ENOUGH……A HYPOCHODRIAC’S TALES OF THE BAD, SCARY AND HILARIOUS MOMENTS ON THIS JOURNEY……
Here I was sitting in another 50 degree doctor’s office with sweaty palms and a racing heart. I was freezing, however sweating profusely. My mind was spinning out of control as I was telling myself, “Sandi you are definitely a goner!”……again. The fear I felt I had felt 1oo times before and it still felt as real as those other moments. For some reason though as always I knew this time I was a goner and I knew the doctor would diagnose me with Inflammatory breast cancer. I had received an email describing this awful disease three weeks prior and of course by reading it, I had it. There was no cure and even a mammogram sometimes could not detect it. Despite my mammogram being clear I had this disease. No matter what the doctor said! I had the red pimple like dots on my breast that would appear and disappear. This symptom was the one that sent me in hysteria and to my nurse practitioner. She knows my history of attacks and felt the only way I could move on was send me to a breast specialist. So here I was, still sweating and waiting in tears for him to walk through the door. A few moments later he came in and examined both of my breasts and put my crazy mind at ease. Once again I felt that wonderful sensation of relief as I was getting dressed. The feeling always felt like I had just had a glass of wine on an empty stomach. The happy buzz hit quickly and I savored the moment because I was uncertain of how long this would last. As soon as I got into my car, I silently celebrated my health again. As I was trying to celebrate my mood switched w/o any warning and I broke down instantly. I could feel the happy buzz fading however all of my anxiety leaving my body. My mini celebration was over and I sat there for a few moments with tears coming down my flushed red cheeks. “Enough,” I silently said to myself. “Enough.” I knew sitting there at that moment in the parking lot I could not keep doing this to myself. The enemy was slowly destroying my soul and I had to take control. The only ways to do that was go deep inside of myself and slowly look back at where this started. I immediately knew and went all the way back to third grade.
I was sitting on the floor in my third grade classroom. We were working on a book report and I was researching which president I was going to write about. I don’t know why, but I chose Zachary Taylor. As I was reading about his life, I didn’t find much of anything interesting until I scrolled all the way down to the end of his biography and noticed he died of heat stroke. My very first “pang” of anxiety reached my tummy and little did I know for the next several years I would of have hundreds more of those “pangs.” Do I look back and wish I could of chose a different president? A few years ago I would of said, “Hell yes!” Now though, I know nothing happens on accident and I needed to use this personal experience and information to share it with others who may be having the same issues.
I did not know what this “pang’ was but that day my life changed. I went home after school and had no appetite whatsoever and started with the first several questions to my mom that would not end until my twenties. I wanted to know everything my mom knew about heat stroke and more importantly if she thought I had it. From that day on, I slept in my mother’s bed every night until I went to college. Yes, as weird as it sounds she was the only one during those years that knew how to calm me down. Each night I cried and she rubbed my back. When school was out for that summer I was convinced on the hot days that I had heat stroke, just like good old President Taylor. That was the beginning into this comical journey, however scary disease that kidnapped most of my early years.
Let’s move forward. In junior high school I finally overcame heatstroke. Since that day, I found myself reading obituaries or watching a lot of Trapper John MD. Seeing or reading of how one died would send me into frenzy. After watching Trapper John on a Saturday night with my parents I would immediately wake up Sunday morning with similar symptoms. My patient mother would try and talk me down from my fanatic state. Finally, my mom and dad put two and two together and said no more Trapper John for me. I could not figure out why I wanted to keep on reading or watching things about disease and death. Each time I read, I was paralyzed with this painstaking fear. In the 7th grade I specifically remember reading a book about two sisters. The younger sister was always jealous of the older one who was prettier and had more friends, boys, and fun. The younger sister actually hated her sister until one night the older sister woke up in the middle of the night with a severe bloody nose. She was later diagnosed with Leukemia and wound up dying. Immediately I was afraid of falling asleep at night. I remember waking up in the morning and looking at my pillow right away to see if there were any blood stains on it. How sick is that? My focus on school during my anxiety suffered terribly. My dad did not understand this and would try and make light of it with teasing while my mom’s way of coping with it was telling me I was not “original” and lots of other people had symptoms like my own. I would ask my mom “Is it normal for this to occur or that to happen?” I know I was wearing her down and now being a mother, I understand completely since my son has the beginning stages of this mind controlling demon.