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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cancer Topics

Question: right side symptoms, appetite loss + others..HELP!


 owwie - Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:45 pm

Hi...female, 22yrs, smoker, previous good health.
Im worried about lots of symptoms that aren't going away. Please help me..I need to know if these symptoms point to something serious or not. I'm too scared to go to the doctor unless I really must.

I get headaches every morning on the right side of my head, in various places, that go away after a couple hours. they're not very painful but are getting worse.

My right eye is getting progressively blurred, I used to have perfect vision but i seem to hardly use this eye now. theres a strange lump above this eye..between the eye socket and eyeball, kind of like some tissue is being pushed out..?! I'm so tired all the time, not just mentally but physically aswel. No matter how much I've slept my eyes are tired and puffy, my head feels foggy and I can't think straight.

My appetite has disappeared, I only eat about one meal a day now but mostly because I sleep most of the day. I try to eat at set meal times despite not being hungry. I weigh just over 7stone and am 5ft 4 so I'm not too skinny yet, but my face has been getting puffy which Ithink is concealing how thin I am.

I've started to get this strange ache in the middle of my back when I straighten up. I was hit by a car last year which broke my pelvis so I get lower back pain most of the time so I don't know if this could have travelled.

I occasionally get sharp pain in the right side of my ribcage, a couple inches under my armpit. This hasn't been too bad up til now but a few days ago I was lying in bed and it got VERY painful. It was coming in waves every few seconds and really hurt, lasting for about 5 minutes.

There are some other things aswel but these are my main worries. I know it must sound stupid that I haven't already gone but I'm basically agoraphobic and get very anxious around people. I'm scared if I do go I won't be able to talk properly to my doc and I'll forget some of the stuff worrying me. I tried posting before with no response so tried to forget things, but I can't do this anymore.
Thanks.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:54 pm

User avatar Hello -

Before I got to the last paragraph I'd already suspected you of being a very anxious person. This, of course, really complicates all your medical concerns, because the anxious patient tends to focus intesely on somatic symptoms, which tend to become magnified and perspective is lost. This often causes important symptoms to be overlooked or lost in the shuffle.

The main thing you describe which sounds somewhat out of the ordinary and concerns me is the eye problem. Both the fact that you can describe a physical lump in your right eye socket as well as distinct loss of focus in that eye. This is something which, while there may be a simple explanation, is at least concrete and can be verified by physical exam. The other pains, etc., sound superficial and within the normal range of what people experience daily but don't notice because there are other, more compelling things going on that distract them. When a pain or other symptom rises above the threshold of ambient "noise" present in life, then they serve a purpose. When you're agoraphobic or otherwise find yourself isolated for long periods, it is far more difficult to discriminate between the "normal" aches and pains, etc., and those that truly demand your attention. This is not a judgement, just an observation and a fact you have to deal with when trying to evaluate the condition of your body at any given moment.

The eye problem, however, as I said earlier, is more concrete. While it may (and hopefully is) nothing serious, it definitely warrants an exam, first by an MD and then possibly a referral to an opthamologist. I know this may present certain challenges for you because of agoraphobia, but if you can find someone to go with you it may help a lot. Also, if there are any other symptoms you feel are important, regardless of what I may have said here, I suggest you write them down, make notes, and take these notes with you to your doctor's appointment. It would be ideal if you could explain to the doctor in advance or at least at the outset of the first visit, that you suffer from agoraphobia. This would help the doctor to work with you more effectively and also perhaps lead to you finding a way to begin to manage this crippling disorder, because you do not have to live with this for the rest of your life. It can be managed or even resolved with medication and/or cognative therapy.

Good luck to you and I really hope this has been helpful. Please do follow up here with us and best of luck to you.

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