Health Anxiety Can Kiss Ones Grits

On Tuesday both of my girls woke up, feeling feverish, with a sore throat and ears. They were off school for a couple of days, and then my youngest got it. I always dread when the kids are unwell, for fear I’ll get it, and then I’ll have a mini freak out. Can you guess what has happened?

Yesterday morning I woke up and my throat was really scratchy & sore to swallow. I also had a banging headache. I decided to get up, take my vitamin & some paracetamol, and go to work for a welcomed distraction. By the time I got to work, my headache was slowly getting worse. Cue a mini panic. I started to think about the fact I’m on Roaccutane, as this can weaken your immune system (one of the many side effects), so my mind started to go into overdrive about the fact it could be more sinister than just a headache.

I found myself sitting at my desk, with sweaty palms, a dry mouth, sore head, and now blurry vision. I decided to take myself into a different part of the building, to do some work that didn’t involve a computer screen. My headache wasn’t getting any better, and I was now starting to overheat and getting a weird feeling in my face. It was like prickly heat, but it was washing over my face intermittently. Like someone was pouring hot water on me.  Well this freaked me out. I started to think that I was maybe having a stroke, or at the very least getting the start to one. The job I was doing, required me to be extra vigilant and definitely have my head in the game, so I made the right decision to call it a day, and pick it up again on Monday.

When I walked back into the office, I felt like I was hit with a wall of heat. It really doesn’t help that my office is like a giant greenhouse. I got even hotter. My hands were so sweaty, that holding my mouse was proving difficult. I was engaging in conversations with my peers in a bid to distract myself from the fact my vision was going, my head felt like it was literally splitting, my chest was getting tight and my heart was racing. I nipped off to the ladies, put my wrists under the cold tap, and did some 7/11 breathing. I could feel my heart rate calming down, but I was still absolutely boiling. After necking back, yet another glass of water, my mouth and throat felt just as dry. I tried to compose myself and go back to my desk to work, but I just couldn’t. I literally couldn’t focus on the screens. In the end I had to say to my boss that I really wasn’t feeling well, and I headed for home.

The drive home was horrible. My car was mega stuffy with the heat, and my leather seats were like sitting on the sun. I drove with all 4 windows down, whilst doing my 7/11 breathing, and I still wasn’t feeling any better. When I got in, I went straight to my room, put on some PJ’s and got a blanket. I didn’t want to lie in my bed, as I would have been alone, and to be honest? I was really bloody scared of this headache. I was starting to shake, and I could barely hold my glass to take a drink. I tried to apply my logical thinking, you know, to realise that it will just be the bug that is doing the rounds, but because of how bad my headache now was (probably made worse with the stress of panicking), my thoughts were spiralling out of control.

Thankfully my husband was at home, so I wasn’t alone. Then my Dad found out I wasn’t well and popped over. Having both of them there, made me feel much better. I was still absolutely roasting, definitely had a fever (as confirmed by my Dad, with the old back of the hand on the forehead lol), my throat felt like it was closing up and it was really dry. No amount of water was helping. I curled up on the couch, and next thing I know, it’s 3 hours later and I’m woken up to my watch buzzing due to getting a call. When I woke up, my head was still feeling sore, I now have a sore neck with the way I was lying, and my throat felt worse, but I no longer felt as panicked.

I haven’t had that bad an experience with health anxiety for such a long time. I had completely convinced myself that I was about to die. I even had thoughts like “Did I tell the kids I love them today?”. Some of you reading this will be like “Settle down love, it’s only a headache and a bit of a virus”, and you would be 100% correct. My brain however, just went straight to “You’re dying, this is it”.  Such a horrible, horrible, horrible feeling. I nearly burst into tears on the way home but had to compose myself otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to drive.

Even as I sit here now, I still have a dull ache in my head. I’m also still pretty warm, but no where near as bad as yesterday. I don’t think the heat outside is helping me though, to be fair. It is pretty warm, and our house is feeling really stuffy, so all windows and doors are currently open.

I wanted to share this experience, because it came so out of the blue for me. Both the feeling unwell, and the bout of panic that ensued because of it. It’s also the most out of control I’ve felt about my emotions for a few weeks, which has scared me a little. Rationally, I knew fine well I was ok, but still my mind went into over drive and I’d left myself a crumbling mess. Thankfully it’s the weekend, and I don’t have the added stress of worrying about work. Although, first thought today was about work, as the work I’ve not been able to do on Friday, will now have a knock-on affect with Monday, and my work load next week is already quite big. I’m trying not to dwell on that too much though, as that is Monday’s problem and no amount of worrying about it now, will change it.

I think the positives I can take away from this is; I’m fine! I didn’t die *woohoo*, and I recognise that this is something that I’ll need to raise at my next appointment. There is maybe some other technique I can be given for my health concerns, as rational thinking really just didn’t help me at all yesterday. I do wonder if it didn’t work, because of my experience years ago when NHS24 ignored my very real symptoms and I nearly died. If that is the reason, I think that may be valid. I think I’ve lost all trust in doctors, and my ability to judge my own symptoms. Thankfully I stayed away from Google! I’m sure if I googled my symptoms yesterday, I would have had myself in A&E within the hour. So I guess, that’s another positive, I knew not to Google anything, and I didn’t make my situation worse.

Next week I have another appointment, so once I’ve been here I’ll post another update. That is, unless something else happens.

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