Hey there my fruity brethren,
This is my first post on 30BAD and while I want to introduce myself and get chatty with all of the wonderful people I know I'm going to meet here, but my health comes first in this situation. I know it's a long read but please bare with me.
I've been vegetarian since I was 13, vegan for two years, HCRV since early this year, and recently 80/10/10 but for the past couple of months, I've had a strange feeling in my head. At first, I didn't pay any mind to it because the symptoms were common to me and it didn't seem all that threatening but now it is a full-blown nightmare that I just want gone immediately. The biggest issue I have had is a sucking feeling/feeling like there's a lack of oxygen in my brain. Everyone I've talked to calls it a 'headache' but it isn't one, not to me at least. There is very little pain, it just feels like my brain is swelling or in serious trouble, I know it is because it is so severe now and it affects everything. The next biggest issue is the fact that I've had many heart palpitations within the last five or so months. This was diagnosed firstly as stress/anxiety/panic attacks, since I've been prone to them in the past, but it's gotten increasingly worse over time and completely uncontrollable, I never know when my heart is going to self-destruct next. I'm just going to cut to the chase with the other symptoms I've been experiencing on & off during each day and list them here as there are too many:
If I left any out, then so be it, but you can get the general idea as to why I'm freaking out here. Last night I felt like I was going to faint, like literally faint because this brain issue got so bad, it's getting worse and worse every night. Something interesting here is that when I eat large fruit/green meals, the symptoms seem to be weakened for a few hours but then return immediately afterward and they are worst at night, before bed. It's worthy to note that I do have a vitamin D deficiency but I have been supplementing for almost a month now with 10,000 IU vegan D3 daily and getting sun whenever possible (it's cloudy as hell here for some reason this year). I recently had extensive blood work done to check on my current health. I have improved leaps and bounds going HCRV and the results proved it with everything reading perfect EXCEPT for my vit. D, however upon leaving the doctor I also noticed that my b12 was quite low at a score of 205 and even though I know the proper test to figure out my real b12 levels was not performed, I feel as if low b12 might be playing a role in all of this.
Late last week/early this week, I've had some scares with all of this. First, I woke up to heart palpitations (not out of a nightmare, just a strangely peaceful dream), which has never happened before and I immediately began breathing exercises to try and quell them. They did not improve, only worsened doing this and I got up to walk around and calm myself down. At this time, my left arm went numb and began to spasm. I thought I was having a heart attack but convinced myself it was just a severe palpitation and that everything was going to be alright but then my body went into chills and I started having tremors. So I drank some water and laid down flat, with everything off and the window open. Within around two hours, it was completely gone. The next incident was just that night as I was sitting in bed talking to my mother about what had happened that morning. Without any warning, I felt a lightning bolt (this is what it felt like to me) pierce my brain, then my heart and fizzled out down my lower abdomen. It was there and gone in an instant, but the pain I felt in that instant was unlike anything I had ever felt, it was so severe and scary. The last incident was two days ago when I went with my grandmother to an Asian buffet (they have raw fruit there) and right when we were about to pull in, my brain felt as if it were going to explode. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I don't blow things out of proportion or exaggerate in regards to my health. I am honest in saying that my brain felt as if it were swelling and my head was going to explode. I never, ever want to feel these things again and just thinking & typing about them is making my heart beat faster.
I have this eerie feeling that this has been going on for years but is just now coming to a head, due to the fact that I've been experiencing toned-down versions of symptoms like these on and off for many years, though they've always been passed off by doctors as panic attacks, anxiety, vertigo, paranoia, etc. I can tell you that the doctors where I live probably should not be practicing or considered professionals. I live in the south (U.S.) and here doctors are very quick to pass off symptoms as meaningless or they will generalize them. It's a "get 'em in, diagnose 'em, give 'em the latest drug, then get 'em out" type of medical environment here and I've had to go to Nashville (capital of my state) to get anything done in past years. My doctor didn't even pay attention to me when I visited him last week regarding this issue and was expressing my concerns and symptoms. His assistant even went as far as to argue with me about how I was wrong and had generalized anxiety disorder (don't get me wrong, I know it may look like that from a distance but it isn't if you bother stepping close and examining me). He insisted I see a cardiologist, even though in his words "There's nothing wrong with your heart." and I had to insist many times on seeing a neurologist until he caved. It's no surprise that I had to make the neurologist appointment myself and that he is taking his time on the referral for that particular appointment only. I never get angry but these 'doctors' are pissing me off. You can mess with me all you want, but messing with my health, especially when I'm in such a vulnerable position right now. I can even tell typing now that something is wrong with me. I used to be so articulate and now my words just seem jumbled together and dumbed down.
