This month I finally saw a doctor, in the flesh. I was beginning to think I would see a Unicorn before I ever clapped eyes on a doctor again but the New Year brought me an actual appointment. She was lovely. After telling her all about my issues she agreed to see me. I’ve been struggling with a weak knee, palpitations and an eye twitch for weeks, I also mentioned my severe anxiety episodes.
Also, I decided to try iTalk therapies again. Had my first call last week and spoke to a lovely lady for about 45 minutes. This initial call was to get an overview of the issues and what my needs were. I usually carry all my anxiety around on the daily but to talk about them out loud to a stranger was liberating. I realised just how much I had been carrying around; why I worry and why I feel the way I do. She listened intently and then said,
“I can’t believe how much you have suffered.”
I cried. To hear those words was almost validating. Like someone was giving me permission to feel overwhelmed, scared and just exhaustingly sad. To list all the problems I try most days to handle, made me realise on a new level, how much I have on my plate and no wonder I am a little bit of a mess some days.
We have agreed on a plan and I am now on a waiting list for one to one sessions and possibly some CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). I’m nervous but also feeling ready to get my mental health in order. I have suffered a lot but I don’t want to suffer any more.
Back to the GP, she couldn’t find a reason for my intermittent knee spasms. No pain or swelling. She did a neuro exam, testing my reflexes and strength and there was nothing of concern found. I was preparing myself for some bad news but instead, I received no news. She gave me some knee strengthening exercises (usually given to people with knee pain which I don’t have) and said she would chat to a colleague and get back to me.
She and her colleague didn’t seem concerned after their chat but they have written to neurology for ‘my piece of mind only’. I’m trying not to freak out. I was fine with random twitching but you put that in Google with weakness and you get some very scary results. Apparently letters to other departments take 6 weeks to leave the surgery and 2 to 3 weeks to be responded to so I won’t know what’s happening for another couple of months. My fellow Health Anxiety sufferers will appreciate just how horrendous that is but I can’t do anything about it so I’m carrying on as best I can.
I’ve stopped Googling symptoms in an effort to gain some control. However, I still remember all my previous search results so I’m not feeling the benefit of my new found restraint. I can’t unsee what I’ve seen but I really wish I could. For the first time, I found myself wishing for pain. If my knee hurt, then my brain would find that easier to figure out. Instead this silent weird intermittent tightness at the back of my knee is causing me to catastrophize; especially as it won’t go away. My twitches have stepped up. Probably because I’m constantly fidgeting and testing my strength. I probably never exit fight or flight mode either, my adrenaline rush is permanent.
As I try to focus on being mum and walking my child to school, we are hit with another one of those curveballs. After thinking my husband and I had miraculously escaped Covid, we had our bubble burst. My husband tested positive this morning. Covid is still in our house!!
Clutching on to my negative test result, I was happy in the illusion that I could keep my family ticking over in some kind of normality; until my husband was better. However, unlike the freedoms given to vaccinated folk with negative tests, I am not allowed to leave the house as I have only had one vaccine.
My daughter is now Covid free and can return to school but neither one of her parents can take her! Fighting off an epic FML moment, I called on a mum friend, who was happy to rescue me and therefore my child from the restrictions. It’s bad enough dealing with the unpredictable Covid situation but not being able to be Mum was a step too far today.
I’m worried I will get Covid. I worry that I will suffer and people will wash their hands of me because I decided to stop at one vaccine (for all the reasons detailed previously). I worry that I won’t be able to take my daughter to school for 10 days. I worry that I won’t be able to take care of her if I get sick. I worry that after isolating with my daughter for 10 days, I have another 10 days to go, safe in the knowledge, that my 10 days could start all over again if a positive result should befall me in the meantime.
So what have we learned so far? Oh yeah, I’m worried.
I’m on a waiting list to talk to someone. I’m waiting to find out if I’m physically ok. I’m waiting and worrying about Covid that just so happens to still be in my house!
As I look out the window again at life ticking by, hands pressed against the glass, it’s a strange feeling. Like someone has pressed pause on your life but not on your anxiety. All your distractions and tools used to cope have been confiscated and you’re left to sit in your feelings right when you’d rather be just about anywhere else.
Emeli Sandè – Heaven