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Everything posted by SurferJoe

  1. It's been a long haul. I was obsessed over swallowing from late September through just recently due to a hard swallow I had. The morphed briefly into a BM worry last week. My stool looked red, but that cleared up within a day or two. Now I'm on to something else. I made the mistake of reading a CNN article about a guy who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness (I won't go into details). He didn't have many symptoms before his diagnoses (and I didn't read very far into the article before I shut it down), but I saw that he had a weird feeling in his stomach. I now have a weird feeling in my stomach. It felt bloated and sore Monday night through Tuesday. Since then I've just felt very, very hungry. It's like I can't get full. There are some other things going on. My Valium prescription ran out and my psych has not refilled it (not sure what is going on). I probably have not been eating enough, which could account for being hungry all the time. My brain wants to say hey, you have the exact same symptoms of the guy you read about and that means you also have the exact same illness. What are the odds of that a day or two after reading about it. Not likely, right? That said, I don't feel right. I just want this to end. I'm so tired of worrying and worrying and worrying.
  2. Glad you've gotten it checked out. I've had similar experiences and yes, it was stress and anxiety. I've found a common way that anxiety physically manifests in my body is heart related: pain, soreness, etc.
  3. First time I went on Tuesday it looked the same and that freaked me out, but went again and everything looked normal. Same with today. I think it was (knock on wood) from what I ate on Sunday.
  4. Stool issues again this morning. Ugh. I noticed some red. I think I can chalk this up to what I ate yesterday: Korean food with purple rice and also a bag of those French burnt peanuts (red food coloring). I think, I think, I think. I'm still rattled, however.
  5. Ugh. This HA flare up won't go away. I've moved on from my initial swallowing worry, but I still have a swallowing worry. To recap, this first bit of worry was after a hard swallow of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I felt it low in my chest. That is what I obsessed about for nearly 2 months, obsessing over every swallow, looking for anything that didn't feel normal. Thankfully, I never had that experience again and it like was simply biting off more than I could chew and then forcing it down. 2 weekends ago, I was starting to feel solid again. I was eating without worrying too much. I felt like I was turning a corner, but then ran into a wall one week ago at dinner. We were eating pasta and I noticed a slight burning sensation in my upper throat, almost like an "acidic" feeling. It put me right back down the HA well. It's hit me off and on since then, now manifesting as a slight burning in my upper throat (on the left). It doesn't happen every time I swallow, but enough to keep me rattled. I'm back to obsessing over every swallow. The maddening thing is that I feel like both worries are not connected. The first was low in my chest and was a hard swallow. This is now high in my throat and more of a slight burning sensation, almost like a sore throat. My brain wants to link everything together, however. I do have some congestion in my throat (I had COVID mid-November). There could be a reason for the soreness, but I also feel like my HA is helping to manifest things. I'm just worn out by it all. I want to accept that nothing is really wrong, but I can't. I can't just let it go. I'm trying everything I can: meditation, mindfulness, exercise, journaling, therapy.
  6. Thanks for the replies. It helps to know I'm not in this alone. I struggled this weekend. I felt disconnected from my kids and my partner. She tries to be supportive, but I know it also wears her down. I'm finding that I just want to stay in bed in the morning, though I always make myself get up and get going. My current HA flare started at the end of September and it's ebbed and flowed since then. I've even found time to mix in a few other things. I felt like I was almost over it two weekends ago, but then it got me again at the beginning of the week. The current issue is related to the original one, but they're not the same. My brain links them, however. I find that I take all sorts of symptoms and lump them together to fit. I'm so tired. I'm so worn out. All I can do is to keep trying to move forward.
  7. I'm exhausted by the constant cycle of health anxiety that I just can't seem to break. I'm trying a lot right now: therapy, medication, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and on and on. I feel like I can't outrun it. Case in point, 2 months ago I wolfed down a PB&J and one of the bites went down hard, so my brain went to something wrong with my upper GI tract. It was then weeks of obsessing over every single bite and while I never had that sensation again, I would notice every sensation and chalk that up to something being wrong. I had been making progress these past few weeks, almost to the point where I felt this worry receding behind me, but then last night at dinner it came back. It was a different sensation, this time a slight burning (like heartburn) while I was eating pasta. My brain linked it all together, and now I'm spiraling backwards again. It always feels like something and last night I felt despondent, like I just couldn't do this anymore. I felt sad and worn out. If I wasn't putting in the work I wouldn't feel entitled to complain, but I am and I'm still struggling.