Anyway, I won't go any further and will leave it at that. If you read through all of this, major kudos to you and I love you for it. I will try and respond to comments but all I feel like doing right now is lying in my bed. Thank you for your help.
Thank you, Yulia, I agree.
I know many don't agree with those testing methods and even though now I've posted this and read everyone's feedback and I'm most certain it's a b12 issue, I still want to see what/if damage has been done to my brain just to be on the safe side.
I wish you the same. :)
Hey there, Keith,
I really appreciate the heart-felt post. I have made arrangements to see a neurologist, but my GP is taking his time on referring me for god knows why (it's funny because he wanted me to see a cardiologist, when this is obviously neurological and he made out the referral for the cardiologist really quick, but when I pushed him to get me to a neurologist, this happens). I really hope I don't have MS but thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm sorry you had to wait that long just for an answer, I feel bad now for complaining about waiting this long, but honestly this has probably been a problem for me for that long without me even realizing it. At this point, and after doing some thinking over everyone's suggestions as well as consulting with myself, I believe all this is b12 related and I'm going with that until I'm proven wrong. I've been working on getting the $ for some online and it's taken longer than I'd like but I should be able to order some very soon, which makes me feel relieved. It'd be great to be friends, actually. I'll add ya' right now.
Hello there, have you experienced syncope or at least felt close to fainting many times? Blacked out after moving from one position to another? I have Neuro-Cardiogenic Syncope. You may or may not have it, but I can relate to you with the symptoms. Sometimes it feels like my brain is "cooking". I collapse often. Even if you don't have this, I may be of some service. ^_^ Have a fruitful day.
I have, actually. Each time I get up swiftly (sometimes even just slowly), I feel like fainting but the other night I literally felt as if I were going to black out any minute. I'm glad there are people here like you who can relate to my symptoms and yes I'm certain this is a neurological issue but I'm quite sure mine is b12 associated now. Thank you for offering your help, hope you don't mind if I add you as a friend.
You need a neurological workup. This does not necessarily have to include a brain scan (I know that some people are opposed to CT).
Many of your symptoms sound neurological to me, and don't fit in with the typical somatic symptoms associated with mood disorders. The tinnitus, disorientation, excessive thirst, and word finding difficulties in particular. Did someone diagnose you with these symptoms, or is it your opinion?
Make sure you describe the cognitive difficulties to your doctor, he or she may refer you for a neuropsychological assessment. If you do have a brain-related disorder (which I am sure you don't but better to be safe than sorry) then often the only thing that will detect it will be clinical neuropsychological examination. Scans, blood tests, lumbar puncture etc aren't always definitive. Hope this helps :)
Hey there hellcat,
Yeah, I'm trying to get one, if I ever get a referral from my GP for an appointment that is (cue crickets).
You're right, this is definitely neurological after doing my research and I have no idea why this wasn't picked up earlier by my previous doctors, I wish it had been. I self-diagnosed myself with the symptoms. I was looking for names to put with everything I had been feeling and it took years to find names for all of them (I've been experiencing some of these things, like tinnitus for years now). The disorientation and excessive thirst have been issues for a while & the word finding has been more recent and obvious since the other symtpoms, particularly the ones affecting my brain/head/temples have worsened, which has worried me.
I mentioned this above, but, I described all of these things to my GP and he referred me to a cardiologist (ugh). I had to convince him to refer me to a neurologist. I hope I have no brain damage from all of this but either way, I want to know, so I'm definitely going.
You did help, thank you.