I have been worried about my heart the last few days.
I am sure I have had pain in the past. A faint memory is lying there but I can’t wrap my full attention around it.
When you have sharp chest pains and you are someone with “health anxiety” (the polite term for hypochondriac) then it sets off all sorts of warning alarms that I have mentioned in past posts.
For those not familiar, it goes a little something like this:
Minding my own business
Pain or dizziness – something out of the norm – could be a twitch or twinge
All systems stop in their tracks while the mind and body “listen” for anything else to happen. If it does, that occurrence is analyzed fully and completely.
Analyzing an occurrence goes like this:
What was THAT?
It was a…..<insert symptom here>
I wonder if that is a problem!
<Insert symptom here>
There it is again!
Okay, it was a sharp pain. It was in the center of my chest.
OH MY GOD ITS A HEART ATTACK
~ Launch all systems GO evaluation~
Blood pressure cuff – on and inflating (please be normal, please be normal….)
PulseOx meter attached (DON’T look at it for 10 seconds because it is always off while it calculates. DON’T LOOK YET)
Blood pressure results – within normal ranges (Thank goodness….)
PulseOx within normal limits (Thank goodness)
“I wonder if I did them right.”
Relaunch check of symptoms
Within normal ranges
“Oh thank God! But…what is that pain? I’ll just look it up on the Internet….”
As someone with health anxiety (don’t be rude, that is what we are calling it. YOU can be a hypochondriac…I am NOT!) searching the Internet for what ails you is the kiss of….well…..anxiety or panic…we CAN’T say the other word or it provokes nervousness.
If you are not in a full-blown attack then, you will be within a few minutes of clicking and sifting through the best terrorizing medical information the web has to offer.
The thing is? We KNOW this yet…we do it again and again.
I did it this morning after my bout of chest pain. “I can’t go to the doctor so I almost HAVE to rely on the Internet, don’t I?”
Um, no but that doesn’t stop me.
I sit down on the edge of my bed facing the window. This is where I go when I start having anxiety. That SHOULD be my first clue but it never is.
I bring up the search engine. “Tell me what my death sentence is Dr. Google” I almost say as I begin my sifting.
One thing I have learned is to stay away from WebMD as it will ALWAYS tell me absolute death is impending. Paper cut? Can become infected leading to death. Hang nail? Seek emergency medical attention as you may die.
We stay away from WebMD but Mayo Clinic is my golden child of the “What am I dying of today” world.
Mayo Clinic tells me the facts but almost leans toward not telling me enough. They always throw in when to seek medical attention but it doesn’t seem as ominous as WebMd does.
So far it could be spasms in my digestive track, PVC/PAC activity just causing pain or…brace yourself, it could be anxiety.
So, I launch another round of vital checks and determine that if I am going to die today, I need to accomplish something worthwhile.
Instead, I start writing.
What I have learned over the last year of my life is that I have become a VERY anxious person. I was always a Type A personality before but never full of twists and turns like I have now.
My previous employer shares much of the blame of the creation of the mess we all see before our eyes.
Years of being treated poorly and differently than my peers took its toll but nothing like the last and final month of my employment after returning from FMLA. The torment elevated to amazing new heights as they clearly felt the need to retaliate for my absence and then plotted my departure.
I have YEARS of excellent service to that company and needed time off to put Humpty Dumpty back together again because I was torn down from all of your games and demands and you couldn’t get past the time off I needed so you termed me? Makes total sense.
I am being told that my life will be better without my involvement in that company, in that department and certainly in that toxic environment but while I wait for that “bliss” to hit, I am left worrying about medical insurance, life insurance and of course, the almighty dollar to pay my bills when I did everything you asked me to do.
One of the things about the culture I worked in was that they pushed “We will provide you with all of the tools you need to do your job effectively” yet when I reminded them that I don’t have the tools, I was written up. When I didn’t quit as they thought I would, they fired me.
As your employee you promised me that you would lead me with all stops removed, to the type of manager you wanted me to be. I did as asked, when asked and usually much better than I was asked to do it, and then you let me go?
That just doesn’t seem ethical. Considering the source, that isn’t a shock.
So today I am fighting my way through the worry that the after effects of your poor and tortuous treatment of me have caused permanent damage.
I pray. I hope and I know that God will take care of me but I also hope that I don’t “go” before I have something important to leave behind. I am not ready and hope God allows me the chance to do something of value for Him, and me.