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ConstantWorrying last won the day on November 11 2018

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  1. The throat clearing is from whatever virus or bacterial infection I got a few days ago (which has been moving around in terms of which area (s) of my head it affects). But the frequent clearing triggered something that I normally get after eating too fast or something along those lines.
  2. I had this once before back in 2005, and I managed to get rid of it by pressing a pillow to my diaphragm or something. This time, it seems like lying flat on my back relieves it...but then when I stand up, it comes right back. What does this sound like? I'll tell you, getting a flu/sinus infection/meningitis/whatever this thing is when your diaphragm is messed up is life ending. I don't know how much more I can take of this before committing s****de.
  3. I do have the worst headache of my life, and it won't go away.
  4. Last night, I developed a sore throat (or more like nasal passage) and today, I woke up with a really bad headache and some muscle soreness/chills. I was thinking, "oh, this is probably the flu"...and then my Google search led to meningitis and how bacterial meningitis is often fatal. Great. I don't think I really have too much of a case of stiff neck yet (although I've had random bouts of stiff neck over the years without any symptoms accompanying it), and the thermometer doesn't seem to be showing a fever. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do, but I don't think I could bring myself to do a spinal tap anyway.
  5. For me, when I look at text, it's closer and clearer (easier to read) in my left eye than my right. I think I have an astigmatism in my right eye, but I'm not sure that's the only problem.
  6. I see the term, "pencil-thin," but then I have encountered people commenting on pictures of what's in someone's toilet and calling things much thicker than a pencil "pencil-thin." I've been having thinner than normal stools for several days now, but at their thickest, they're slightly over an inch. Is that considered normal? I guess the concern is that regardless of whether it's considered normal in a general sense, I have noticed it's a little thinner than what I'm used to, so it's abnormal for me. I also read a Pubmed article that stated that the idea of thin stools being linked to colon cancer is not actually scientifically proven.
  7. Remember what I said about melanoma in situ. It's not life-threatening. 0 chance of killing you when removed with wide excision. "Atypia" just means (and this isn't just in layman's terms), "we aren't sure." The differential diagnosis is melanoma in situ (0% chance of killing you) vs. nevus. When they say "atypia," they're saying, "I don't know whether this is a nevus or a melanoma in situ." That's it. The problem is doctors suck at explaining this stuff, and many of them still believe in the outdated "pre-cancer" (dysplastic/atypical) model. The myth of pre-cancer has evolved over many years, from doctors originally thinking that only elevated lesions could even be melanoma, to thinking only HUGE flat melanomas were the start of melanoma, to now believing that new lesions that look like nevi start out benign and then transform into cancer. But the recent research demonstrates that a lesion is either benign or malignant from the very moment it first appears on the skin, and doctors and pathologists just don't know until it evolves enough to show its characteristics. Get the wide excision and then just make sure to get more frequent checkups (because as I said before, those who have had one melanoma in situ have a higher chance of some day getting another...because if the conditions in your body were there for it to happen once, there's a higher chance of it happening again). I would also recommend doing a monthly self check on your skin and keeping picture records. But once again, to reiterate: Melanoma in situ poses no risk once it is widely excised. Superficial spreading melanoma (flat) takes a long time to go from in situ to stage 1. The concern would be if they had actually diagnosed it as melanoma in situ. If they're confident in a melanoma in situ diagnosis, there's a small chance of it actually being stage 1, where the survival rate, while still extremely high, isn't quite 100%. But if they're on the fence about whether to even call it melanoma in situ, it sure as hell isn't stage 1. I think the main thing is you have to adjust your way of viewing the word, "cancer." Not all "cancer" is created equal. Not even close. Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer, and that kills exactly nobody, ever (well, there have been like 100 cases in history where it killed people, but that was out of millions and millions of cases...BCC is so common it's a joke). Melanoma - the superficial spreading kind - is something that only becomes deadly when you leave it to evolve for a long time. That's the reason many dermatologists will now leave lesions they are unsure about on the skin for anywhere from 3 months to a year, and follow up. Because they know that at a certain point in a flat lesion's appearance on the skin, if it is melanoma, they have plenty of time to catch it and remove it before it poses any threat to the life of the patient.
