Good Day

So as per the advice of a helpful comment-er and some internet research, apparently I am not drinking enough water, which could be exacerbating my back and skin issues. I decided to start last night, immediately regretted that.  Drinking 500 mL water and going to bed apparently makes me get up every two hours, going to try a more balanced approach to that.

I also, by shear dumb luck, managed to identify something I was doing that was twisting and putting pressure on my lower back.  So this may be real, and if I am right, will improve soon.

 

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Follow-up to Hypochondria – Coping Strategies

So as I said in my earlier posts, its really hard to tell if you actually require medical attention when you are a hypochondriac. Today I felt my back pain was worse when standing on concrete, and better when sitting.  Then it disspeared entirely for a few hours.

In those hours I was distracted by a project.  When I stopped for a moment, and though, does my back hurt, it did.  Again this evening, my back twinged twice in 5 hours, when i thought about it.  I had friends over, and we were playing a game.  Now sitting here my back is a bit tingly, but I have to wonder, do I actually have back pain cause by a physiological problem, or is this pain entirely psychological. The pain doesn’t seem to exist when i don’t think about it, and I can’t be sure that the pain I am feeling has proceeded the thought, at least not in the last month. For now I am going to try relaxing, and maybe if it is still around in a week, I might see a doctor, just to be sure.

In the interim I need to not go insane from worry, so I use a few of the following strategies:

First I remind myself

  1. I always “find” something
  2. If you poke somewhere long enough, it becomes sore
  3. Its unlikely all the things i “have” will ever occur at the same time
  4. Even if it is “wrong’ with me, people have “X” and survive it, have surgeries, cope, etc.

If this doesn’t work I move on to

  1. A few deep breaths
  2. Try and think about something else for a while
  3. If mid-day go for a short walk, maybe get a tea
  4. Take a few sips of tea, focus on the flavor (orient myself)
  5. Try a placebo, even if you know its a placebo, sometimes it works. Researched backed
  6. Set a time limit, for example, when trying to sleep say if I check next time and its been 10 minutes, get up and read for 20 minutes to relax
  7. When trying to sleep, open your eyes and focus on something in the room, it helps orient you, and makes imaginings less vivid
  8. Blog, ie: write it out, talk it out, express your worry.
  9. Give yourself 5 minutes, I am going to be worried for the next 5 minutes, think out all the horrible catastrophes lurking, then start back at 1.

Now I am going to bed, late and without reading, but I am beyond dead.  Night all, and hope you have good luck getting to sleep quickly and easily

Hypochondria-Am I Actually Hurt

While yesterday was the slowly boiling pot, this morning it’s boiled over. I am worried about my back. I have decided that I can feel a slight bump along my spine a little higher up than I have been checking for back pain.

It may be nothing, even if it is a slightly bulging disc considering that my back pain is ongoing it had likely been there a while.  But I am panicking. A few things I have learned as a hypochondriac ilare that

1)your body is lumpy, if you feel around hard enough, and long enough you will always find something.

2)once you have “found” something if you press there long and hard enough if will hurt.

3)this place can also become red or swollen, giving new syptoms, because you have now bruised it

4)if you conciously focus on any kart of your body and think about it hurting or tingling or insert syptom here, it will. Not aways,but often.

All of the above makes it difficult for me to figure out when I am actually injured. 2 years ago I waited wayyyy to long for an actual knee injury, while 6 years ago I didn’t wait long enough for a mild strain. So for now I get to spend my days waiting / worrying it out.

 

 

 

 

Slowly Spiraling

So, I was all ready to talk about routines today, since my anxiety is doing well.  I sat down, and was opening the window before I realized, it really isn’t.

As much as a panic attack sucks, or just panicking in general, the advantage is that since its sudden, and intense, I realize that something is wrong.  I work to calm down, and I am relaxed.  Whats happened over the last 48 hours is much more subtle, kind of like the boiling frog thing.  If you throw a frog in boiling water it will jump out, if you put it in warm water and slowly up the heat, it will boil to death.

Basically since the car accident I have had many things to do, car assessment, talking to the insurance company, driving a different car to work.  Still having to drive, etc.  So while there haven’t been any AHHHH moments, its been building.

