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Author Topic: My time with HA  (Read 134 times)

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Offline Ira

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My time with HA
« on: April 12, 2014, 08:49:07 PM »
Before I started suffering with HA, I never got sick.  The worst I ever had was the flu or strep throat and I was never worried about cancer or any other horrible disease. 

And then one day I shaved my head.  At first nothing seemed wrong, but a coworker did a double-take and looked horrified at what he saw.  On my head was a flat discolored growth, the size of a dime.  It felt a little raised but nothing seemed out of place and I wasn't scared at the time.  It was when he mentioned it could be melanoma that I began to worry, but still my HA was in its infancy.

A few days later, after trying to scratch it off it became large and round and felt like a small marble.  I started to get angry, not at myself, but at my job, because I believed I had caught some form of infection from the dirty materials I work with.  But I ignored the issue, merely monitoring the lump.

During this time it remained roundish and painful, sometimes bleeding because of how much I scratched it.  In my head, if I scratched hard enough it would come off like a scab.  After all I wanted to BELIEVE is was just a scab.

After 3 months of living with the lump I started having anxiety attacks.  They happened usually when I was alone, driving to and from work.  I started to think that because this lump hadn't gone away it must be something horrible.  Yet I didn't have it looked at because I wanted to give it more time to go away on its own. 

After almost a year of having the lump I went to a dermatologist and long story short: it was a benign discolored spot.

Living with that fear for a year certainly messed me up emotionally.  After the benign diagnosis my anxiety has targeted my lymph nodes.  After an unrelated doctors visit after the lump era, a doctor mentioned I had slightly swollen lymph nodes with a fever and sore throat.  I began aggressively poking the nodes in my neck to the point of obsession.  When I was working I would have to feel my nodes every few seconds.  I would tell myself they wouldn't change size that quick, but they would hurt if I didn't check them.

About a week ago my fianceť mentioned she could feel nodes in her collarbone her entire life and the doctors said it was normal for her.  I had never felt there and sure enough I found mine.  A few days later my neck and nodes there became sore.  I went to the doctor who commented they were normal size and "if you go digging for things in your body youre going to find something". 

I guess I'm lucky because I know my anxiety is what causes this pain.  But still there are times where the pain becomes so intense I run to the doctor, with the manic belief that I have some cancer.  Today for example, my mind told me because Ive had a few breathing problems(most likely anxiety related) and the painful node areas that I could have lung cancer, regardless of the doctor telling me they were normal.  It doesn't help I got emotionally involved with Breaking Bad ;)

But I joined the board today to talk about my problem and reading about others who have this scary obsession about our health IS comforting.

Will I go to the doctor again out of fear?  Probably.  But we're all making that first step on our road to recovery by being here :)  Thanks for reading.
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Online Sunlover

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Re: My time with HA
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2014, 09:30:53 PM »
Welcome aboard Ira.  This is one of the best sites around  :winking0008:
I have actually stopped Googling due to advice on this site - not totally stop, but I will put the word "anxiety" before a symptom, thereby only getting anxiety site hits.
Are you a Google addict?   I hope not, worst thing ever.
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Offline Ira

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Re: My time with HA
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2014, 09:39:53 PM »
I wouldn't say I'm a google addict, but I'm a definite control freak.  I like to know what I have when I get it.  I absolutely cannot stand having a sore throat and not knowing if its either strep or a respiratory infection.  The times I have googled, it has led me down the path of self-diagnosing, which is the worst thing in the world for me to do  :sick0002:
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