Dreamlike state. Headaches, dizzy head, pain behind eye, prodding pain in chest.

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Hi all, I'm a newbie. Apologies in advance for the really long post.

5 weeks ago today, both my Wife and I started havinf flu like symptoms. Her's seemed to go within a couple days but on the third day I was laying in bed, looking at my phone before going to sleep (as I usually do) and my head suddenly started to feel "funny." I felt instantly dizzy and my forehead, behind my eyes and the back of my head at the bottom felt really hot.

This really freaked me out as just over 2 years ago, I watched my Mom die suddenly of a Subarachnoid haemorrhage. One of the last things she said was that she "didn't feel good" whilst holding her head before then telling me she couldn't see and that was pretty much it. She died right in front of me. 

Coincidentally, the day I started to suffer with my head, was only two days before my the anniversary of my Mother's passing.

As I said, I instantly thought that the same was happening to me that night and was terrified. I somehow managed to sleep and went to the Doctors the next day (already had an appointment booked for something completely different).

I advised the Doctor of how I had felt the night before and he checked my blood pressure, temperature etc and said it sounded viral. He gave me amoxycillin. He also scheduled me to have my bloods taken the following Monday (again, this was due to something else). I spent the weekend just relaxing, mostly sleeping.

The Monday came around and I had my bloods taken. I was due that day to travel down south and take my Nan for Chemotherapy. Concerned about my head still, I called NHS24 and asked for advise, again I was told it sounded viral and to take Paracetemol every four hours in order to help the pain and to regulate my temperature. They also said they expected me to be right as rain by the following week.

I made it down south and back without too much issue on the Tuesday.

On the Wednesday night, I had my worst (up to that point) episode (as the Doctor called it). Having not been able to shake the dread due to what happened to my Mother, I nipped up to A&E with my Wife. A triage nurse asked me a bunch of questions, checked my blood levels and directed me to a room where a Doctor would later see me. The Doctor was great, checked everything over, traced my heart and said that all was ok, again said it sounded viral and sent me home.

You'd think I would relax now that 3 different people had said "viral."

A couple of days later, I took the Friday off work, just to relax in bed without any worry of things to do. That night, I seemed to feel right as rain, it was as if the symptoms and "virus" had gone just as soon as they had arrived. Brilliant!

Not wanting to exert myself too much that weekend, I went out for a previously arranged family meal on the Saturday night, felt a bit iffy as it got later in the evening and went to bed. All relatively ok. The next day, woke up, felt fine, great. However, that evening, I had the worst episode yet. I tried to go to sleep but could not due to the now returned pains in my head. I had pins and needles all through me left arm. Both my arms felt heavy and I now had a new un-welcome symptom, prodding pain in the left side of my chest. My Wife suspected I was having a panic attack. That was a long night, ended up falling asleep (somehow) at around 3am. I woke the next morning to make a call to the Doctor for a same day appointment. I popped in and she did the same few tests, told me it was viral (4 people now) and said that it could take up to 4 weeks to shift.  Brilliant. She also advised the bloods I'd had taken preciously had come back fine, before recommending I have my eyes checked so as soon as I left the Doctors, I called Specsavers and made an appointment for later that day. Went in, checked my eyes and behind my eyes, all good.

Night time came around and like clockwork, another episode. Same as before, head & eye pain, prodding in my chest, pins and needles etc etc. I phoned NHS24 again and they arranged for me to see an out of hours Doctor. This Doctor checked me over and pushed on my chest before advising me that the pain was because my muscle had inflamed due to the virus. Ok, it was painful, but at least I had an answer. He told me to take Ibuprofen to help.

I suffered through the next couple days. When it got to the Thursday, the next "worst episode so far hit". In my distressed state, I called NHS24 again. They said that because it was the second time I had called regarding my chest, it could be cardiac and they were sending an ambulance out. 

Ambulance arrived, paramedics were great. Checked bloods, blood pressure and did a trace on my heart. My blood pressure was very high. They waited a little while before then doing it again. Although I had relaxed, my blood pressure was still really high. So this meant a trip in the ambulance. Up to hospital, same checks as the paramedics, however, they took bloods again.

Blood pressure came down, bloods came back ok. Said it was viral (5). I was concerned about flying out on holiday at the weekend and asked the Doctor if there was any reason why I couldn't. She said I was ok to fly, but to book an appointment for when I get home to have my bloods checked.

