The Anxiety of Feeling a New Symptom Crop Up

“It will be gone tomorrow” or “This won’t last” are statements others use to try and reassure us when something new crops up — a symptom we haven’t experienced before despite having lists of symptoms longer than our arms. I wish we could feel reassured, but it is hard because we already cope with so much and the thought of adding something new to the list is terrifying.

I tend to panic when I experience something out of my norm because in the past, new symptoms have stayed with me and not gone away. For example, I had had neuropathic pain in my right leg for four years when I decided to have a lumbar puncture in 2012 as suggested by my neurologist. Despite many investigations, no one had even come close to finding the cause of the pain, so this was a last resort to check for any viruses in my spinal fluid. A lumbar puncture (LP) involves injecting a needle into the spine and taking out some of the cerebral spinal fluid. I had had two injections in my spine prior to this — cortisol injections with the aim of reducing inflammation — but they had both aggravated the pain significantly so I was very apprehensive about the LP. The LP didn’t just aggravate my current pain dramatically, but it also caused the pain to spread all the way down my other leg and into my lower back and hips. The pain is still very present in all of my lower body.

However, history doesn’t always repeat itself, and just because new symptoms have persisted before does not mean they will again. I have lots of examples of new symptoms disappearing after a period of time and not sticking around, i.e. a couple of months ago I developed the HSV1 virus (a strain of the shingles virus) on my right eye which led to neuropathic pain (trigeminal neuralgia) in my face. Despite my anxiety about it staying permanently, the pain gradually lessened and now I only feel a few pin pricks throughout the day.

So the next time you experience a new symptom — it could be a niggling pain in your face, a strange feeling in your stomach, or your body could feel like it is buzzing like a mobile phone — don’t immediately think the worst. For me, Lyme disease is one complicated beast and symptoms come and go as the disease progresses or as you go through treatment. I have heard from reading various blogs and speaking to others with the disease about some very bizarre symptoms that Lyme has caused, so you are not alone. As much as I hate the phrase, stay positive — stress and worry may aggravate your new symptoms and give them less of a chance of settling down on their own so I recommend staying as calm as possible.

Have you had any bizarre symptoms come and go? Let me know, as we all need some reassurance sometimes.

Editor’s note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

This blog was originally published on Spoonie Sophia.

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