I have had anxiety for the majority of my life now that I look back and can reflect on it and health anxiety is a large part of it. My search history reflects a list of asking google about my symptoms. Google and I have a love-hate relationship because nothing good ever comes up with googling symptoms. EVER!!
It’s mentally exhausting, and literally affects everything from planning big purchases (should we really spend that amount on a holiday for the family and not just put it in savings just in case something happens?) to how I interact with my friends and family depending on how I am feeling.
A Bad Day With Health Anxiety Inside My Head…
Today I went to read the news and Shannon Doherty announced that her cancer has come back and it’s stage 4. Crap, I’ve been having breast pain for a while lately – what happens if the tests that came back normal over a year ago when I was experiencing this same thing have changed? Is my breast pain breast cancer?
Reality set’s back in and I do some self-talk. I’ve been going to the chiropractor for 2 years, it’s my ribs slipping out, my muscles have always been tight, I do breast checks every single month and I have horrible posture. I know this!!!! Also there always a knot that forms by my right shoulder blade.
Google “Ribs popping out because of cancer” “Is the knot in my shoulder a tumour?” “Can cancer go undiagnosed for 2 years”
I read more news. A woman who is 35 has stage 4 colon cancer and is sharing her story. Wait a minute, I’ve been having stomach pain lately. We have a large history of colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, and polyps in our family. Google symptoms for all of those. Symptoms include stingy poop, ribbon-like stools, blood in the stool. Google pictures of what colon cancer poop looks like. Don’t google what colon cancer poop looks like, it’s disgusting.
Wait I don’t have blood in my stool. That’s a big thing. Google “colon cancer no blood” and read some horror stories. Google is not a good place to be right now. More self talk. You are fine. YOU ARE FINE. Maybe I should talk to my doctor about a colonoscopy?! Note to self, make sure you pay more attention to your stools.
Someone on Facebook is talking about their breasts being itchy. Someone else has commented and their back pain was undiagnosed stage 4 breast cancer. Yes, we’re back to this again. My right breast has been itchy lately, I have back pain. Google more symptoms of breast cancer, stage 4 breast cancer, and expand the search to lung cancer.
More self-talk. You are fine. Everything is fine. Make a note to self to start saving because I don’t get EI and if something happens we have to pay the bills. My kids would be devastated. What happens if I die?
You are fine. YOU ARE FINE.
Someone shared a GoFundMe for a mom in her 40’s who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She has young kids, the bills are adding up. This is devastating, I don’t know this person but I am taking this story so personally. Is this the universe telling me that something is REALLY wrong? I believe in signs – like when one door closes another one opens so is THIS a sign? Could this be the exception to the rule type of thing?
You are fine. YOU ARE FINE.
This is my reality and it’s something that I work on every single day.
Dealing with health anxiety is like a perpetual circle of worrying with a little bit of relief added in every so often. I replay all of the thoughts and worries that have plagued me today and am now aware that I am spiralling into some slight paranoia and that it’s time to step back and realign my thoughts. I feel better, I am calmer. I don’t feel as anxious but I still have that slight “what if” feeling. It will go away after a bit.