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Topic: Medical Anxiety

  1. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    11 August 2020
    I have been aware for several years that I have a crippling anxiety around medical tests, to the point where I basically don't have them done.

    So I was born with a genetic condition inherited from my father. The syndrome has various symptoms, all of which are present at birth.

    His major symptom was huge trouble with his eyes from childhood , resulting in him being legally blind at around 59 yrs old.

    I did not have eye trouble to his extent at all. I am now 51

    When I was 19, in 1988 I accompanied him to an eye specialist. Even though I did not have an appointment they put me in the chair. They saw some vascularization on my eyes and said basically quit your life you will be blind in 10 yrs.

    I have been to numerous eye doctors since then who have said your corneas are fine, you are no tf going tyo go blind. Probably 5 different eye doctors have said that.

    Well I took that 30 yr old report to an eye specialist 2 weeks ago because of some dry eye symptoms and he said your eyes have not changed , and in fact my visual acuity test was 6/5 (excellent)

    But the last 3 week's waiting for this appointment has been a nightmare. I can't forget that original diagnosis and I feel like maybe all these other doctors were wrong and the first diagnosis was right? I have no issues with my vision and I know it's illogical but the trauma of that diagnosis of blindness, even though I didnt believe it at the time has haunted me. I can't get rid of it

    I have an appointment on Monday with a dry eye specialist and waiting for this appt has caused me such severe anxiety to panic attack mode. I've been going through this this for 3 weeks since I booked it

    I never ever EVER book medical appts. Dental ones are fine, but anything else no way. I wil never forgive that eye specialist 32 yrs ago for what he has done to me 
     
  2. Petal22
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    11 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin

    Hello, I have recovered from OCD which is an anxiety disorder... I would always catrasphonize over things including diagnosis.... through my therapy I have learned to just let the thoughts be there and not chase them or add to them just let them come in and go out.... it does take practice but from not reacting to these thoughts the anxiety can’t keep going... I’ve learned to re direct my thoughts to something more positive.....

    meditation, mindfulness and thought challenging are great tools..... the above things I have mentioned will hopefully help you 😀 try to not get rid of the thoughts just let them be there... the more we try to get rid of them the more they come back because the brain thinks they are important..

    1 person found this helpful
  3. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    11 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    Its interesting you say that because my partner always says I catastrophise. And I have noticed it's always one issue at a time. Like for one week it will be breast cancer because of something I've seen on tv, next it will be tgat the tree outside will fall on the house, n ext i ts termites... but never two issues at one time
  4. Petal22
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    11 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    Yes it sounds familiar.... its catastrophinsing.... I use to do this I would obsess over the thoughts....and they would then turn into a big story... I’d convince myself I had something really wrong with me ( even though now I can see what I was doing... I didn’t) it was part of my thinking cycle once I broke free from the cycle it stopped... it takes practice to realise when you are doing this and to stop the cycle....
    try re directing your thoughts to something more positive when this happens... but just let the thoughts be there... 😀
    1 person found this helpful
  5. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    A few months ago before all this I was noticing that when I was catastrophising it was only one issue at a time, and when an issue passed and I was on to the next catastrophe, the last catastrophe seemed insignificant.

    I wonder if this "one iissue" feature is common in this catastrophising trait?

    Also how do I let a thought sit there and not feed it
  6. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    Also when I had an eye test 3 weeks ago , he looked at everything, told him my history about my dad's eyes and asked for a referral to this dry eye opthamologist, and btw the dry eye is only in one eye and only at night. And I said to him is the dry eye guy going to find anything bad. He said no your eyes are no different from the report 30 years ago , he will just give you dry eye solutions.

    And yet I've still been in complete panic mode. Because of what that eye specialist said 3 decades ago
  7. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin

    I too use to do this....... not feeding a thought does take practice... I consider myself lucky I want to a great OCD clinic that taught me a lot of skills but they take time to perfect.... I would recommend you try meditation you could find some on your ph.... one that is guided and teaches you to “ watch your thoughts” we can learn to be bystanders of our thoughts..... and not get caught up in them.... have you thought about speaking to a caring GP? When I started going through it.. I was lucky to have a caring GP... we did a mental health plan together it gave me 10 free appointments with a physiologist and then this led me to my ocd clinic which was the BEST thing I did 😃 our professionals can teach us so much.... we were also taught how to challenge our thoughts.... eg I might have a chronic illness.... what is the evidence for? My thoughts ...what is the evidence against: my doctor said I don’t and I am not showing symptoms of this.... I can see the evidence against out weighs the evidence for 😀

