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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Pleae help me have peace of mind.
Oct 20, 2001

Hello Doctor, Firstly I would like to commend you and your cohorts on a job well done. You are all an asset to the medical community.

Now on to my question. I know that my question should be asked in another forum, and it has been. I asked a couple of times but have not received an answer as of yet. Not to take away from the other Doctors but for some reason an answer from you would please and comfort me more then an answer from the others.

I am a heterosexual male whose last high risk encounter was about 9-10 years ago. Since then I have had two monogamous long-term relationships, the current being with my wife of 4 years. My wife has tested negative for HIV and my ex-girlfriend who is in contact w/ a friend of mines wife seems to be in fine health. For some reason I have been obsessing with AIDS as of late. About a month ago I started to not feel well. I have had a sensitive stomach (no real pain just crumbling after eating and a little bloating), also I have had strange tingling in my extremities and slight pain in my feet. I have also been breaking out a bit more then usual. I have also noticed small pinprick size red dots on different parts of my body. They may have always been there, I dont know for sure. I dont think I have had any fever (I havent taken my temp but assume I would know if I had a fever for any length of time), I dont have a sore throat either. I have been a little fatigued but not overly so. As a matter of fact I helped a friend move homes yesterday and did A LOT of heavy lifting. The move took 10 hours and I did not tire or feel out of breath to any extent. I have had what I think are swollen lymph nodes in my neck (towards the rear of my jaw line). They have been like that for as long as I remember (years). I am not even sure if they are nodes at all. I have have a physical almost every year and I assume that my Doctor would have noticed them? Can one have swollen nodes constantly for years w/ no other symptoms?

1) What is the likely hood that I could be HIV+ but my wife of four years and ex girlfriend not be?

2) If I were sick with an AIDS OI like PCP would I have been able to move heavy objects for 10 hours and not be extremely out of breath?

3) I have been a sufferer of anxiety problems since I was about 20 (used to get very bad panic attacks) could my physical symptoms be caused by anxiety? The time these recent symptoms started was a very stressful time for me (work and family related). I was also diagnosed with a minor respiratory infection at the time, I smoke. I took antibiotics and my cough cleared up within a week. This is when I started obsessing about AIDS. The reason that my wife, and me to some extent think that anxiety may be the cause is that at night when I am home and relaxed I tend to feel less symptomatic.

4) Does any of my above symptoms sound like an AIDS OI or AIDS related in any way.

Please answer me if you can Doctor. I know that there are many more important questions then mine but this is REALLY important to me. I have not been able to sleep well for a couple of weeks now and I think my constant rambling about my health is causing undue stress on my wife. If you dont want to post this message or an answer on the board I understand but could you email me direct?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

At least you tried to get your questions answered on the other forum. Yes, this site is dedicated to HIV-related fatigue and anemia.

The answer to your questions is all in the question itself - ". . . I have been obsessing with AIDS as of late . . . . I have been a sufferer of anxiety problems since I was about 20 . . . . The time these recent symptoms started was a very stressful time for me . . . . when I am home and relaxed, I tend to feel less symptomatic."

So, the brief answers to your questions:

1. Not likely at all. 2. If you had PCP, you would not be moving heavy objects. This type of pneumonia is not subtle. 3. Yes, anxiety is by far the most likely cause of your symptoms. Find a good counselor or psychiatrist to help you cope with these irrational fears. Also, you should quit smoking. 4. Nope, sounds exactly like anxiety.

By the way, regarding your sensitive stomach, the symptom is "rumble" not "crumble."

OK, now before anything else rumbles or crumbles, do yourself and your wife a favor and get some counseling.

Good luck,

Dr. Bob


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