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Author Topic: No more Google!/Recovery/Support  (Read 150 times)

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Offline tsewang

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No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« on: September 01, 2014, 07:15:01 PM »
Hi everyone, I'm new here and reaching out for some support.  Dr. Google has been haunting me for the past month, and I felt that itch to research some more just now, but I know it won't do me any good.  So, I'm trying something new!  When I feel stressed and anxious to Google, I'm going to reach out for support instead...so hi!

A little about what brings me here and my HA story: I have struggled with GAD my whole life and HA for several years--on and off--mostly around a fear of HIV.  I used to work in a tattoo shop so I had no shortage of triggers to fuel my anxiety.  My husband is a tattoo artist; I am now in a different line of work, however.  A few years ago, my greatest fear happened: I was stuck with a used tattoo needle and FREAKED OUT.  I rushed to the nearest hospital, took PEP, and worried nonstop until I could get tested.  I eventually met with the head of pathology at a well respected hospital who gave me my results, which were negative across the board.  Much to my surprise and relief, the doctor explained to me that I was not at risk for HIV from this event because tattoo needles are solid and HIV dies upon contact with the air.  Really?  No risk?  I almost didn't believe him...but then again, people don't become the head of pathology for lying to patients :P  This information really put me at ease!

Fast forward to present day: my husband is a tattoo artist and does experience "occupational injuries" (aka needle sticks) from time to time, as all people who work with sharps do (drs, nurses, etc).  This never bothered me because of what the good doc told me at the hospital.  However, earlier this month, my husband told me about a needle stick he got at work and I PANICKED!!  I tried to reassure myself with the info I was told by my trusted doctor, but it didn't work.  I started Googling night and day--didn't sleep, didn't eat.  Perhaps not surprisingly, however, the information I found on medical websites, blogs by doctors for doctors, and research/case studies confirmed what the head of pathology had told me: there have been ZERO cases of HIV transmission via solid needles (in 22+ years of well documented studies), no cases from tattoos or piercings, the blood on solid needles is not considered to be sufficient to transmit the virus, and there aren't even any of those lovely stats we all like so much because there have been NO RECORDED CASES.  The closest stat I could find was based off the numbers for hollow needles (1/300) which is estimated to be less than 1/30,000, so a person is likely to be 99.99997% (or something) A-OK after a solid needle stick.  But again, these numbers are really theoretical.

BUT, of course, I have HA/GAD, so these numbers really don't reassure me that much.  What if my husband is part of the .00001% and then passes it to me!!!  What if he's literally the 1st person to have this happen!!!  When I write this out, it certainly does sound ridiculous, but to my anxious mind, it makes perfect sense lol.

I really want to recovery from this horrible problem and learn to let go.  I don't want to go back to getting tested every month and being paranoid about my husband's work.  I am struggling right now though, so some support and tips would be helpful and appreciated:

1)  How do you avoid Google?  What do you do instead of Googling?

2)  How did you learn to TRUST your doctor?  This is so hard for me...my anxiety is convinced it has an MD, haha, and is smarter than all the doctors I've consulted.  How did it finally sink in for you to just let it go and trust?

3)  How do you, or did you, learn to let go?  To say, f**k it--I'm going to live now!!  This is what's so scary for me because I keep worrying that I'll be the one in a million case, and the fact remains, I'm not enjoying my life now.

4)  Do any of you get that voice that says "you're irresponsible for not worrying"?  I get this all the time!  I start feeling better, then my anxiety comes in and says, "don't be happy!  Your life could be at risk (despite everything you've researched); you are irresponsible for not worrying!"  How can I put these thoughts in their place?

Any help, support, encouragement would be most welcomed!  It feels really good to know I'm not alone out here, and I believe that we all can overcome this!  I want to enjoy my life--no matter what.  Having HA is honestly worse than having a medical illness, I think...so I want to beat it bad.  Thanks for letting me share :)

Love and light
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Offline tsewang

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 11:52:44 AM »
I know this post is super long, but I'd love to hear from you :) especially for recovery tips!
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Offline Ihadcancer

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 01:29:27 PM »
I find it very hard to NOT Google and will sometimes google something someone else is talking about and end up with a disease before I finish. 

There's a cancer forum I used to go to that was always bad news, doom and gloom.  I actually wrote the webmaster and asked him/ her to block my IP so I couldn't go there anymore.  It works.  They have hundreds of pages and diseases but even if I tried to go to the page that offers prayer, it says I'm sorry IP #........ has been banned.    It's helped a lot.
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Offline freeloving

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 01:41:26 PM »
Omg! I had to read who wrote this because I swore for a second it was me. Lol!  I have had fear of just about every disease out there including HIV. It's so bad the symptoms start to manifest whatever disease I think I have. Last week I thought for sure I had bladder cancer. I was so bloated, urine was just dribbling out, and I had a ton of pressure. Went to the dr and got the clearance. And within 30 minutes all my symptoms were gone. Now I have other symptoms and are onto something totally different. I am seeing a psychiatrist and in fact today I am taking part in a type of therapy that has shown to be very encouraging in the treatment of HA. It's in trial right now and she asked if I would be willing to take part in it. At this point... I'm open to everything.

