chance it MIGHT help someone else.I also know that there are specialty labs which are more sensitive to certain diseases, just as their are certain doctors who specialize in different areas of medicine. It just makes sense. The fact that over 16 years of labs and doctors did NOT find what was wrong with me in particular (and many other patients have similar or worse stories) makes me think my offering what information has helped thousands of misdiagnosed people, just MIGHT be a good idea of others to CONSIDER.Another think I would SHARE ... I suggest reading the new book by a scientific investigator/writer: "Cure Unknown -Inside the Lyme Epidemic" and viewing the new film, "Under Our Skin" which is being shown in different areas or can be purchased outright.I have NO vested interest either of these forms of education. I also have NO vested interest in any lab of any kind on this planet. I do not advertise for anyone. But I do share what has been vital information in my life and in the lives of hundreds of people I know personally. I think some patients will see themselves in the first 30 pages of that book --and the remarkable documentary film will open eyes and minds. I hope mothers (and fathers) of children with issues which are not being answered by the medical communities will read this book and watch this film. I will continue this post in the next post.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 07:33 AM
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  • part two of a long post. I realize that not all people have Lyme Disease. I am not a fool. I am not an idiot. And I am not egotistical enough to think I can help people. I do believe I may have a tiny bit of information that might help others to HELP THEMSELVES. Isn't that the purpose of forums? All we can do is LEARN and get EDUCATED. We, patients, have to be the BEST advocates for our own health and our own lives. Doctors can't do that for us. Doctors can only be our partners in our health care. The medical community is not responsible for us, we are responsible for ourselves. We can only hope to find doctors who will be partners WITH US in securing our own health. So if you are telling me to shut up because I am not a doctor practicing medicine, or because YOU don't agree with my ideas to help others EDUCATE themselves, then I think this forum is a sham. Forums literally helped me to save myself. It was not a doctor who led me to find answers, it was supportive, informed forum members. Mind you, not everyone had the correct information for me, but then again, everyone's information helped me to learn how to help myself. It was after I had seen more than 30 doctors that finally a group of supportive forum members helped me to learn how to find the help I needed. I will fight for the rights of people to hear lots of ideas and share information, even if some doctors don't agree with my ideas. I always say, take an idea and see if it stands up to scientific standards. If it does, it is worth checking out. I also am of the opinion to never take anyone's words as sacred, educate yourself and find your own answers. and good luck, we all need that.P.S. I find it very hard to swallow that offering DIFFERENT ideas an choices for ill people who have HISTORIES of not getting a diagnosis after seeing several doctors and having regular, local lab testing done. Your remarks : "Lastly, it is repugnant at the very least to further try and steer persons on this site to obtain testing from a specific laboratory and would suggest an element of advertising that strikes a bit below the belt. Even if the test were warranted, any competent laboratory can perform the test accurately" are repugnant to me and those who are here seeking DIFFERENT options and possibilities. Aren't we HERE to LEARN and LISTEN and weigh for ourselves WHAT MIGHT HELP US? Telling sick people that they have done all they can do is frustrating and consistent with what they have already heard elsewhere, and part of the reasons they are reaching out to others. I don't believe I am steering anyone, I believe people are smart enough to STEER themselves through the information they are given. Since I have no investment in labs or health sites or disease web sites that I may share, I find the idea of NOT sharing what has been helpful to others hitting below the belt. And WHOSE belt is this measured by anyway? If competent labs have NOT helped out, why NOT try specialtly labs if one is still searching for answers?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 07:34 AM
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  • Whew, guys - I certainly didn't want this to turn into a flame war. The last thing I want is the thread to get locked and then I don't have anywhere to do.This was day 5 of taking Paxil (although I understand and accept that I will need to continue taking it in order to see results, as none are typical in this window), and so far I've seen no results. My memory continues to be crappy, and I continue to remain highly focused-on and stressed out by the problem.It's a vicious cycle. If I am depressed, I feel like it is as a result of the memory loss. My mother and spouse, on the other hand, feel that the memory loss is as a result of depression. I do live nearly 1500 miles from my family (my spouse excluded) and lost my job at the beginning of the summer. I was far more bothered by these things before I became obsessed with what was going on than I am now. My mother feels certain that this is a result of displacement ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(psychology) ), but I am decidedly less certain.For some reason, I am unable to let go of the dementia thing. I suppose it is because I cannot imagine too many realities more hellish than gradually losing all cognitive function... plus, at 26, I know of nobody my age who has ever felt like they were suffering from memory loss. So, overall, this has been terrifying, and continues to remain so. I don't know how to exact myself from this cycle, although I will try to stay optimistic that, with time, my anxiety will decrease and my memory will come back and/or stop being such a monumental concern.I just want this all to go away. My dad is a bit of a hypocondriac, and I have always been a slight one too... but never to this degree. This problem is shattering my life, and consuming all my time. And every time I feel like I've begun to let it go, something happens, and I am reminded of how fuzzy my mind is.Thank you all for your continuing support.