  8. For the past couple of weeks, despite recently adding a lot more fiber to my diet, I've been backed up the worst I can remember being. It's not that I'm not able to pass any stool, it's that the stuff I'm passing is nowhere near enough. It's not pencil thin stools or anything, but they're light, floating ones, with not nearly enough bulk for the amount of food I've been eating. I read that floating stools can either be from high fat content or a lot of gas. I THINK it's gas, because they eventually sink. I would think if it's from fat content, they would stay afloat indefinitely...but what do I know? The other thing is that when I think I'm close to getting the urge, I can feel it getting "lower" the sensation is at the 3rd to last step, but there's never that final "push" to the 2nd to last step to where I'm completely ready to go...if you know what I'm referring to? I go in there without feeling that ideal sensation and manage to get out unsatisfying stools. Couple this with the fact that I've noticed my abdomen on either side of my belly button has been uneven since the middle of last year, and I really don't see how this isn't a bowel tumor.
  9. Is this a sign of a retinal tear? The descriptions for symptoms for a retinal tear are confusing to me. "Flashes of light"...what does that mean, exactly? I also have a ton of floaters in that eye...I think many more than I remember having as a kid. I don't know when all of this began, though.
  10. It's for the reason I said in my prior post; they want to make sure it was properly excised just in case it was melanoma in situ. They'll use language like "just in the very unlikely event it's pre-cancer," but all "pre-cancer" means is diagnostic uncertainty as a result of the fact that really early in melanoma's development stage, when it is at a stage where it's completely incapable of metastasizing, it is indistinguishable from a benign nevus.
  11. Well, I know quite a bit about dermatopathology having obsessively studied it on the internet out of my own fear, so I can reassure you, but you're going to have to pay close attention to what I say, because the language used here can throw people off. When something is diagnosed as "atypical" or "dysplastic," that really just means that the clinician is uncertain as to whether it's a very early cancer (melanoma in situ) or a benign lesion (nevus). BUT: When something is at a stage where it is diagnosed as such, even if it is cancer, it poses literally 0 chance of killing you after it is removed. None. A melanoma in situ never, ever kills you after it is properly removed. That lesion is gone forever because it had - at the point it was removed - no ability to metastasize at that stage of development. The only things you need to make sure of are as follows: 1. They get the recommended margins. This is where you should ask for clarification about the management protocol. 2. You get more frequent checkups. The reason for this is if you have had one melanoma in situ, there's a higher chance you will have another at some point in your life. The good thing about melanoma is that with frequent checks, you can nearly always catch it before it becomes life threatening (since superficial spreading melanoma takes years to go from in situ to stage 1). And let me reiterate: This doesn't mean it was melanoma in situ. It probably was just a nevus (completely benign). But even on the off chance that it was melanoma in situ, this lesion, in and of itself, poses absolutely no threat to you after it is properly removed.
  12. I mean, completely absent any trauma. I have searched all over the internet and can't find anything on it. My body is just a joke. To describe the condition: Seemingly overnight (or in a matter of minutes), collagen will just evaporate from under my skin, leaving a dent. I have Googled all kinds of stuff related to autoimmune diseases, etc., but have had no luck finding anything like this in the literature. It just doesn't make any sense. I mean, with autoimmune diseases, from what I can tell, you would usually at least have INFLAMMATION before the scar forms. The scar wouldn't just form for no reason whatsoever. But in my case, I can get up, do something for 5 minutes, return to the bathroom..."where the F did that come from?!" No redness...just an indentation (or in some cases, it looks like pores just connected to each other in a connect-the-dots kind of way).
  13. According to renowned dermatopathologist Harald Kittler, I am.
  14. Actually, it wouldn't. Even dermatopathologists can't reliably distinguish between melanoma in situ and a nevus when it's this early. That's where the term, "dysplastic," comes from. It just means the dermatopathologist isn't sure whether it's a nevus or melanoma; not that the lesion is a "pre-cancer" (no such thing).
  15. No. If it is, it's so early that it can't be diagnosed anyway.