By the Saturday, I was still having all the symptoms, but trying to listen to the Doctors, I was almost coping with them. 

I had been vaping for almost a year at this point and my Wife had suspsected that this may be the cause.

She looked online and found that almost all of the symptoms I'd had, had happened to other vapers too. I don't know why but the relief of having a possibe cause for all that had been happening to me, perked me right up. I stopped vaping there and then. The juice I was using to vape was 18mg nicotine content, the cigarettes I had smoked prior to stopping, were 0.5mg. Everything pointed to nicotine overdose.

Had a horrible night that night with my head and all, dragged my Wife down to sleep with me on the couches as I couldn't face our bedroom. As that was where my first episode occured, I thought it may be a trigger.

Eventually got to sleep at 5am, before getting up at 7 to fly out to Portugal.

In my infinite wisdom, I started smoking on holiday. Although I enjoyed my week relaxing with just a few minor (in relation to before) episodes. No panic attacks.

This brings us to the start of last week, the 4th week now. When I got back from holiday, I went to see my GP about my blood pressure, as advised by the Doctor at the Hospital. This time it was my actual GP, not a locum Doctor like the two I had seen previously.

She again said viral (6) and expected me to make a full recovery. The timescale I had previously been given by the last GP, was now expected to be 5/6 weeks. She arranged for me to be fitted with a monitor to keep track of my blood pressure over the course of 24 hours (awaiting that appointment at the moment).

As the week went on, I was still struggling with my symptoms. Then come Thursday night, I was out for a family meal with relatives who'd travelled North of the border and all was well. The excitement of seeing them seemed to perk me up. Turned out to be shortlived though. By the end of the meal, I had another terrible episode. I couldn't cope to be in the restaurant anymore and asked my cousin to drive me home to my Dad's house near where we were. On the way I called NHS24 who were going to arrange for me to visit the out of hours again, but as I wasn't at home, this wasnow a 40 minute drive away. I had all my previous symptoms, but thery were now accompanied by a "weird" feeling in my mouth and it was as if I was struggling to think what I wanted to say when talking. I declined the out of hours appointment and ended up going to A&E at a different hospital to before, that was near.

The triage nurse spoke to me for a little while and said that with everything I had going on, with my Nan having cancer, Mom dying the year after and then Nan's cancer coming back a year later, it was no wonder I was having anxiety attacks. She said that whilst smoking is obviously not good for you, trying to chuck it now, with everything going on, could be more detrimental as it was my "crutch."

I waited an hour or so before then seeing the Doctor that night. The Doctor advised that she did NOT think it was "viral" as I had no other symptoms of a virus. She believed it to be migraines and has arranged for me to see a headache specialist (awaiting appointment).

Throughout the whole of the last (almost) 5 weeks, I just haven't been able to shake the feeling that whatever is wrong with me right now, is going to kill me. I know googling things is the worst thing to do as you can almost manipulate the information to suit you. I could have had anything from Ebola to HIV the last 5 weeks going by online data. However, the one thing that does seem to sort of fit with all my symptoms, is a brain tumour. Despite all the checks I've had and all the professionals telling me that my symptoms don't point to what happened to my Mom, I just can't let it rest until my head has actually been checked. Be it an MRI or whatever.

I feel like I've been in a dreamlike state this last 5 weeks and I'm fed up to say the least. I just want to get back to being ok so I can concentrate on helping my Nan dealing with her chemo and resume trying for a family with my Wife. I am in the process of arranging counselling for dealing with the loss of my Mother. I feel that now is the right time. Before I'd seen it as me admitting I'm weak (I say that with absoloutely no dis-respect to those that do have counselling).

Reading this, you may think that I am someone who overreacts to everything. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. I've not been to the Doctors more than twice in the last 5 years before this all happened. I don't just think "hospital!" at the first sign of a headache and I'm definitely not one for riding in an ambulance.

I am a pretty normal 27 year old guy, usually. Now, I'm terrified that every pain, headache or unknown feeling, is literally killing me.