    Mattingly 4 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 07:50 AM
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  • Mattingly.. i too are going to say that it could be panic attacks and depression (im not a doctor but have had panic attacks and depression myself in the past.. among other things). As I've stated on the forum on several occasions, having a disease or disorder does not confer any qualification in diagnosing a patient's symptoms. above quote by JCottleMD and no one here has said it does. The fact remains thou that most with a certain medical issue esp if they take a real interest in the illness they do have, tend to often know more about that illness, one they have real life experience with, than many doctors do. Most who come to this site.. their doctors have failed them to give diagnoses.. hence as light said.. this forum is called "wrong diagnoses". Doctors dont know everything as the medical field is huge (as you would know) and hence general/medical practitioners usually know more about common things but may not be very familiar at all with more unusual things. for example the CDC says that CFS remains undiagnosed in 85% who have it. (this info is at the CDC site).i wonder why that is a fact.. maybe cause most doctors arent familiar enough with it to feel comfortable telling someone they could have it??? or do you have another reason.. im sure these severely sick ones do go to their doctors trying to get help. Most i know who finally get that diagnoses..get it only cause they've come across the info on this themselves, usually given by another with it from a site such as this one.. and hence approached their doctors with this info and FINALLY got a proper diagnoses from their MPs. You really shouldnt knock the ones here.. as many do know a huge amount about "certain" illnesses.. esp those they've experienced or got themselves. (a lot of the time, they do know more than many doctors do on these things).
    taniaaust1 2,267 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 11:23 AM
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  • "Forums literally helped me to save myself. It was not a doctor who led me to find answers, it was supportive, informed forum members. Mind you, not everyone had the correct information for me, but then again, everyone's information helped me to learn how to help myself." I COULDN'T AGREE MORE WITH THAT STATEMENT. I also feel that if a person is vomiting 10 times a day something is wrong, not just anxiety. I work with Doctors and nurses and honestly most of them are reaching out into the 'other world of healing', chiropractors, accupuncture, holistic medicine and homeopathy because regular medicine has not helped them. For crying out loud one of the doctors I work with won't even get the flu shot! I can understand when someone has suffered for so many years with a disease that has been untreated, finally finds an answer and maybe some degree of good health, that disease stands foremost in their mind. Lyme comes in many different forms as I've stated elsewhere in this forum. I know this for a fact, I see it everyday at work and have a stepdaughter that was undiagnoised for more than a year and now 8 years later has to have IVIG weekly to the tune of $8 to 10,000.00 a month just to have some qualilty of life. By the way she still has Lymes and has one of the best doctors in New England. Oh and she got this from the vaccine....so much for modern medicine. Yes, yes, medicine does many, wonderful things but it is not the be all end all. So people my feeling on this discussion, not that any one asked, is - this is a wonderful forum, it has helped so many people! As Light indicted, gather information, think about it and maybe, just maybe something someone says will trigger something in either your mind or your Doctors' when you share your thoughts with him or her; an idea that may help you to reach your goal to feel better. Whew...SV
    suevit 24 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 09:08 PM
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  • Hello All, I agree SV, gathering information and looking "out of the box" is a smart way to perhaps find some information that rings "true"... or starts you thinking. I have been through the mill in the normal medical community. I am certainly NOT alone. This forum is enough proof of that. We must share with others, on the outside chance that others will hear something that in the long run of things will strike a note of possibility and help someone find a way to health. SV, I am so sorry your step daughter got sick from the vaccine. That is such a shame. I was a huge mistake to bring that out so fast and many people are paying for that error. I send healing light and prayers her way. Unfortunately, the treatment is costly and ongoing for the vaccine problems and late stage Lyme or other tick borne diseases. It is so vitally important