Monday

First the car assessment made me go home later, which ruined my dinner plans, and disrupted my plan.  This in turn changed my plans for the entire week, as I didn’t get all the laundry and cleaning I wanted to get done on Monday done.  Not the end of the world, but it set me on edge. Had a hot bath, broke out in a rash from it.

Tuesday

I drove my moms car to work, similar to mine, but different enough it was odd, I also spent the drive paranoid someone who run into me.  I got to work, and was on time.  Insurance agent said whether I was at fault or not for the accident would depend on another drivers testimony, what if she remembered wrong. I was given a few projects to work on that require mostly low level effort on my part, but one of them involved going somewhere I was unfamiliar with, and I worried that I would get lost.  I was led there, but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get back.  I have to log samples, and I couldn’t figure out if I should take the pc to them, or them to the pc. They are very heavy.  I decided to put them off till tomorrow.  I got assigned another project, spent two hours heavily researching it, couldn’t figure out where the data came from.  Found out, but didn’t have the program, got the program, couldn’t work it.  Gave up, went home, and put in on hold till Wednesday.  Was paranoid the guy I talked to about my experiment was blowing me off, and confirmed I could do it Monday. Drove home, paranoid I was going to get in an accident.

Wednesday

Drove in, worried someone would drive into me.  Insurance called, driver remembered correctly, but what if they cant find the info for the other driver. Found a way not to use the program, and found a bunch of data for my project, but not all of it, what if I cant find the rest.  Stopped by after lunch, found my way to the place I was afraid of getting lost in yesterday, determined I could bring my computer there.  Didn’t waste time, went after lunch, its in the same building.  Got back, realized i didn’t have the info I needed, my supervisor was gone, I can do that later.  Went to log samples, but then realized I didn’t have the pieces cut for Monday’s experiment.  What if I have to stay later, what if I cant get them done, or have to stay late Friday. I have people coming, I have to go home Friday.  I went to the lab, and the saw was busy, anxiety went up a bit.  I labelled what I had, and by then a saw was free, and I cut my 4 samples. What if I don’t get back to my desk by 4.  Since i don’t finish till 4:30, and have flex hours, not sure why this worried me.  Before i left, I kept worrying I didn’t lock the cabinet, I went back to check twice.  Got halfway back to my desk before i realized I left my sample in the saw.  Double checked the cabinet again twice.  My back hurts, cement floors and bad shoes.  What if its serious. I finally came home, late, what if i get in an accident, and realized i would be having pizza twice this week, which apparently worried me, so i changed my dinner order.  I cleaned up the house, and then put some A5-35 on my back, was just worrying that the upper vertebrae could be damaged, and feeling it, it felt funny, when i was popping up this window.  Checked out a back pic, no my back is fine, natural place to curve.

So my teeth are clenched, and I am rubbing my back, thinking about it snowing tomotoe and the roads being slippery, worrying.  Not so much that I completely panic, but like the slowly boiling frog I see it approaching.  I wrote this,  and am suprised to see how much worry there has been the last few days. I am going to read and go to bed a little early, apparently, not as relaxed as I thought.

Car Accident -Follow up

So apparently the car accident was the best part of the day.  While I am extremely calm under intense pressure, when that pressure goes away I begin to unravel.

I spent the majority of the day after the adrenaline wore off wondering if each minute muscle ache, no matter how short in duration was something a thousand times worse.  So far I predicted that I have, brain swelling, eye injury, concussion, brain bleed, whip lash, nerve damage in my back, a sprained right knee, left knee, right ankle, left ankle, a sprained elbow, and that I could have internal bleeding.

In reality my back hurt yesterday, and is in fact better today than it was yesterday.  My feet problems are probably part of my never ending quest for comfy shoes, my headache the side effect from adrenaline, the resulting crash and grinding my teeth.  The sore arm from holding my phone at my ear all morning trying to resolve the insurance issues.

