Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis


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This weekend’s weird symptom is twitching. It’s the most horrible symptom I’ve ever had.

Something rather unsettling is happening to me at the moment. I’ve been in a state of high anxiety since Friday. I’ve been literally worried sick about my epileptic companion. I went to bed very late on Friday night and started twitching. I have nocturnal twitching in my family – my Dad is quite a heavy twitcher when he sleeps. It can be a sign of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy, which is my companion’s problem, but usually it is harmless.

At first I tried to blame it on some kind of silly empathic psychological state because of my worry about my friend who has been having seizures. But as well as involuntary twitching, I was also experiencing some ticcing in my skin. So then I started to think it might be because I was very anxious or I’d eaten something that disagreed with me (I’ve noticed now that I’d started eating oats on Thursday).

I have five major/minor life-changing events occurring all at once to myself and my very close family at the moment (a bereavement, a hospitalisation, a job change, a serious health problem, a broken friendship). Just one of them would have me stressed out, but five is proving a little hard to handle, especially as my partner is away at the moment. I’m extremely stressed about this whole seizure business.

Anyhow, I just couldn’t stop twitching. I’d get almost to the point where I was asleep, then bam, I’d twitch awake again. I was twitching at a frequency of every 1-2 minutes. I have never twitched this much before. If I’m feeling twitchy, the most I’ve ever twitched is 3-4 times in one night. Some of the twitches were quite violent and felt like electric shocks.

This had the result of increasing my anxiety levels even further, because I’ve seen this kind of twitching develop into full grand-mal seizures with my own eyes. You know what it’s like when you’re in bed alone at night, and everything can get blown out of proportion. I don’t think I’d have a seizure, but the association remains.

Eventually I dragged myself out of bed and took a bunch of methylation cycle supplements including 600mg TMG. I left the light on. When I went back to bed I fell asleep again almost immediately without experiencing any more twitches. Psychological or physiological? I just don’t know. I keep waking up really early, so I only had about five hours sleep. That’s all I’ve been getting for the last week or so. I think I might have been going through some sort of rebound withdrawal from the supplements. They make me feel like I’m taking drugs.

Saturday I took some more TMG during the day. I got a bit overenthusiastic and took two scoops (1200mg). I didn’t take anything else. I had a lot of success with my research that day and felt very optimistic about fixing everything. I left the light on again and fell asleep almost immediately that I put my book down on the pillow. I didn’t twitch at all. But I woke up really early again, around five, so my sleep deficit got even worse.

Sunday the doubts and stress started to creep in again. There are so many ifs/whats/maybes involved in adjusting this whole methylation cycle that too much or too little of any one thing might throw the whole thing out. I visited family and was exposed to a lot of tobacco smoke and some decaf instant coffee during the day. I was very anxious about two of the family events going on at the moment, then there was another big shock that happened while I was there that just about broke the camel’s back. I think I’ve had about as much as I can handle.

I was very tired and stayed up too late researching, being incredibly stressed about my epileptic friend. Things started turning over in my head, and I lay down and shortly started twitching again. Again, I was twitching every 1-2 minutes and some of the twitches were very big. Again I got really scared because the whole epilepsy thing is just driving me crazy at the moment. Because of all the stuff I’ve been reading I got completely paranoid about this probably harmless (but very annoying) hypnic twitching turning into something else.

After a couple of hours of this I got up and took some of the supplements again. But I was still really anxious and carried on twitching. I got up again a couple of hours later and took some TMG, which I hadn’t taken the last time – last time I’d taken methylcobalamin. I felt so anxious I was almost sick. I had a glass of whisky, because I thought it might contribute and help to calm me down. I did calm down for about half an hour. By this time I could barely keep awake, but every time I closed my eyes, bam, I’d twitch again, it wouldn’t go away.

I’ve been reducing my calories unintentionally. I wasn’t hungry all night though I’ve been in this state since Friday: the anxiety caused me to eat less. Lack of calories has been giving me headaches, probably the grains haven’t helped either. I had a bad headache by this point. Finally at around five o’clock in the morning I got up and made myself a mug of warm, creamy milk and a hot water bottle. I was asleep within ten minutes. I’ve had about five hours sleep. I’m exhausted and shaky this morning. Shakiness has been common this week, ever since I started taking these supplements.

It’s a chicken and egg situation, which came first? Oats? Low calories? Anxiety? Exposure? Is it the supplements? But I took those to remedy the problem after it started. It appeared to work the first time. It strikes me that I’ve reduced my calories but I’ve been eating a fair amount of carbohydrates from the grains. I guess it’s no wonder I wasn’t able to cope with the anxiety like normal. My serotonin and melatonin levels are probably screwed. I’m handling the carbs better, but increased anxiety has always been a symptom of carbohydrate eating for me. Specifically oats? I don’t know.

I’ve taken every methylation supplement I can get my hands on this morning. Am I doing the right thing? No more grains from now on. I’m still twitching. I don’t know whether I’ve made it better or worse or nothing at all, but I’m hoping for too much expecting immediate effects. I’m so sleep deprived it’s driving me crazy. Sleep deprivation is the usual trigger for twitching. Which has in turn caused further sleep deprivation. I shouldn’t have been staying up so late, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I think I’m going to go for a walk in the sun, come back and drink a double whisky and go back to bed.

Please no one tell me any bad news, or I won’t get up again till my partner gets back from India.


Written by alienrobotgirl

10 April, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Posted in Failsafe Diary

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