?

Log in

Sun, Oct. 12th, 2008, 08:35 am
crzyspaz: bleh.

So I created this account for the purpose of posting here, because I think I've been a hypochondriac in hiding for years and it's now starting to come out in full-force, and I'm so glad there's a forum where people can discuss it. I've always been the person who flips out over silly things - I thought I was pregnant even though all I'd never had actual sex (only everything but), stuff like that. 

But now...I just started medical school, and I see these patients at least once a week with terrible illnesses, cancer and autoimmune disease and whatnot. I keep trying to tell myself that I'm in a hospital, which is basically a concentrated area of rarre medical cases, and that these things aren't as common as they seem, but it's hard to infuse yourself with logic when you're a hypochondriac (as many of you know).

I'm seeing a doctor for this next week, because I can't take the anxiety anymore, but I needed to vent it out for the time being because it's getting in the way; I can't study properly or focus because of it. So here it is:

Around May or so of this year, I got a sinus infection. After it went away, I was left with this one little lymph node in my throat, as well as an even tinier one under my jaw. Both were very mobile and less than an inch (which are considered "normal" for lymph nodes), so I guess I wasn't worried about it. They then stayed on for a few months, and still I didn't pay much attention. But for some reason, once school started, I started getting more and more obsessed with my little lymph node friends. They would stay around the same size and were still mobile, but I kept thinking of whether it could be something else. 

The bomb really hit when I got a cold early this month/late last month. Of course, my lymph nodes swelled in response, and it was all very normal. But now, for some reason, I keep wanting to google every little thing that goes on with me and see if it's related to persistent lymph nodes or swollen lymph nodes. At this point, all the lymph nodes are of normal size, move around fine, all those things, and yet I'm STILL convinced it could be worse! Oh, I should also mention that I've had congestion in my right ear (like I keep having to pop it by yawning or opening my mouth) for a few months; my mom (a doctor) kept telling me that was because of sinuses but I keep thinking it's some random frightening cause, like a tumor or something. I'm also convinced that when I push down on the cartilage in my throat, it hurts; my mom's response: you're pushing on it, of COURSE it's going to hurt! Haha. And finally, I have had trouble swallowing tiny particles and pills ONLY, they get stuck in my throat and I have to keep drinking water to push them down. I never remembered having that trouble with pills before, but it could be a new symptom, which worries me. My mom, again, said I have nothing to worry about, and it's probably because of my reflux and a slight inflammation of my esophagus, but hey, it could be something terrible like cancer, right?

Yesterday I hit a low - I couldn't stop crying for most of the morning. I was convinced I had acute myelogenous leukemia, or some kind of rare disease. I was so freaked out, I couldn't focus. I realize that this is getting in the way of my life and I'm planning on getting the physical aspect of it checked out mid next week, and then the psychological parts of it right afterward. I know that I have to stop worrying - these symptoms don't seem that bad and I don't have a lot of the other things that people with cancer get, like constant fatigue, night sweats, major weight loss. But I get so scared when that cartilage in my throat hurts a little, or right now that one side of the bone in my jaw feels a little sore. I'm terrified I have some kind of cancer of the head and neck and it's spreading...it's a paralyzing fear, and it doesn't help that everyone I know just keeps saying I'm crazy. My boyfriend won't even listen anymore, he just gets annoyed with me. And I'm worried that I'm going to be a crappy doctor if I keep acting like this.

I just wish this would all go away so I could quit being so scared, but I know that even if all these symptoms went away, I'd just find something new to worry about. Sigh.

EDIT: Great, now I'm getting worried about that jaw pain because I heard that bone pain is a symptom of bone cancer; I sometimes get pain in the area between my rib and my sternum, too. It's not bad pain, but it's there...I hope I don't spend the day crying again.

Mon, Oct. 13th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
jayniejayne

Ohh I can so relate. I have reflux and sinus problems and all that too, plus I'm getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow morning and am terrified, but that's a story for another day. I know it doesn't really help, but all I can say is that these things almost never turn out to be the bad things you imagine. Also, I know it's tempting but for the love of all that is holy do not google your symptoms it makes even mild anxiety morph into a full blown panic attack. At least that's the effect it has on me. About the doctor thing, I really doubt that you'll be a crappy one. I've noticed that the more time I have to spend tending to other people(I work in retail), the less time I spend worrying about my (imagined) illnesses and annoying symptoms. Try to relax, even just a little bit.
(hugs)
I hope you feel better about all this soon:)

Mon, Oct. 13th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous)

Thanks :) that does help to be a little more at ease about everything. I keep trying to tell myself to STOP googling symptoms, and you're right, it sends me spiraling into a full-blown panic attack every time I do! It's like an obsessive tendency for me to look stuff up online; it's so hard to stop. I also keep taking everything it says online as the absolute truth, which is just silly.
Thanks again, and good luck with the wisdom teeth removal (I'm sure it will go just fine) :)

Mon, Oct. 13th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
crzyspaz

Thanks :) that does help to be a little more at ease about everything. I keep trying to tell myself to STOP googling symptoms, and you're right, it sends me spiraling into a full-blown panic attack every time I do! It's like an obsessive tendency for me to look stuff up online; it's so hard to stop. I also keep taking everything it says online as the absolute truth, which is just silly.
Thanks again, and good luck with the wisdom teeth removal (I'm sure it will go just fine) :)

Tue, Oct. 14th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
cherryboomstick

I WISH I had a doctor relative! lol Maybe it would relieve my worries...

Anyway... you're experiencing what seems to be EXACTLY what I'm experiencing with my throat. I think I have swollen lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and they've been like that for about a month now. I can feel them when I swallow and I've recently began worrying about them, though I know deep down they are truly probably nothing to be worried about.

Also, I don't know if this will ease your fears or not... but I've heard that even cancerous lumps in the throat area take years to really even be dangerous. I've also heard that cancer in that area is the easiest to get rid of. Though you work in a hospital, you may know more than I do about that. :) If you're REALLY worried about it to where it's making you cry a lot I'd say go get it checked out by a doctor just to ease your fears. Like I said, I have the same symptoms as you it seems and while I also worry (because I'm a hypochondriac) I know it's nothing to be worried about...

Wed, Oct. 15th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
crzyspaz

Thanks for the advice! I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for tomorrow - since I posted, things are just getting worse and worse, and I'm hoping that having someone take a look at it will make me feel more at ease. Since the lymph nodes grow and shrink normally, deep down inside I'm fairly sure they aren't indicative of any sort of cancer...but it does help to hear the worst case scenario :) I'm also seeing a therapist to discuss these worrywart tendencies, so hopefully I'll feel fine soon. Hope you're feeling better as well!