Even as a right this the dull throb in my head is making me panic, and my lower back makes me worry that I have a serious back problem.  All in all its probably better that my parents are not here, as I find I keep it together better on my own.  It did however suck to be the one to leave them a message on their vacation that said i had been in an accident.  As much as I didn’t want to mention it and ruin their vacation, I had told a friend, and my luck she would post a big ‘Hope you are recovering from your car accident’ on my wall before I could tell them.

Overall at this point I am a mix of worried and angry.  Because the roads were clear, and everyone else stopped, and there is nothing to stop this from happening again tomorrow.  I cant make people pay more attention and not tailgate.  All in all, Monday kinda sucked!

Car Accident

So as per usual the anxiety is worse than the event. Been worrying since I started this job that I would get into a car accident. ..and this morning I did. It wasn’t bad. I wasn’t injured, it wasn’t my fault. I was rear ended into the car in front of me.  So basically it was  waste of 29 minutes thus morning and more time this afternoon as I have to take my cat to be assessed for damage, but compared to the two weeks of worrying at night this really wasn’t worth that.

I am at medical, not due to hypochondria, but due to SOP where I work. Overall good day, well as good as it can be

Vacation-from everyone

Hello,

Saturday I had to wake up at 2 in the morning to take my parents to the airport.  It was unpleasant, didn’t get back into bed and asleep till almost 4am, but it was worth every second.

Since they left I signed up for a free trial of Netflix and binge watched Dance Academy.  No one told me I should obsessively watch 3 seasons of tv in 2 days to the exclusion of everything else.  I have cleaned up a bit, and bought some groceries, cooked dinner.  Now I am going to finish up my weekend with some reading to catch up on my good reads, reading challenge.  Still ahead of schedule on the challenge, but behind my personal quarterly goals.

I didn’t have anyone over, or leave the house more than the 45 mins it took to buy more food, and it was glorious.  I know I can’t do this all the time, and that eventually I do get lonely, but for a weekend its been magnificent to just sit back with my cat and do nothing

Falling Asleep = Anxiety Hell

So today was slow, but overall much better.  I found tried a different way home with a toll road that saves me anywhere from 30  mins to 2 hours depending on the traffic.  And while its a longer distance, I get to drive fast instead of stop and go, which is so much less stressful. Still occasionally worrying about my dry skin on the fingertips, but I have been trying to put in on the back burner.

Most of the time with enough to do, and an active imagination, I can distract myself from worrying.  When I can’t is that time when I am trying to fall asleep, letting my mind drift, and did I lock the door.  I am not sure, I could get up and look, but then I need to restart the falling asleep process. Then its, is my cat dying in the dryer.  An actual concern, I have a hard time keeping her out, so I should go look.  Is my pass in my bag, and the list goes on.  Even once I am sure everything in its place its the random worries, like what if I trip tomorrow, and fall down the stairs.  What if I show up late for work, what if I get in a car accident.

The majority of these are unlikely to happen, and as I try to remind myself, since none of these are “on purpose” type of events, I can’t actually stop them if I want to.  So there really isn’t any point in worrying about them.

That doesn’t stop them from happening though. The thought flits through your brain, and before you can realize its ridiculous you’re already reacting. Adrenaline floods through your system, you are awake down to you toes, you feel that clenching of your stomach, your heart is pounding, and if you are lucky before you get too far into your randomly imagined death scenario, you realize whats going on.  So you try a few things.  I used to try the, its not likely to happen, its improbable, and while that’s a good daytime approach having to get up to check every item in your bag, and the door, and etc, then reasoning out why each of your random scenarios can take a while.  And you have to sleep.

I generally stick with an orientation based approach.  Open my eyes, harder to visualize disaster with my eyes open, looking at something.  Take a few deep breathes, take a moment to think out a pleasant, usually fictional scenario in your head and go with it till you nod off to sleep.  It doesn’t always work though, and at some point you have to weigh the benefit of being in bed ready to sleep vs. not being able to sleep because you don’t know if the door is locked.  Its always a trade off.  On my way to read now, hoping some nice fiction will set the scene before I sleep for a painless falling asleep process.

Slow day, but not for Anxiety

So today was light on the workload.  When I say light, I mean it was ridiculous, had 4 hours with nothing to do.  So of course, I spent that time worrying.