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    Challenge your thoughts 😀 you will learn how to do this.... meditate, try mindfulness 😀 talk
    1 person found this helpful
  9. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    When you notice you are having the thoughts just notice it.... You could say to yourself “ I’m having that thought again” ok I’m just going to let it pass.... ( try to remain calm) and redirect you attention to something else like making yourself a coffee... what does the kettle sound like while it is boiling? What does my cup feel like, how does my coffee taste..... ( this is mindfulness) 😀
    1 person found this helpful
  10. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    The original eye specialist in 1988 who said I would be blind in 10 years, his evidence was based on seeing minor vascularisation in my eyes which i have since learned probably happened before birth as I was born with closed tear ducts

    So he based his prognosis on looking at my dad when in fact our other physical symptoms were extremely different which I now know means I inherited a different mutation of the same syndrome. This stupid doctor had never met me before and knew nothing about the syndrome. And I logically know all this but am still struggling to get through to this appt on Monday.
  11. BananaMuffin
    BananaMuffin avatar
    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    Basically my eyes have not changed in 32 years except for needing reading glasses

    Evidence right there I'm trying to focus on
  12. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin

    Do you have someone who will go to your appointment with you? It always helps if you have some one with you for support?

    Try to give yourself POSITIVE self talk... build yourself up 😀

  13. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    I do , but I think I will decide on the day
  14. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    That’s great you have someone to go with you 😀 all the best with your appointment... one thing I have learned with anxiety is to not let your anxiety win... defy it.... you will begin to fly 😀
    1 person found this helpful
  15. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    You are stronger than what is making you anxious.... believe in yourself 😀 you are stronger than you realise 😀
    1 person found this helpful
  16. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22

    The more we do of what our anxiety is telling us to do... the more we “ reinforce “ our anxiety...

    You CAN over ride your anxiety... you CAN win 😀

  17. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    And most of all I know I'm not being rational. I've seen 5 or 6 different eye specialists in the last 10 years and NONE have said I'm going to go blind
  18. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    There you go 😀 well done you have challenged your thinking and got your answer 😀 breath deep you have got this 😀 walk into your appointment with confidence you WILL beat your anxiety 😀
    1 person found this helpful
  19. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    Well done 😀 keep focusing on that 😀
    1 person found this helpful
  20. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    Thank you :)

    The only difference between those eye doctors and this one is that for them i could get a same day appt, and I do that for any medical thing because of my medical anxiety.

    But for this opthamol9gist I've had to wait for 25 days because of all the covid backlog.....that's what's sent me in this spiral
  21. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    I understand with the waiting.... you answer will still be the same even though you have waited for your appointment 😀 do something you enjoy go out for a coffee with a friend, go get you hair or nails done or cook your favourite meal and try to be present while doing those things.... enjoy them 😀😀 be mindful... let me know how you go on Monday but I’m here if you want to chat.. 😀
    1 person found this helpful
  22. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    12 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    Petal you're amazing, Thank you so much for being here
  23. Petal22
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    12 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin

    Thank you BananaMuffin 😀 I’m so happy to help you 😀 I believe I went through my illness to come out the other side to help others with theirs...

    I needed to be challenged before I could transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly 😀 and you CAN too 😀

    1 person found this helpful
  24. BananaMuffin
    BananaMuffin avatar
    16 posts
    14 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    Had a couple of good days but now Mondays edging closer I'm back into panic mode. I guess I am fearful that this eye doctor is as ignorant on this syndrome as the one in 1988 and will just say something similar that will devastate my life.

    There nothing wrong with my eyesight. I had it tested 3 weeks ago . Corneas clear with some old blood essels around the edge tgat gave probably been tgerecsince birth.

    I cannot believe how much his prognosis has affected me. Its not even true
    1 person found this helpful
  25. Petal22
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    14 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    Hello, sorry to hear you are feeling this way... anxiety needs to be managed... have you thought about talking to a caring Gp with what you are feeling? your gp may talk to you about medication or other ways of helping with it.... medication helps....
    1 person found this helpful
  26. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    14 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    Its a public holiday here and then just 2 days til the appt.

    I've talked myself out of it a bit, it's a Dr that knew nothing and it was 32 yrs ago
  27. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    14 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    A lot of people with this syndrome do go blind but they tend to be people who have eye issues from birth. Like my dad. It takes a long time for it to develop. So at 51 , with only dry eye at night and only in one eye and no corneal scarring, hopefully I've escaped or it won't happen til I'm old.

    That man gave me my prognosis based on my dad

    Criminal
  28. Petal22
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    14 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    Oh ok.... I was referring to you to see your gp for anxiety.... it is treatable
    1 person found this helpful
  29. BananaMuffin
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    16 posts
    14 August 2020 in reply to Petal22
    I will, but cant do it before monday
  30. Petal22
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    14 August 2020 in reply to BananaMuffin
    Ok... I think going to your gp would be a great start to getting you on the road to recovery for anxiety 😊
    1 person found this helpful

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