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Putting myself out there...anxiety, hypochondria...

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  • Putting myself out there...anxiety, hypochondria...

    I'm finally going to post something I've been wanting to for a while. I have been for years (but worse recently) struggling with anxiety based around medical fears and I'm wondering if anybody else does and if you have any words of wisdom.

    My husband thinks it stems from surgery when I was a baby on a bad septic hip infection. I had lots of reconstructive surgeries before the age of 5, and had a great childhood, rode, was doing great physically, etc. After college, in my early twenties, I had a random bout of pancreatitis that was only explained as "familial" as my father's side has members who have had this as well, with other autoimmune diseases. So that started me worrying and fretting and being anxious.

    Recently, my left breast became sore and lumpy, moreso than the right (I have fibrocystic breast changes) and I went to the Dr. to get it checked. There is a strong history of breast cancer on my Mom's side, so I had it ultrasounded and nothing abnormal came up, just fibrocystic changes - no cysts, etc. I have a follow up appointment with another Dr. in two weeks where I will have the opportunity to ask questions, have another exam, and basically learn more about what fibrocystic changes feel like, how to do a proper exam, etc.

    When stuff like this happens, I get so worried that I get short of breath, have trouble getting a full breath, and am a bundle of nerves. I'm by nature a worrier, and part of me feels like I am self sabotaging myself from being happy. I have a wonderful husband, wonderful family, am financially set, and don't have much else to think about. I always feel like the other shoe is going to drop because I am so lucky, and for some reason I focus on health and illnesses, and so on.

    If you have read all of this, I thank you so much. If anybody else suffers in any way similar to this, I would love to hear your story and what might help you.

  • #2
    Mental health professionals today are very good.
    Have you tried that route, maybe ask your Drs for a good counselor they would recommend?

    They really do help people with issues like yours, with little mind tricks you can learn to bring your life and what is happening in perspective and be able to handle those moments your brain wants to race out of control.

    Give it a try, if you have not yet.
    Problems just like yours is what they are there for.

    Comment


    • #3
      I second Bluey's advice.

      I was so traumatized by hospital issues from my youth that I ended up jeopardizing my health in adulthood. Coupled with PPD...I was a mess, and the only one that knew it was me.

      You took a really huge step by verbalizing your fears, take another one and make a call...then you can start rebuilding your life and LIVING it!
      I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

      Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree. It took a lot of courage to verbalize the issues facing you. Now take that courage and address them. You can be helped.
        www.specialhorses.org
        a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

        Comment


        • #5
          Put your fear in perspective but don't dismiss what you feel. On the breast stuff, please since you have a history in your family ask for an MRI. I too went through the whole round of multiple mammograms, they saw tiny pin prick size calcification that had changed shape so they were monitoring it. For two years I had mammograms every six months. I also had ultrasounds and and finally a lumpectomy to take out the calcification. They sent me home saying everything was fine, but by chance another doctor looked at my case and decided to send me to get an MRI just to be sure. The MRI found a 2 cm invasive mass in my right breast and a suspicious area in my left and none of this had shown up in any of my previous exams to include the ultrasound. So I went back into surgery for a double mastectomy. That doctor and the MRI saved my life.

          Comment


          • #6
            Seeing a Psychiatrist or Psychotherapist can do wonders in your case. There are so many treatments for anxiety (I know) that there is no need to live in constant fear or worry.
            The sooner you do it, you'll wonder why you didn't do it much earlier.

            Good luck.
            MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
            http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

            Comment


            • #7
              Total freak about anything wrong with my body here! Not saying it in jest either. I have been this way since I was a child. My parents can tell you stories of how I thought I had a brain tumor at 8 years of age. I ended up with panic attacks after a pretty easy fall. At the time I sprained my neck rather badly and so when turning a certain way my limbs would get numb and then started the not being able to breathe and full blown panic. Went the mental health route for a bit but was paying through the nose to get a perscription of Paxil that I threw away because I had a serious bad reaction with it. But, but, but anti-depressants do work for most people and in my situation we weren't getting to the root of my problem which was the sprained neck, even though I'd been checked out thoroughly in the hospital. They ignored everything all my other symptoms and put it down to anxiety only. Finally a trip to the neurologist got me a proper diagnosis. Accupuncture was the only way I was still able to go to work everyday (galloping horses).