My index finger feels funny, someone said that diabetes causes numbness and tingling in the extremities. Oh my god, my foot is tingling too.  Oh no, I have diabetes.  Then in a few minutes it was like, wait, no, dry skin, really dry on the finger tip.  That’s what the weird sensation is.  Did I cause my foot to tingle by thinking of tingling extremities, probably. In fact writing this right now made it feel tingly again.

I will leave early, there might be traffic. I will stay later, I am bored.  I will check my cell phone, what if they think I spend all day on my phone. I will email my friend, a few emails back and forth later, what if this gets flagged and we get in trouble for it. The entire day of work was like this.  Then I actually came home.

Once I got home I ended up worrying I was using the wrong beef out of the freezer to make dinner, I was, but was interrupted before I got too far in.  What if I don’t have time to read tonight, seriously, I could go now.  Wait, parents are leaving Saturday, what if they are upset I don;t spent time with them before they leave.  It was exhausting.

Then I have my hypochondria by proxy, when I got home I was bored, re-watching an old TV show.  It feels like my cats stomach is twitching, is she sick, should I take her to the vet.  Then I had to refill her food, but since I am switching her to new stuff, is it going to make her throw up, diarrhea, what if she wont eat it…..

Now I am writing this with 45 mins before bed and a list of 5 things that have to be done before bed that will consume at least 20 mins, and I am worrying I will take to long to read and not have enough time to sleep.

On a lighter note, overall the intensity of my anxiety has decreased.  I think that this may be in part due to more sleep, more reading, and maybe even more water.  First week it was a cup of coffee in the morning and a water bottle from 6am-7pm.  Now its 2-3 cups of herbal tea, half a water bottle, and the cup of coffee.  It could just be the increase in water helped my dry skin, so the lack of itchiness isn’t setting me on edge.  But whatever it is, its great

Coordination Difficulties

So, my coordination is not great at the best of times.  I have terrible handwriting, I have problems with buttons, and I slip and fall a lot.  Especially in winter.

This last weekend while trying on dress pants I had to try to explain, that my problem with the buttons on the pants was unrelated to the pants size, but due to the fact that despite pushing 30 I still have problems doing up buttons.  Pointing it out repeatedly, like while shopping only makes me more flustered, and makes the buttons harder.

Similarly due to the slip and fall issue, combined with insanely slippery conditions, I walk a bit slower, and take shorter steps than most.  It takes me longer to get inside, and yes, I am cold, but walking faster and falling takes more time so I take it slowly.  Unless someone I know comes up while I am walking in and tries to walk with me.  Honestly, it may seem nice, but it really ruins my walk in.  I am doing a half run with my smaller steps, desperately trying not to fall over, while making small talk. You slow down and they will slow down to be considerate, but I know they must resent the extra time in the cold.   Then they want to walk straight upstairs so I can’t stop on re-adjust my bag, which is fairly useless, but its my new routine when i get to work.  They won’t leave, and so either I am inconvenient, or inconvenienced. The changing the routine throws off my entire morning.  I am slowly adjusting my routine to optimize for traffic times, so that i spend the least time in traffic, it makes me work an extra 15-30 mins a day, but I figure I can make a routine of leaving earlier on Friday’s and stretch my weekend a bit.

But I digress, basically its really hard to explain to someone you have the coordination of a 5 year old.  That when your first task at a new job is sample engraving on tiny samples you cringe.  That you can’t walk faster, must hold the handrail, and no I can’t button as fast as you button.  I hate having to work around things that other people take for granted.

For years in school I hated gym, because everyone knew how much I sucked at, well, everything.  Can’t throw, can’t catch, can’t run without tripping, and its the one aspect of school they let everyone watch you.  Like its okay to see someone fail at throwing and laugh, but when they have problems with math or English.  You also seem to be allowed to take great pride in being better at sports than other people, but you can’t similarly brag about being better than everyone at reading. I have actually been told not to point that out to people, because it makes them feel bad.  It just makes me wonder why physical coordination is treated differently, it basically made me hate it, and by extension exercise, which hasn’t helped much in adult life.

Anyways, here I am, hoping no one I know will show up at the same time as me tomorrow.