1 like, 9 replies

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Forgot to mention the neck stiffness I've had for the past week. I've been dismissing this as being down to sleeping for 13 hours or so when I got back from holiday.
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    • Posted

      Hey man it sounds like anxiety to me I think the virus might have set it off but you sound exactly like me a year ago multiple trips to the ER,EKGs,MRIs,Blood Work all came back fine i eventually committed myself to a psychiatric hospital where they put me on an anti depressant called citalopram and a benzo called ativan to take to get through the anxiety until the citalopram kicked in. The side effects from the anti depressant made me feel worse initially but I'm glad i went through with it because almost 6 weeks later my anxiety subsided and i could function again. Unfortunately here we are a year and a half later I'm going through it again so I'm in the process of increasing my dose. My anxiety is severe in the morning then moderate up until around 6-7 then it becomes manageable. My younger brother and sister passed away this past year and the therapists thinks its a delayed reaction to that. Where both young though im 26 your 27 I'm confident we'll get everything straightened out it just takes time.
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    • Posted

      Hi Kain, thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy post.

      I'm really sorry to hear about your Brother & Sister. That's horrible sad Dealing with the loss of a family member is bad enough without it being doubled.

      The one thing I've not had is an MRI or any check at all on my head. Because my Mom died of something to do with her head, I think that makes it even harder for me to relax, even with everyone saying it's just a virus or its migraines.

      I wish you all the best my friend, sincerely.

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    • Posted

      Maybe getting an Mri will put your mind at ease I'm sorry about your mother as well once you've ruled everything out it might help ease your anxiety. In this past year i managed to do things i never thought i could like go on a boat to visit block island for my first time got a new job ect. Which is why i know if its been beat once it can again, And also i agree that now probably isn't the best time to stop smoking maybe after you get your anxiety under control it could be an option.
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    • Posted

      I think having my head checked would definitely relax me, if it comes back OK of course!

      Glad to hear that you're positive about beating it again mate. Again, I appreciate you reading and replying.

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  • Posted


    ​hope this lift you a little, i had exactly the same symptoms even going out for a meal feeling fine and then couldnt eat my meal, thought i was going to pas out and just wanted to go home, 1 hour later started to feel better, last few months ago had all the headaches dizzy and that lasted weeks, but now feel tons beter and i feel i am getting it all in control, you will get there just need to control all the negative thoughts, panic attacks can't kill you there a pain in the ass thou, but i learned how to control them and not had one for months .take care

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    • Posted

      Thanks for reading my long post and replying, Wayne.

      It does lift me a little to know I'm not the only one that's suffering. Not that I'm that self centred, just that when it's all happening, it's the worst! Though I know people out there are going through much more terrifying. Like my Nan with her cancer.

      Also, something I didn't mention (which I thought was minor), was that there has been a few times where I've sat down to eat, then all of a sudden it's like I don't want to. It's very strange. Again, it helps knowing that it's not just me.

      Take care too mate.

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  • Posted


    ​exactly , family meal and then all of a sudden couldnt face it,i think i forgot to mention it does sound like you have anxiety, you may go throu times of crying , but try not to worry , most of this health anxiety is in the mind, adrenalin flight or fight response, all of which causes most symptoms, everyone as anxiety just many have no issues with it then there are US , yes it's not fair but you will get there. i know all the symptoms you are getting and it means a lot to hear your not the only one, it's tough thinking how can i be like this, i was so happy , it can't be happening to me, crying, even struggling to get to the toilet or feeling so weak when trying to walk downstairs, checking your BP BPM constanly, been there done that, then one day i thought f.... it, why live like this ,whats the point, so i stopped checking, if i had a paniac attack i would think , not you again go away or let it pass its harmless. everything over time started to make sense and once you understand anxiety and what it does it seemed to make me feel much better, just one other thing, it's worth getting your testosterone checked , low T can have very similiar symptoms to what you are experiancing and to treat low T if it is that,, will see a major improvment within a very short time, as for anxiety and taking ssri meds inc meds like propronolol where many take both to treat anxiety, this  can cause very low T . so it's like the chicken and egg theory.

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    • Posted

      I will be calling my GP in the next few days to speak about my anxiety again so I will mention the testosterone. Thanks Wayne.

      She gave me propronolol last Monday so I've been taking them for a week now.

      I think because this is all new to me it is terrifying (as it appears to be for everyone at first). I'm glad I stumbled on here though as discussing it with people who understand it, is helpful.

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