So to answer your question, what I do when I get the urge to google is I google. BUT this is what I google.. "Anxiety and ______" then I add the symptom. So like "anxiety and abdominal fullness" or anxiety and stiffness in neck" or "anxiety and sore throat". I have NEVER had a symptom that didn't come up with anxiety. To me this takes care of my urge to google but it keeps me away from the thought of pinpointing a disease to a symptom. I've also learned a lot about what anxiety can do to your body. I hope this helps!
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Offline tsewang

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 01:45:14 PM »
Thanks so much for the replies!  I do think banning certain websites would be a good idea, and I might do that if my willpower starts to weaken.  So far, I've been OK (at least for a few days!) and coming on here instead has been helpful. 

Freeloving, I have tried that too, with searching "anxiety and ____" and that has been helpful, especially to see how many people worry about the same things as me even when they've been told by doctors to relax.  But sometimes googling that stuff stresses me out too because it keeps me thinking about the fear :/  So it's a tough situation.
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Offline tsewang

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2014, 01:54:25 PM »
I'm curious, how have you guys been able to trust what the doctors told you?  This is what I'm struggling with the most, just letting go and believing that they have my best interest (and other patients as well) and wouldn't spread misinformation out there--especially not all over the internet or to my face!  Has anything helped you to get past this anxiety?
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Offline freeloving

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 02:02:18 PM »
Omg! I had to read who wrote this because I swore for a second it was me. Lol!  I have had fear of just about every disease out there including HIV. It's so bad the symptoms start to manifest whatever disease I think I have. Last week I thought for sure I had bladder cancer. I was so bloated, urine was just dribbling out, and I had a ton of pressure. Went to the dr and got the clearance. And within 30 minutes all my symptoms were gone. Now I have other symptoms and are onto something totally different. I am seeing a psychiatrist and in fact today I am taking part in a type of therapy that has shown to be very encouraging in the treatment of HA. It's in trial right now and she asked if I would be willing to take part in it. At this point... I'm open to everything.

So to answer your question, what I do when I get the urge to google is I google. BUT this is what I google.. "Anxiety and ______" then I add the symptom. So like "anxiety and abdominal fullness" or anxiety and stiffness in neck" or "anxiety and sore throat". I have NEVER had a symptom that didn't come up with anxiety. To me this takes care of my urge to google but it keeps me away from the thought of pinpointing a disease to a symptom. I've also learned a lot about what anxiety can do to your body. I hope this helps!
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Offline freeloving

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 02:06:51 PM »
Your totally right about googling stressing you out more. I don't recommend doing it all the time. In fact most of the time I will fight it. I only google "anxiety and _____" when I just can't take the urge anymore. It's my lesser of the evil :)
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Offline tsewang

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 02:18:40 PM »
Definitely :)  And it does help to actually see how anxiety really does hurt the body more than many illnesses ever could...I have made myself sick sooo many times for absolutely no reason!
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Offline jjZauis

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 02:26:25 PM »
Oh man I can totally relate to everything you said.  My need to google symptoms is crazy.   Just the other night I got into bed and was thinking about how a mole biopsy came back 'atypical' so I need to go and get the rest of it removed, so I was googling some things about cancerous moles which lead me to googling skin cancer...needless to say it was like hours before I actually went to sleep.   This was definitely a slip up as I've been good lately with resisting the urge to google.   Honestly one thing I've started doing is when I'm worried about something and want to google it, I come on here or go into the chat.   That almost always brings back my focus to the fact that it's my 'anxiety' talking and allows me to feel better.
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Offline Ihadcancer

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Re: No more Google!/Recovery/Support
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 04:47:39 PM »
Quote
I am seeing a psychiatrist and in fact today I am taking part in a type of therapy that has shown to be very encouraging in the treatment of HA. It's in trial right now and she asked if I would be willing to take part in it

Tell us what you can about this because I'm sure there'd be a line around the block if this works!

 
My disease of the day is bladder infection.  I had stress hives last Thursday - Sunday and doc gave me an antihistamine, very strong, that I only took once (hives went away) but it said can cause bladder pain and drying of xyz, etc.  I had some EXTERNAL discomfort this a.m. and immediately thought 'bladder infection'.  I've had 2 minor bladder infections in the last 10 months but I've been checked for bladder infections probably 20 times in those 10 months. 

I never thought to google that way.  Good idea!
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