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Author Topic: My last few weeks (just writing it down for myself really)  (Read 74 times)

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Offline Jiffinet

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My last few weeks (just writing it down for myself really)
« on: June 19, 2014, 03:00:14 PM »
Hi, my name is John. I’ll share my story…more for my benefit that anybody else’s, but please feel free to read this huge novel if you feel up to it.
Several years ago I had issues with health anxiety that I managed to resolve on my own. A complete change of life including a move to another country helped me get over my issues and I thought I had everything under control.

Unfortunately, three weeks ago I made one little Google search and things have gone downhill very rapidly.

As I was walking home from work one day I felt my salivary glands swell up and started producing quite a bit of saliva in my mouth. This was a very new sensation for me and once home I couldn’t help myself: I ran a search for excess saliva and found a list of potential ailments. As we do, I picked out the worst one I had heard of: Rabies.

Ah, good old Rabies. 99% fatal once symptoms appear. That’s a great illness to worry about. I started checking off the symptoms, ignoring those I didn’t have and focusing like a laser beam on those I did. Did you know anxiety and insomnia are symptoms of rabies? Brilliant. I spent the entire night unable to sleep because I was worried about rabies, because symptoms include being worried and being unable to sleep. It was an awful loop. As tiredness set in I let the fear take hold, and my insomnia became more serious.
I started thinking through how I could’ve caught rabies. When nothing made sense (a dog bit me once, but he is still alive now), I remembered I live in area with an active bat population and decided one must have bitten me without my knowledge…or something. I started getting pins and needles, twitchy muscles, hot flashes, burning skin…the standard neurological symptoms anxiety brings on and that are shared with rabies: a nerve-attacking virus.

The hospital visits started. I now live in a country where healthcare is cheap and open for whatever you want to pay for. CT, MRI, EMG, X-Rays, Bloodwork…everything clean. But that didn’t matter because rabies is very difficult to detect. I took my results to other doctors but nobody would entertain the notion that I had the virus, “Where’s your fever? Headache? Nausea? Spasms?” they all asked. It didn’t matter, I’d already spent several nights reading everything about rabies on the internet and had come across several case studies of atypical rabies. I figured I was one of those.

I got diagnosed with anxiety and given buspirone and zopiclone to help me sleep. The sleep came and helped, but I was still convinced I’d be dead within a week and started spending more time with my wife and son, believing I wouldn’t make it to my son’s third birthday (four days ago).

I did make it (of course!), and my sleep is now somewhat under control without medication, but my health anxiety certainly isn’t. I started exercising, which has helped somewhat, but now all my muscles ache which I’ve turned into a new symptom. I wake up every morning feeling tired and lightheaded…still checking up on rabies, creating some fictional atypical variant of the virus in my mind that would still allow me to be alive at this point. Maybe I have an amazing immune system that makes the virus take longer, or maybe I just noticed the silent incubation phase and the real symptoms have only just begun?

Every time I feel a gust of wind, take a sip of water, or get angry because my son did something wrong I find myself second-guessing my body’s reactions, waiting for one of the telltale rabies signs to show. Was I scared of that wind? Was that water easy to swallow? Am I become irritable and aggressive?
I feel awful, and the worst part is, as my fiction becomes less and less possible with each passing day, I’m not calling myself an idiot, but deciding I misdiagnosed myself. Thyroid cancer is coming up on the radar pretty fast. My wife is supporting me as best she can, but has lost her patience and temper a few times. My complaints about new symptoms are daily. My anxiety is bordering on depression.

I don’t really have any questions as yet, I just needed to write this all down, get it off my chest and share it somewhere. If anybody made it this far, thanks for reading. If not, I feel better for having written it down anyway. I don’t think I can fix this by myself this time, so will be coming here for some support when I need it. Thanks.
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Offline crikee57

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Re: My last few weeks (just writing it down for myself really)
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 03:40:47 PM »
Hi John,

Welcome to the forum.  It is great to have you as a member.  This is a wonderful place to get advice and support from people going through similar situations.  The members here are very helpful. It is nice to know we are not alone.

I am sorry for the HA struggles you are going through.  It is a tough battle but I stop myself regularly from looking up symptoms on Google.  It is just a recipe for disaster as I, too, cling to the worst things that a search yields.  That is the nature of HA.  At some point we need to stop and trust the doctors and accept that we are ok.  Thank you for sharing your story.

Feel free to explore the forum.  There are lots of useful topics to read.  Feel free to post and ask questions.  If you have specific concerns or questions start a topic in the appropriate section to get the best feedback. There is also a chat room for members 18 years and older that you can access once you have made three meaningful posts in the forum. 

Again welcome to our community.
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It's not what's in front of us that stops us.  It's what's inside that holds us back.

Offline Velvet

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Re: My last few weeks (just writing it down for myself really)
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 08:40:22 PM »
Hi John,
Wow, that sounds so hard, because you've really convinced yourself you've got it huh? I'm also new here and suffering from health anxiety (i've "had" cancer nearly everywhere).  While I may not be,able to offer a whole lot of help, I can say that I know how hard it is to be like thus when you have children.  I torture myself thinking of what will happen to the kids when I die.  What I can tell you is some advice my partner once offered: when you type your symptoms into google (the saliva, the aches), you're mostly seeing worst case scenarios. There isn't such a lot of info about the less serious conditions the symptoms most likely indicate, because, well...they're not that serious.  People din't go out of their way to make everyone aware of aching muscles from exercise, for exam.ple because it's not a dangerous condition. Also, please remind yourself that you have health anxiety, and that is why you are thinking the worst, in spite of evidence that you are fine. Sorry if this hasn't helped much, but please know there are others who knows what a bitch it can be to feel this way. Hope you are feeling better soon. Annette I
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Offline ccandy

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Re: My last few weeks (just writing it down for myself really)
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 04:15:36 PM »
hey, john, it's nice for you to share your story, I think I have same problem too.
but we all will be fine, be strong, man.
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Offline Tweek_Twitch

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Re: My last few weeks (just writing it down for myself really)
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 04:32:33 PM »
Hi John,


          Playing Dr Google is always scary. I convinced myself about a year ago that I'd somehow managed to catch an STD... despite the fact I'd been with the same partner for almost 5 years. Writing it down and getting it of your chest will certainly feel a little light I'd imagine? I hope you feel that it helps :)

--

Tweek
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