  8. Anxiety and worry are definite causes of back pain, and also very common causes of back pain. Muscle tension in general often comes with worry. I've been there myself. In fact, I had back pain this morning because I was worrying about something.
  9. It was a shade darker this morning (I think), but definitely a shade of brown. I have been told before that any shade of brown is okay. I'm trying to be okay with this right now.
  10. Thanks for the response, it helps. I'm surprised that this is my first poo post, though it's definitely not my first concern on the matter. Yeah, it was "normal" (I think) all weekend, but light this morning. My appetite has been weird: just not that hungry this weekend due to COVID and because I've been stuck home, I'm eating a little differently (ie. better).
  11. I was diagnosed with breakthrough COVID last Tuesday. So far, symptoms have been relatively mild - like a bad cold, but getting better. I've been feeling very anxious, however. I'm questioning everything. I went to the bathroom this morning and noticed my stool color was a light tan and I'm now obsessed with that little factoid. I would not say yellow, just a really light brown. Is it related to COVID? Is it related to my body fighting off a virus? I've been taking ibuprofen and Mucinex. My stomach has not been bothering me, though I have had a limited appetite the last few days.
  12. This sounds exactly like what I'm going through. It's funny you mention Arby's. The day after I first started obsessing, I went to Arby's because there is one by my office and I thought it would be a good test to prove nothing is wrong. It went down fine, but I thought about every single swallow. I find myself testing things, but also worrying about meals. Is that next bite going to confirm my worst fears? Probably not, but it's hard to shake. It's especially frustrating because I felt I had moved beyond this worry last night. I felt convinced that all was good and that I'd had enough normal days to feel okay, but then this morning that voice came back into my head.
  13. Thanks for the thoughts. Deep down I agree with everything you wrote. It was a bad way to eat a sandwich and also a sensation I've had before and I think most of the time I'd just be able to pass it off. This time it got caught in my mind, but I'm feeling positive about it and hoping to be able to work through it.
  14. I woke up for a midnight snack on Wednesday and made myself a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. I ate it quick because I was worried about the peanut butter dripping, so didn't really chew very well and it was one bit on top of the next. One swallow was kind of painful, like too much going down. It triggered something and now I'm worried about it. I feel like I had a reason for my difficulty swallowing, but still cannot put it out of my head. No issues leading up to that moment (though I went through a bad swallowing anxiety maybe 10 years ago). I'm now hyper sensitive about swallowing. I'm overthinking something that should be normal. I've been eating normally and have not had a repeat of Wednesday night, but I'm fearful. I'm noticing everything about swallowing, so even something small is cause for me to freak out. I've been bouncing around between anxiety issues recently, so this is just the latest thing to get stuck on. Any positive thoughts would be helpful. Thanks! PS: I really had zero symptom/worries up until that moment, not even a hint of anything wrong. I've not had anything close to that since then, despite eating normally. I ate 2 large sandwiches yesterday, for instance. I would think this would be something I could just push past by eating without any issues, but I've become so sensitive to the process of swallowing that I feel like I'm grasping at little sensations as proof that something is wrong. I think what I felt is normal and a reminder to chew my food properly, but as someone with HA, it's hard to let go.
  15. I have not had any swelling or really any actual pain. It's more of an off sensation in that area. It's something I notice almost out of the corner of my eye if that makes sense. I had no worries until the initial incident and even that was minor. It just opened up the idea to my mind and my anxiety seized on it. That said, I do think maybe a physical component has developed. The more I focus on that part of my body, the more tension I think I carry, so now I do have moments where I have some soreness related to that.
