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Am I a hypochondriac?

I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibro over a year ago and received no treatment or follow up= just told by the rhuematologist to take 8 paracetamol a day and then discharged. I know there is more treatment than this available so it confirmed to me that the doctors do not take me seriously!

Anyway, my symptoms are those of fatigue, pain, balance issues. More recently, about 6 months ago, I developed pins and needles in first my feet then my hands, and this lasted for about a month, then went away. I did not seek medical attention because I do wonder what the point is!

Ive been finding I need to go for a wee more often, and struggle to get home from visiting my parents 50 minutes away without nearly wetting myself before I get home, despite limiting my intake and going several times before I leave for home.

Ive had for the last month a horrible burning/ acid sensation in my scalp to one side, with a pins and needles sensation and crawling sensation, which has begun to wane but is replaced with a severe headache. This has led to a small area of numbness under my left eye. I am struggling to cope with xmas lights as they seem very trippy.

I have a GP appointment on Friday, am I wrong in worrying this may be something like MS instead of the diagnosis I was given after a 5 minute consult with a doctor who couldnt wait to get rid of me? Do I mention my concerns to them, or just hope they pick out from my symptoms what is the actual issue? Im concerned they may just fob me off, or that I will not believe them if they say its just a virus or anxiety or something.

I would welcome any advice on how to handle the GP appointment. Thanks in advance.

Hi. I am afraid i cant really help as i feel that i might be hypocondriac. But just wanted to comment as these experiences you are having are real the question is what is causing them and lack of help or support by the medics does nothing to help. I didnt even know about MS. Am 40yr old mum of 2…goes to gym 3 times a week and has evening job during then week. Then 10wks ago it all changed. Been unwell, so tired. Just thought flu.Then about 3 weeks ago the left side of my head and eye was so painful and is still so. I have pins and needles in left arm and sometimes leg. They feel so heavy and sometimes cant grip with my hand. I have terrible bladder issue constantly feeling the need to go and a couple of little accidents. Just thought unwell… got admitted hospital last monday. Got out on sat. They did ct scan. Mri and also met with neurologist for about 5 mins. He said not MS. I didnt even think it was but since then i am going out of my head as not any better. I certainly dont want to have it nor do i want to be insensitive to those who do but i feel let down by the medics. Why even tell me that was what they were looking into to be then told its not and just need to wait for my body to recover from whatever it is ! They said while they cant rule out in future they have for now! I think they think it is in my head or at least my brain thinks it is. Functional disorder. I am so annoyed though as it was never in my head about any of this. I had just been unexpectedly unwell and it was the gp that admitted me to hosp after antibiotics for sinusitis (Which ent confirmed i didnt have) and worsening symptoms. Anyway i feel it is the lack of explanation by the medics etc to help.put me at ease that is now making me a hypocondriact and even start looking at MS which in turn will be making it worse. so my advice would be to focus on your main symptoms- the constant ones. See if any particular time of day or anything that makes them worse. I wouldnt be frightened to mention that this is now making you anxious as has been so ongoing but i would go with more of a diary or pattern to discuss rather than just a list. I probably wouldnt tell them you.think it is ms but just see what they can do for you. Good luck x

This basic advice was given to me by a Neurologist, some comes from my own experience. It should work just as well for a GP, but remember most GPs now work on an 8-minute cycle (thats 8 minutes between each patient coming through the door).

Make a list of all your symptoms. By hand.
Now group them together (like pins-and-needles in your feet, and spasms in your feet belong together). I think that yours should be fatigue, pain, balance issues, numbness/pins-and-needles, bladder urgency.
Now write out the list again - worst symptom first, and so on. If there are more than five headings, have another think about your groupings.
Now write it out again - by hand - you will remember it better that way.

Now you can make out two copies of the list.

Take them to the appointment, but do not give them to the Neuro/GP. You come across better if you can remember all your problem symptoms and can tell the Neuro/GP quite calmly. (That takes care of any hypochondriac suspicion).

At the end, then you can hand over a copy of the list - but not before. You want his/her attention on you, not a sheet of paper.

