I’m going to write about this because, in all honesty, I just need to get it off my chest.
I have a fear of getting sick….
I know, everyone hates getting sick and it’s a common thing, but I have an irrational fear.
There is a story to why I have this fear though…
2012 I went to a friends 21st birthday, which was great, but before we even went there we went to McDonalds to get some food since we hadn’t had dinner. It was nice and all but the moment we arrived at my friends place I started to feel real sick, and I mean, real sick. I was only there for an hour before another friend had to take me home.
Got back and Gareth helped me get into bed and such, till I felt the bile rise up and, luckily for us, Gareth had been smart enough to get a bucket and I was sick. Now, that night I only threw up twice which was fine. Xander, who was one at the time, caught it 24 hours later and Gareth caught around the same time as him. Now we knew it was a virus and we were cool with that… But Gareth and Xander got better and healthier… I didn’t.
For three to four months, I was physically ill and couldn’t eat or drink anything. I would bring everything up, I lost weight all the time, I became depressed, full of anxiety, hated myself, didn’t care about Xander enough to look after him and didn’t care about Gareth enough to even say I love you. It got so bad that half the time Gareth didn’t want to leave me and someone had to come and look after our son cause I physically could not!
We kept going back to the doctors each week to them saying “Oh you’re pregnant.” or “There is nothing wrong with you.” But there was definitely something not right about me. Gareth had to watch my body start to disintegrate right in front of him, watched as I cried, screamed and wanted to tear my hair out from not getting any sleep and not being able to physically do anything.
One day, another random Doctor finally wanted me to have some blood tests done, my parents had Xander and Gareth was with me. When we went to the nurse to go and get everything done she took one look at me and told Gareth “Take her to hospital… She needs emergency medical care otherwise she is going to shut down.” Hearing those words scared me and I freak out even now thinking of them.
Gareth rushed me to hospital ED (Emergency Department) and I was taken in after about an hour of sitting on the chair with only a drip bag keeping me from collapsing and Gareth making sure I didn’t vomit.
Now, all the doctors and nurses knew there was something wrong with me but the tests were not giving up anything. I had every single test you could think of from cancer tests to just a normal blood tests to see if I had a virus. But two people stuck in my mind after my horrendous ordeal that I will never forget.
Let’s talk about the nurse first, who I lovingly named, Nurse bitch face. She believed there was nothing wrong with me what so ever and that I was “Faking it for attention.” Hell, the bitch didn’t come to change my drip till Gareth hit the button and pretty much demanded she get me a new iv bag because my one had been emptied for so long it was now starting to fill with my blood (literally, worst pain ever is when it does that and then the new iv gets put in then the fluids shove all of you blood back it.) She continuously put me down, physically wouldn’t check up on me and/or touch me when the doctor asked her too and she just was rude to Gareth, who had been hiding his panic from me and being supportive. I hated her and honestly, I’m not sure if I physically said that to her cause I was so out of it.
The other person who I will never forget was the doctor who made me his number 1 patient, Doctor Awesome is what I named him. He came in to see me first and took one look at my face. Then he turned to Gareth and said “I’m going to lift up her shirt, I just want to feel around her body.” When he was feeling around he looked up at me in shock before calming asking “When was the last time you ate?” To Gareth replied for me “She can’t, she brings it up or is scared she will.” Now, Dr Awesome was horrified and I remember him turning back to me and saying very carefully “I shouldn’t be able to feel all of your bones by feather light touches, but I can. You are a level 1 anorexia case.” Now to hear those words made my heart stop beating. I had not lost the baby weight from having Xander but I had always been a physically fit person and I always ate food.
Then he started researching into why I would be this unwell, whenever Gareth went to get coffee or go to the bathroom he found the doctor bent over with heaps of medical books around him, writing things down before shaking his head and continuing his search. Finally, after having a drug induced sleep, I awoke to find the Dr Awesome had just come in to see me and Gareth holding my hand. “I think I know what is wrong with you. No, it is not cancer or anything like that. You have a parasite in your system called Giardia.”
Never heard of it before? Neither had I and this is the definition of it from the Ministry of Health in New Zealand:
Giardia is a food- and water-borne disease that is caused by a parasite found in the gut of infected humans and animals (eg, cattle, sheep, cats, dogs, rats and possums).
As you can see, this was a shock to Gareth and I as the doctor continued to explain it. “Since you were left untreated for so long your liver was starting to shut down and your body giving up.” Those words, to this day, still haunt me. I was released from Hospital with a buttload of prescription tablets to get and to bring in a poo sample so they could probably have a look to make sure.