  16. About a month ago, my partner accidentally kneed me in the groin while we were sleeping. It felt like it does when someone (or something) gets you in the testicles. She felt awful about it, but purely an accident. I then made the leap that something was wrong with my testicles and I spent the next 30 minutes checking them over for anything wrong. It became rather obsessive. My brain kept saying check and then check again in case you missed something. I didn't find anything. On the rational side, I know nothing happened out of the ordinary. That part of my anatomy is really sensitive and it got bumped and I felt something. It's happened before. I just can't let go of the worry. It has manifested itself into a lingering on and off again pain (mostly just a dull sensation) in the general area of my groin (mostly on one side). I can tell myself a multitude of reasons why this is all in my head. The symptom came after the anxiety trigger. I have felt this anxiety/sensation before. The off putting sensation/pain comes and goes. It has not been constant over the past month. It has gone away for minutes and hours and days and even weeks. It "vanishes" whenever my brain is focused on something else. It actually completely vanished last weekend. We went away and while I was worried about it on Friday morning, I felt nothing all the way through Monday night and then it got triggered again. This time, I was drying off after a shower and I noticed the skin on my inner thigh was red and sore, most likely from all of the walking I did last weekend, but then bang, the odd groin pain came back. It was really hard to take. I thought I was passed whatever this was and before I could truly take a breath it was back. I do wonder if there is now a physical component. I wonder if my brain focusing all of this energy towards that part of my body causes it to tense up. That is almost what it feels like. It's also worse when I spend the day sitting at work. It will feel normal when I wake up, but throughout the day I can feel it creeping in and taking hold. That might be why it has felt better on days when I'm up and moving most of the day (like last weekend). Anyway, thanks for listening. Deep down I feel like this is in my head, but I just can't seem to shake it. It will be gone for a period of time, but then it's back.
  17. My appointment went well. I'm glad I went in, but it was a really tough time building up to it.
  18. I'm anxiously counting down the hours until I go. Skin cancer has been a long health anxiety go to for me. It flares up now and then. I was anxious about a mole earlier this year. My doctor looked at it and didn't think it looked suspicious, but he suggested I go to a dermatologist. He gave me an option: wait for a dermatologist in his network (could take a month or 2) or go to a standalone dermatology clinic. I could get in there faster, but it was going to be more expensive. I went that route. The dermatologist agreed it was not suspicious, but removed it anyway. I then went back to my doctor for my yearly physical and he asked if I'd had a full body skin checkup. Darn. I did not ask about that when I was at the dermatologist. I've stewed on that for a few weeks and then had a skin related anxiety flare-up the other day. I woke up this morning and decided to get something scheduled. I chose a doctor who was part of my medical network and made an appointment. As I mentioned above, however, I didn't expect to get in so quickly. This is good and bad. It's good because I don't have to wait. It's "bad" because it's a lot to get my head around very quickly. I actually had the thought this morning on my drive in that it would be great to just get checked right away, but I didn't expect it would be an option.
  19. I called to make an appointment and they said, hey, he actually has an opening today. I guess that rarely happens and they chalked it up to a cancellation. I took the appointment. I was kind of expecting that it would take several weeks to get an appointment and then I'd have time to build up my courage to go, but on the other hand it also feels okay not to have to wait. I can just gut it out and get it done with.
  20. Self talk helps me a lot. Your anxiety represents an irrational side of your thought process. Listen to those thoughts, but then let your rational mind respond. For instance, you mention that you've been really anxious lately, but then say you guess it's your new job. Have that conversation in your head. Hear the irrational part express worry, but then use the rational side to respond. Same thing with the twitches. Just keep the conversation going. It might take time, but it's a good habit to develop.
  21. Skin cancer is a common go to for me. I went and saw a dermatologist earlier this year for a "suspicious" spot. She decided it wasn't anything to worry about, but decided to take it off if it would help ease my anxiety. I'm now working on getting an appointment for a full skin checkup. This is causing me anxiety. On one hand, I know being proactive is good. I'd rather things were caught early, but I'm also worried they will find something. Ignorance is bliss (sometimes), but also not bliss. It sometimes feels like I can never win.
  22. It sounds like you're going through a lot and stress can definitely cause everything you've mentioned. I've found stress leads to physical symptoms leads to anxiety leads to stress and on and on. I've definitely experienced a fluttering feeling before. It's frightening for sure. I've even asked my doctor about it and he told me very likely a stress/anxiety response.
  23. I know it's not easy, but best thing to do is just to take the plunge and get it looked at.
  24. I went to my appointment and the dermatologist didn't see anything wrong with it. She did give me the option of having it removed and I took her up on it. I have to wait a week or so for results, but I'm not too worried (for now). Glad I went in. Glad I had it removed. Hope to get good news and then can put it out of my mind.