So, it’s Thursday again and I find myself writing. Guess I will make this a weekly thing? We’ll see.
I had planned to make a video for this week but A) I’ve been too nervous and not feeling camera ready and B) I have no idea when in the hell I would have had the time. Plus, I didn’t get around to setting up where I’d want to shoot so there’s that too.
But, down to business on how I have been feeling this pas week.
First off, OCD is not at all what I thought it was. When I hear someone say Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or more commonly OCD, I picture someone flipping the light switch on and off 33 times before proceeding or washing their hands 18 times for exactly 18 seconds each time – stuff like that. And I don’t do these things so OCD sounded absurd to me when I was told. I’m still not entirely sure what it all entails. I haven’t done much research, which for me is totally out of character. Here’s why:
My obsessions mainly involve medical paranoias and death. I realized that part. I was afraid of everything. I still am, let’s be real here. A little pain in my calf and I am convinced it a blood clot. Every headache I am afraid I am having a stroke, brain aneurism or am riddled with cancer. Cancer comes up a lot in my worries. I have chest pain and I am all too convinced I am having a heart attack, arrhythmia, developing heart failure, yada yada yada.
In the past year I have seen two different kinds of cardiologists, three different neurologists, a rheumatologist and my family doctor. I have seen each of these doctors multiple times. In addition to my OBGYN and the specialists he had sent me to upon my insisting. But I don’t even know what they are called in their specialties. Notice a pattern?
I think that the heart thing warrants some actual concern because I am actually a cardiac patient with two different arrhythmias and have had 4 heart operations for this. I wonder if this OCD thing started there? Maybe? Did it contribute? It took me a long time for a diagnosis. I came from a small town so I had to fight for myself and be my own advocate that my heart was hurting. It took me a year before a doctor believed me. And even then, only because paramedics caught it on their recording because I started to feel faint when they were present when I had called 9-1-1 for my sister who was having a seizure. So I mean, there’s some legitimacy to my madness. But I think because I was so utterly convinced that I had a heart problem and was right, that now I am so afraid of a doctor missing something else too. And then I wouldn’t be here for my children.
And don’t you worry, my children have been to the doctor’s office about a thousand times too in order to satisfy my need to hear there is nothing wrong.
Fun story here. About three years ago my son’s (now retired) paediatrician had noticed how often I frequented his office. I was concerned about a rash my son had on his chest. I had Googled and Googled and found all kinds of big bad things it could be. With list in hand asking all my questions, he stops me and says he knows what rash this is, “Looks here, he has a case of Maternal Rash. It’s nothing to worry about. Quite common actually. It’ll never quite clear up, though.” My husband starts to giggle under his breath. I wonder why this “Maternal Rash” isn’t on my list of diseases. Why hadn’t I heard of it? A very concerned me began asking another question. Allan, husband dearest, starts to howl this time. He says to me, “Maternal rash.MATERNAL. Think about it…” …. Yepp. Trolololololed by this 70 year old dude having some kicks. My maternal instincts turned this simple MILD dermatitis into all kinds of horrid diseases I was convinced my baby was going to die of. Bastards. Makes for a good story, though. — I feel like I rambled here, but wasn’t it worth it?
Back to business: I didn’t notice then that my hours spent researching rashes and childhood diseases was a compulsion. I thought I was just being a good mother doing my research and protecting my child. Right? Wrong.
I mean yeah, I should be checking rashes and making doctors appointments. But apparently, APPARENTLY, it is not normal to spend 7 hours solid researching and making lists of possible culprits. I suppose its not normal to be unable to sleep because all I can see in my mind is my baby’s funeral.
I saw both of my neurologists after this diagnosis of OCD and they were both in agreement that it made sense. Why did I go see these neurologists you ask? Well, the first is a cardiac neurologist so I really do need that guy. He diagnosed the second of my two heart arrhythmias. But the second neurologist was for the feeling faint, muscle aches, fatigue and weakness I have been having. She ran about a hundred tests and came back with nothing. Every time I left in tears because I felt she was wrong and had missed something. After our most recent visit, she was very warm and kind to me. She heard my new OCD diagnosis and just reassured me that there was nothing wrong with my nerves. I have seen this woman probably 20 times and every time she was cold and a stone. This time was different. She recommended Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). You know I went home and researched the heck out of CBT in addition to her zero findings and how she must be wrong because I clearly had x,y or z you know.
(See, told you it didn’t make sense for me to not be researching OCD. I think it’s because I am kind of terrified of what I will find out. Now, you’d thinking making lists for why I have cancer is worse than this, but in a way I am finding this way harder. I now know I have this here thing wrong with me. And there’s just something so scary about the mind. A physical illness is physical and can be addressed. You can attack it and see results or lack thereof. But the mind? I mean, we try but we hardly understand the mind. And there’s a reason I say mind here and not brain. Those are two totally different things.)
Now, I sort of know better. My obsessions are mainly medical and health related. Compulsions? The hours I spend researching and making my compilation of lists of possible diagnosis and reasons for each. (You know, I’d probably make a good addition to Dr. House’s team. No wonder I loved that show so much.)
I have since noticed many many more obsessive and unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviours in my life. It really sucks. But I feel like I have rambled on for quite a bit here. So I think I will save those thoughts for another time.
Thanks for visiting. Sorry for the insanely long post that seems like shambles of a rant. It kind of it. But this is for me more than you, so – deal with it. 🙂