So, I had to stay with my parents for a whole week. Not because I couldn’t take care of myself or anything, but more to look after Xander while I got better. Also I was on a diet of pretty much fruits and vegetables.
The end of 2014 was when I was told, after lots of blood tests, that I was 100% better and my liver was repaired. Relief filled me up and I could go back to eating bread and having dairy.
Now, your probably wondering what this has to do with my fear…. This is how it started. It started from becoming physically ill and almost dying. And that’s why, everyday, when I am on Facebook or Tumblr, when I watch a movie or Tv… Whenever the words of cancer or anything like that come up I freak out and start thinking I have them. I continuously need Gareth to reassure me that I am fine, Doctors to tell me there is nothing wrong and such. But my brain goes into panic mode and I continuously freak out.
It has just happened recently and ,again, I can’t control the way I react.
So, innocently was on the Tumblr, when pop! people start saying these are the signs of breast cancer. Of course you kind of read it out of curiosity and then boom! My mind goes into overload of panic and fear as I start reacting.
My mind goes all panicky and I cannot do anything to get out of it. Right now I’m still freaking out I have this cancer but I have, several times, been tested…. Including about a month and a half (maybe even 2 months) ago getting my breasts physically looked at by my new Doctor (who is great and has been doing this for many years.)
I have been told I do not have breast cancer and I do not have to worry, but he knows for a fact I have this fear and there is nothing I can do unless someone physically checks me up and gets me tested. I have been freaking out every night with dreams about it too and Gareth knows this, tries to reassure me that I’m alright. But I just have to go and see my doctor and get tested to make sure I am… It’s stupid and I know but I have to otherwise I make myself go into a panic and look up symptoms, thus my brain says I have these symptoms and I start going into crazy mode.
I know that I am fine since my mother pointed out her breasts do the exact same thing and she has been tested and she is fine but it is just a mental thing I just seem like I can’t get past.
I have my ups and downs… Last year before going on holiday to England I had found out I have Ovarian cysts (non cancerous) but it freaked me out for months…. Then the fear just left suddenly and for ages I was happy and content. Then, recently, having breast cancer stuff appear up on the internet made me freak out again and I am indeed going through my mental panics again. I constantly have to check my boobs and I have to make sure I just don’t freak out and grab a taxi to my Dr.
This fear has become a part of me and I have to grow out of it and control it…. Sometimes I can…. Sometimes I can’t… and when I can’t is when life gets difficult.
I try to never do this panic thing in front of Xander, I don’t want him to think his mummy is crazy… But when he gets sick I panic all over again, but this time in a mother sense (this kid seriously gets tonsillitis chronically and most of the time has to go to hospital).
I know what I have and that is Hypochondriasis… Which is:
Hypochondriasis, also known as hypochondria, health anxiety or illness anxiety disorder, refers to worry about having a serious illness. This debilitating condition is the result of an inaccurate perception of the condition of body or mind despite the absence of an actual medical condition. An individual suffering from hypochondriasis is known as a hypochondriac. Hypochondriacs become unduly alarmed about any physical or psychological symptoms they detect, no matter how minor the symptom may be, and are convinced that they have, or are about to be diagnosed with, a serious illness.
I have a low case of it cause I sometimes, like when Xander had a vomit bug a couple of weeks back, I don’t freak out. i just get on with it and don’t think about myself getting sick or anything like that…. Or when I have the flu or cold or vomit bug I, again, don’t freak out… Just kind of laugh it off and get on with my life.
But, as stated above, is when something big is happening or I think I have something when I don’t starts it and it scares me.
It is common for serious illnesses or deaths of family members or friends to trigger hypochondria in certain individuals
It quite interesting how I went from someone who was physically fit and never got sick at all nor cared when they did to someone who is mentally terrified and makes themselves worry about being sick.
I have an amazing family who have helped me through it and have to always put up with my constant panicking… But they understand so that is all that matters.
I have a wonderful husband who, no matter what, stuck me through thick and thin of it all and I love him more than I thought I ever could. This man is my everything and will always be.
And my little boy, who didn’t know that his mummy was ill and always wanted a hug even when she was not in the mood. I’m glad I got medical help and I am glad I got sorted, because of you I kept going and pushing myself to get better. I watched and realised how much I missed out on your growing those few short months… and never again will that stop me. I love you Xander and I will always be with you no matter what.
I hope this has been a very interesting. If you have fear of being sick or don’t know who to talk to about it… Just send me a message and I will answer as soon as possible.