Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Telling myself I'm being irrational isn't helping

Okay. If you don't remember the tests the doctor said he would run, here's the rundown: allergies, infections, thyroid, kidneys, anemia, diabetes...

and leukemia.

I know, I know. He's just running every test he can think of. Dave G. patted me on the shoulder Monday and said he was only doing it because the other doctors would laugh at him if it turned out to be that and he hadn't tested for it. But every time I think of getting my test results back, I keep coming back to this, no matter what, and I'm trying not to be stupid. But I'm scared.

I'm scared that the fevers and the respiratory infections and the strange feelings I've been ignoring because I can't explain them might add up to something big, even though they seem small enough in themselves.

I'm scared because for the next two weeks, no one can tell me I do have anything really bad and scary, but nobody can tell me for sure that I don't.

I'm scared because I'm not in control. There's nothing I can do. I am not okay with this. I know I'm supposed to accept God's plan for me with grace and serenity. But I'm terrible at grace and serenity. I'm much better at fighting and fixing. And right now I can't do anything.

I tried to reassure myself by looking up the symptoms on WebMD. If you ever want to try that, don't. It's never reassuring. There are lots of symptoms listed that I don't have, sure. But some of the ones listed sound hauntingly like some of the things I've bee telling myself were nothing, couldn't be anything.

Fevers and night sweats. I've always been so cold natured, but a couple of times over the past year I've woken up and found myself drenched. And I've had the sore throat things, but I've also run fever at times with no other symptoms other than the achy weariness of the fever.

Frequent or unusual infections. See above about sore throats. Depends on how you define frequent. Every month? Every three months? It's been at least that for the past two years.

Weakness and fatigue. I won't go there. I'm always tired. I think it has more to do with my lifestyle at the moment than my blood. Some other iffy ones like loss of appetite, which I've noticed lately, but then, I do still eat just fine, so that's probably just occasional stress. I'm not exactly easy going. And like I said, a lot of symptoms that I don't have.

And okay, so WebMD does say some reassuring things. I don't really fit any of the higher risk categories. I don't smoke, I've never had chemotherapy, and I have no family history.

Okay, so you'd think I'd be able to reason myself out of this. Yes, I realize I'm being incredibly doomsday about this. Yes I realize that I'm a worrier, and a worst case scenario sort of person. I'm melodramatic and hyperemotional and prone to all sorts of terrors once I let my imagination loose. I'm trying to keep things under control.

But I'm scared. I try not to think about it, but I'm scared.

All I can do is wait and pray and enjoy myself the way I always do. There isn't much else for it. I've given over this space of time to my witless little worryings and whinings. I don't intend to let them spill over into my productivity or ebullience over the next 13 days. I'll be better tomorrow, and I'll do my best not to be a wet blanket. Things always look better in the morning, and no sense not having my usual Wednesday fun.

Curse, WebMD, though. It's going to be a long two weeks.


Stefi said...

I guess we're gonna have to find fun ways to distract you from worrying! :)

Mike said...

The anticipation is always the worst part. My doctor's appointment yesterday turned out to be a total non-event, even though I was all worked up and nervous the whole day.

According to WebMD, I either have bronchitis or I'm pregnant. Since I don't remember being in a situation where I might have become pregnant, I think it's likely something else. My doctor didn't really say what is wrong with me (physically, not mentally), but she said it appears to be viral. Some antibiotics and some (massive) decongestants, and I was on my way.

Regardless of what happens, your friends will help you through it. That's what we do.


joanna said...

Never look at WebMD if you don't know what you have. WebMD will always convince you that you have some serious illness when in all likelihood all you have is a simple cold or something. Good luck distracting yourself. If you start thinking of something else that you are either anticipating, or not anticipating that is coming up, you will forget about this blood thing and focus your mind on that. Start thinking about Thanksgiving and before you know it 2 weeks will have passed.

Kerri said...

Why don't you just give me all of the parts of the brain that are worrying? I have plenty of stuff to fill them up with and then you will have no resources left to worry with.

Summer said...

You know, I went through the same thing that you did when I went in for my biopsy, and it was scarier than hell. But there isn't ANYTHING you can do about it right now, so figure out some way to put it out of your mind before you have an anxiety attack, because stress certainly doesn't help your health :( Do some yoga, bake, whatever works for you, just remain calm, and know that the likelihood is, it's nothing that bad. And if (god forbid) it is, you'll fight it and be just fine. Just know that there are several possibilities here, and no matter what, in the end, you'll be good :D

Amelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amelia said...

(edited for plot-point clarity ;) )

Ah, yes. I know it well. I know we chatted about it, but I figure I'll add mine to the pile. Between is-it-pneumonia-or-congestive-heart-failure, why-is-blood-coming-out-of-that-orifice, and holy-crap-there's-a-lump-in-my-breast this past year, I've gotten to be more or less an expert in "thinking I might die".

It blows. It absolutely blows. First off, you've got the original symptoms that freak you out, and secondly, you've got the worry that nobody knows what the heck is wrong with you, and finally, you've got the even bigger worry that when they figure out what's wrong with you, it's gonna be bad.

In my case, at least, the tests they performed were fairly nebulous and broad-searching... They ran a bunch of ambiguously-named blood tests (including an arterial blood gas oh sweet jesus I hope none of you have to have an artery stuck...), gave me three ultrasounds, two CT scans, and a partridge in a pear tree, looking for anything and everything horrendously scary... I'm lucky, in that they never told me exactly what they thought they were looking for, because looking things up later... nothing good. They were looking for a lot of scary shit.

As my dad likes to say, with the internet, everyone is a second-year med student. Second-year med students are notorious for reading up on all these obscure diseases and then freaking out and self-diagnosing all kinds of random and out-there crap, both in themselves and in their loved ones. Because we now have the same information neatly catalogued on the 'net, the general public is now at risk for misdiagnosing diaper rash as early-stage bubonic plague.

Still... Even with my three omg/wtf episodes in the past year, I tell you this. I. Am still. Alive. Nothing is wrong with me.

So, since I had three very terrifying sets of symptoms and none of them panned out, and you only have ONE very terrifying set of symptoms, then you're going to be THREE TIMES as okay as I am!!

And that's VERY okay! =)