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Stress Upon Stress -PLEASE Answer
Apr 24, 2001

Dear Dr Fienberg

Thankyou for time you spend helping so many people, if you have time I would be so grateful if you could comment on my situation.

For the past few years I have been caring for parents, both with terminal cancers, that time has included months of bedside vigils as dad was in a coma on life support, he later died of brain cancer.

During and from that period, I have been experiencing random burning sensations on my body, muscle tetany and had ulcerative gingivitus which my dentist said was oppertunistic. That cleared after a course of antibiotics.

Quite often,recently, in the morning when I get up for work, my little fingers and outside of hands are numb and painful, after a few moments of finger excersize and masage, it disappears.

I have had a just about every blood test in the book over tha last few months since my dad died as well as numerous x-rays, ecg's etc etc as I have been so paranoid about my health, and my doctor has assured me I really am in good health with just a slightly higher white blood cell count, probably due to a cold or something.

X rays have shown that discs in my neck are really worn and pressing on nerves, which is the probal cause of the problems of stiff/numb hands on waking up.

I have also noticed a strange breathing problem, its like all of a sudden, my body seeams to forcibly and rapidly makes be breath in, its really frightening. But both chest x-rays and ecg's are all quite normal.

My doctor (who is gay hinself, and therefore i presume has good medical knowledge of HIV/Aids terminology) has suggested to me that all my symptoms are strees related and there are no markers or indicators to warrant further testing or brain scans, cancer scans or for other diseases.

I take propananol every day for anxiety, and prothiedin every night for sleep problems alomg with losec to control stomach acid problems.

My last unsafe sex situation was about 11/12 years ago as, like many gay men I am paranoid of HIV/Aids.

Please, please answer with your views on these strange things that are happening to me, could they be signs of advanced hiv disease or just stress upon stress as my doctor has suggested.

Ihave written your site previously but wso far I have not found any response, I sincerely hope that you will be able answer this time.

Thankyou once more for your wonderful work.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I agree with your doctor-- I think your problems are due to stress and anxiety, and they will resolve as you heal from the trauma you've been through (except the finger numbness which is due to mild spinal arthritis). Consider counselling-- it may really help. Good luck!


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