to prevent these situations. It is because of the children who can be SAVED from a life of Lyme illness caused by ignorance and/or untreated Lyme that I am so strong about sharing my experiences and experience. There are many people with valid information from experience and their own research or first hand knowledge which should be heard. All we can do is share and hope we can put out something that will help another. Doctors who deny our validity is exactly what we are trying to overcome. We were considered head cases in one case or another, or even exaggerating our symptoms. With many years of hearing what I didn't have, no one could come up with what I did have without the input of knowledgeable forum members. God bless forums and people willing to take the time to share their own experiences and perhaps even some bright information.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 09:32 PM
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  • Thank you for all the responses, although I have to say that there's no need for a flame war (the last thing I want is this thread getting closed).As of Sunday (my sixth day on Paxil) I have seen no noticeable improvement (although I understand that I may have to wait longer). My memory is still poor, my concentration is shot, and I am still completely and utterly focused on my problems. I also, despite what every single person I've encountered says, still can't divorce my mind from the fear that this is dementia or something equally horrible. I suppose this is because I can hardly imagine something more hellish than that fate, and my natural inclination is to bind myself to a worst case scenario. I'm not sure why I am wired this way, but I am. I wish there was a way to rule out degenerative neurological disorder, but I realize that even if I were to go and get another MRI or CT scan, that a negative result would mean nothing, as only an autopsy can prove the existence of dementia in a person.I guess it also probably doesn't help that I'm unemployed. I lost my job at the beginning of the summer, and haven't been able to find anything. I mostly sit around my house playing video games, and occassionally getting onto the internet to apply for jobs. Aside from my spouse, I live 1,500 miles from the closest family member. I used to think and worry about these things a lot more before I started feeling like this, and my mother believes that the reason that I've ceased focusing on them is because of displacement ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(psychology) ), as my fear of being hospitalized again has coupled with my lack of employment and loneliness to make me extremely depressed. But, again, it doesn't feel like that to me. I don't feel sad, just scared and anxious.Anyway, thank you again for all the support and suggestions.
    Mattingly 4 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 11:19 PM
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  • Hey Mattingly, It's not a flame war. If we can't disagree and move forward, then we really need help. I think if you continue on your medication giving it time to work and go from there. If I have learned nothing it is PATIENCE. Being ill is not always a quick fix. You have a lot to think about. My brain fog continued to get worse until I realized that it was much more than brain fog or a fuzzy mind. May I make a suggestion? Keep a journal of how you are doing, some ideas to think about or research. You may not want to do much right now, and just keep track of how your meds are doing and see if your life steps forward for you. If you keep a journal, you might be able to read back and get a better view as to if your symptoms are getting better or not. I hope you do get better and soon.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 11:32 PM
    • 0
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  • The posting on this forum is just weird. I posted that last night, and since nothing had appeared by midday today, I went ahead and wrote something similar, which I am sure will pop up tomorrow, shortly before this appears :/.
    Mattingly 4 Replies
    • October 6, 2008
    • 01:22 AM
    • 0
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  • [hi matt, just wanted to know how you are doing, i am doing some research on dementia and wanted to know if you are feeling better now
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 23, 2009
    • 02:11 AM
    • 0
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  • At this point, it appears to have just been severe depression, which I seem to have recovered from. Unfortunately, I've developed an arithmea that's been plaguing me of late. I'll likely need to lose a little weight to make it go away.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 24, 2009
    • 01:43 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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