Geoff

Hello, I have MS and I’m actually currently in the middle of a relapse, whereby I’m suffering from the feeling of pins and needles and burning sensations in both my hands and feet. Every time I have a relapse I believe that this is the end, I’m going to lose a limb, end up in a wheelchair etc. So for this reason I would say that I also am a bit of a hypochondriac. When I was finally diagnosed with MS it was 6 months after I first began to develop the sort of symptoms you are describing and also the ones I am feeling now due to my relapse. This came about as I would not allow the doctors to tell me I was ok, that it would pass with time etc. In the end I got an MRI scan which showed scar tissue on my brain. I was then refered to a neurologist. I’m not at all trying to scare you or anyone reading this. I’d say that you should push the doctors into having an MRI scan. It may come as nothing or everything. Either way it’s a lead that will benefit you and your worries and help the doctors know what to cross off and/or hopefully how to treat you. If you get the chance to please write back and tell me how everything is going with yourself & the doctors appointment. David

thank you all so much for your input, its been great to finally have an open discussion with people who don’t say dont worry, theres nothing wrong with you!

I dont know whether its because Im female, or whether its because I have a diagnosed mental health issue (bipolar) but for every genuine physical issue (not that I have psychosomatic or even imaginary physical issues!!) I ever get, I get really poor interventions from the NHS. I walked around on a fractured ankle for 3 days before getting called back in to the hospital when someone bothered to look at my xray proerly last winter! I was left with double incontinence after having my last son (nearly 12 pounds natural delivery) because they assumed I was exagerating my symptoms, until I put in a complaint, which got me the tests that proved I needed surgery. Ive been prescribed medication for my mental health in the past that caused a severe reaction resulting in tacchycardia that the doctors dismissed until I was given an ECG, and even then it was my research that found it was a rare side effect of the meds, that stopped as soon as I weaned myself off the pills. So you can see why Im nervous about getting any form of help this time.

Im finding this quite stressful as Im convinced from my experience Im not going to get very far this time, but Im really greatful for particularly doctorGeoff’s suggestion, that may be my best option.

You are all brilliant!

hi

No your not a hypochondriac, no one wants to make up these symptoms, you just want answers and some GPs are good its hit and miss i discovered, hope you get your point across to your gp.

You are defefinitely not an hypochondriac. You have physical symptoms that need checking out and you deserve more than a 5 minute consultation. My husband is Bipolar…we prefer manic depression, as it describes the condition better in our opinion. My husband is a retired psychiatric nurse. He as had some bad experience with GPs in the past but luckily we have a fantastic one now…we pray she never leaves. Hang in there and take the good advice given by DoctorGeoff…all the best to you. Any GP or consultant who can’t assess you in an holistic way is not very good…in my opinion. xxx

I find, as a woman with a mental health diagnosis, that health professionals always reach for the “mental health umbrella” in relation to any new symptom, and it is a struggle to get them to believe anything else. Most doctors still believe chronic fatigue is a mental illness. I share your frustration. I have finally, after 15 years found a helpful GP, and am awaiting an MRI. If yours is unhelpful, you have the right to switch. Take care of you AmieLouise x

It’s ten to five. was woken at 4.30 by this burning sensation. And here’s me thinking it was going away. That’l teach me.

spent all day limping badly as I couldnt put any weight on my right leg, which made work really difficult and then my closest friend had had a heart procedure so I had to pick her up from hospital and walk her dog. A ten minute walk usually took me an hour, I looked like Quasimodo as I lurched down the street.

Had my drs appointment today.

she did some reflex tests, but wont send me for a scan or anything else until I have another episode, (if that happens) which I suppose is fair enough. She prescribed Ibuprofen and Im already on tramadol, and will give me amatryptiline in 2 weeks if it doesnt stop the burning. She did say if I had any issues with my sight at all to ring the Drs immediately, or use the out of hours service if they are shut, so it seems she wasnt ruling MS out completely.

Thans DoctorGeoff, you were spot on.