Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Know What You're Thinking. You Think I'm Paranoid!

Life is one big conspiracy!

Okay, no, not that type of paranoia.  But I do suffer regularly from bouts of paranoia.  After my second child was born I dove into the deepest depression I had ever known.  A good friend of mine at the time pushed me into an appointment with her mom group for Post Partum Depression.  I had no idea I was 'depressed.'  I took offense afterward when people would say things like "I didn't know you were sad."  or "You could have called me..."  See, for me depression never included crying or being sad.
I was angry.  Always angry. Everything was unfair. And I was tired.  Oh, so very tired. I lived in a zombie like state for a few months, barely functioning any more than absolutely necessary.  In my opinion I was not depressed, just shortchanged.  Short on sleep, short on help, short on everything.
Depression is another story for another day.  I've got lots to say on that topic!

One of the things I learned about myself during this group is that I am a catastrophizer.  I am apt to turn that molehill into a mountain, at least in my brain, and rational thinking need not apply.  At the time I was in the group, my ability to see the worst case scenario always paralyzed me.  I could not push past it and I lived in near constant fear of the 'inevitable.'  

One example, still troubles me occasionally, comes with ATV's.  We are an ATV family.  I am incredibly proud of the way the trucker teaches my boys about responsibility and safe riding. I am thrilled that they are not allowed on any machine without helmets.  He is very careful to train them well as he knows that one small mistake can be deadly.  He is convinced that once I get comfortable driving one, I will be an addict.  But I can't ride with him.  I wouldn't want to ride with anyone else, but I can't ride with him.

The mere thought of it brings spiraling emotions about the worst case scenario.  Both of us riding at the same time, means that if something happens, it happens to us BOTH, which means that my children could end up with NO parents, which means I should have updated that will... My kids would have to move, they'd have to change schools, they'd be miserable.  The baby girl would forget us, they could end up mean bitter people......
It's easy to wind yourself up.  
Hard to unwind.  
I understand that the likelyhood of this happening is extremely small.  I understand that he is a good safe driver.  I understand that it is not a good idea to live in fear of .... life...
However, in this situation, I give in and let the fear take over. And I don't care.  I don't really have an interest in ATVs, I don't want to learn, I don't need to 'live on the edge.'  I am happy to let them go as 'boys' for an afternoon. They wouldn't have fun if I was there watching and worrying either. 

This week, I found a lump on my foot.  
I have been having problems with my calf on the same leg recently and I was kind of worried that whatever it was, has moved.  I think if it is related, this could be bad.  I had no end of nightmares all week as I wait for my appointment with my doctor.  I called Tuesday morning, can't get in until Thursday afternoon. (I have a story about finding family doctors coming too) The day of my appointment felt like eternity. Minutes felt like hours.  I just wanted to get there and get this over with.  I had thoughts about cancer or blot clots and more.  I was dreaming about surgeries and other treatments.  I have been agitated constantly and since it hurts every time I step the wrong way, I am constantly reminded of it too.
There is no break from it.

Even if it was worst case scenario, this just showed up Monday, you can't say I didn't catch it quick.  But I have contemplated every angle, just in case.  Will I need to change work, take time off, will I have to have help, if there were surgery I would need more help with kids, I can't lift the angel baby when I can't put much weight on that foot.What if it is connected??  What if it's cancer or something and it started somewhere else?  What if I'm already too late?  What if the pain in my leg was the warning to get looked at and I didn't listen and now it's moved farther?
What IF???

So, I visit the doctor.  Wait a long and painful hour in the waiting room.  Wait another 20 minutes in the exam room.  Finally she comes in.  We discuss my concerns.  She checks me out.  Sends me for an X-ray.
Guess What?
It's a minor cyst on my foot, caused solely by irritation. Probably bad shoes.  Completely UNRELATED to the pain in my leg.  Which is a tear in a muscle.  Caused by not stretching properly when I started exercising more to reverse the weight gain from not smoking.
"Congrats on not smoking!"  She says.

Bad News?  The bump on my foot could take a long time to go away.
Good news? Nothing major. It WILL go away.  I don't need surgery.  I don't even need medication.
Prescription?  Anti-inflammatory gel. Occasional Ibuprofen. Patience.  New SHOES.

Paranoia sucks.  Worst Case Thinking sucks.  
But on the bright side, I've always got a plan for WHATEVER might happen!

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