              I accept the way I am. I do listen to my body and don't ignore things that need checking. But I do also have to reason with myself and put things in perspective. My family doctor here in Ireland is a friend of my husband's family. He knows I'm a freak show and works with me in a way that makes me feel less of a freak show which is important. You know I'm the type that reads in the paper how someone ended up dead 12 hours after waking up with a sore throat so that when I wake up with a sore throat I think "great this is it." I occasionally get panic attacks now that I am unable to talk myself out of and on those occasions I have to ask my husband to talk to me and keep talking to me about anything until I can get a grip. He's very good to me like that. I don't walk around like a lunatic, but just sometimes I do lose it a little.

              So you are not alone!
              Terri
              COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

              "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

              Comment


              • #8
                JMHO!

                I think you can get help coping with the extremes of your anxiety but....really....it's kinda normal when under control. We all worry about our health to some degree; some worse than others. Either extreme is problematic.

                But....I'm of the "Knowledge is Power" group. I feel that staying educated and knowledgeable about it or any problem helps you keep it in perspective. NEVER be afraid to ask a doctor. Read, research, ask, talk - all good.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is an honest question so please don't think I'm being critical. I'm not. It's just hard to convey tone of voice on a message board.

                  Where in the world do all of you get the money to afford all these doctors/therapists/treatments/etc.? I read so much advice here: different treatments and therapies for different conditions, different helping professionals, etc., and I think, maybe I'd do better with my riding if only I had enough money to afford to pay someone to help me do it. I would really love to do better at riding but in a country that does not offer free medical care for its citizens I just don't see how people manage to improve their riding.

                  This really is an honest question. I'm very grateful that I'm able to get to the barn sometimes and that I have had a horse available to ride, but I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't be doing better with him if I had someone besides just a very physically fit trainer who keeps wanting to have a therapy program at his barn but has no experience in anything like that.

                  Thanks for all the good suggestion you do all post here.
                  Rack on!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rackonteur,

                    I am one of the millions with no insurance. We simply cannot afford even the "affordable" $750 a month plan for my DH and I in NYS. That is more than than my mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities each month. I have MS and secondary auto-immune issues. Thankfully NYS has a program for youth that is based on income so DD has coverage that is affordable for autism (which nothing is covered anyway..but I digress). Yes, there are hard working Americans out there busting their rear ends and we cannot get decent insurance for less than $1k per month that doesn't have a $5k deductible. I pcik my battles because it is cheaper to do that and self pay than to pay more than $10k per year for nearly no coverage.

                    Sing it with me..."I love New York!!!!!!"

                    Sorry...

                    Finding support in your community is key. Sometimes that comes from contacting a local large church, or other civic organization like the YMCA. Many have lists of therapy options and referrals for those who do not have insurance. Many social workers will offer sliding scale fee services too. Make calls, you might find that some are really awesome and willing to help!

                    You can check on the NARHA website for programs that are near you that offer TR programs. PM me if you feel more comfortable talking about things privately
                    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                      This is an honest question so please don't think I'm being critical. I'm not. It's just hard to convey tone of voice on a message board.

                      Where in the world do all of you get the money to afford all these doctors/therapists/treatments/etc.? I read so much advice here: different treatments and therapies for different conditions, different helping professionals, etc., and I think, maybe I'd do better with my riding if only I had enough money to afford to pay someone to help me do it. I would really love to do better at riding but in a country that does not offer free medical care for its citizens I just don't see how people manage to improve their riding.

                      This really is an honest question. I'm very grateful that I'm able to get to the barn sometimes and that I have had a horse available to ride, but I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't be doing better with him if I had someone besides just a very physically fit trainer who keeps wanting to have a therapy program at his barn but has no experience in anything like that.

                      Thanks for all the good suggestion you do all post here.
                      Insurance should cover a Psychiatrist visit just like it would cover a G.P., Dermatologist, OB/GYN etc.

                      When I first sought out help for anxiety, I didn't have insurance so my Psychiatrist only charged me $75.00 per visit. Heck of a lot cheaper than any other MD I saw when I was uninsured.

                      You can also find free or low cost clinics.
                      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                      http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would really love to do better at riding but in a country that does not offer free medical care for its citizens I just don't see how people manage to improve their riding.
                        Rack,

                        I hate to tell ya..... it's not "free" anywhere. The countries that have "free" health care pay out the wazoo in taxes.
                        "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
                        Oscar Wilde

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To the OP:

                          Belonging to a group or groups can help. Riding group, church group, sewing group -- something to get you out of the house and thinking about something else for a while. Volunteer to help at these groups' functions. You'll meet even more people, and when you're helping, your mind is there, not on your health issues.

                          Also, try to get in some physical activity. It doesn't have to be aerobics or jogging. Just gardening or nature photography, or birdwatching, can help.

                          Worry will be there, but the other tings will take up some of the time, and push worry to the background.
                          My Equestrian Art Photography page

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