Last month I started to feel a lump in my throat and immediately worry
consumed my mind. I kept my concern to myself for a few days and the lump never seemed to go away. Then I made a mistake in reading my symptoms online which frightened me so much that I started having panic attacks and depression. Eventually I lost sleep and was down to only 100 lbs. I needed some reassurance so I started to confide in people I knew. Some were very empathetic saying they too have experienced the same thing and not to “worry” but it still worried me. Some suggested it could be acid reflux, an ulcer or even stress. Another person implied the fear of a tumor. I finally made an appointment with my doctor who knows my medical history. At my appointment my blood pressure and heart rate were higher than ever. My neck was examined and thankfully there were no lumps. My doctor ruled out anything serious.
My diagnosis was allergies, asthma and anxiety. The doctor told me this weather season has contributed to many suffering with allergies. I was also diagnosed with Globus Pharyngis or Hystericus (which is a sensation that something is lodged in the throat caused by anxiety). The doctor prescribed medications and my symptoms have improved.
Now I have some work to do on myself.
I’ve always worried about my family, my job, my friends, money, and everything. It’s hard for me to turn my mind off. After the passing of my Mother my worry increased. While my mother was ill, I didn’t have time to think about what could happen to her. I was so busy taking care of her and trying to get her better, the thought of her not being here didn’t enter my mind. After she died, I was in shock. Then came depression, fear and even more worry.
A friend of mine fell very ill and needed a liver transplant. “Before my surgery the doctor told me it was a 50/50 chance,” she said. “I had to not think about the bad that could happen. I had to control my mind. “The surgery was successful and with medications she takes everyday her health has improved tremendously. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer years ago and he underwent chemotherapy and has been cancer free for years. The both of them are very spiritual. When I expressed to her that not every story has a happy ending she told me, “God has a plan for us. Only he knows our future. We can’t always control what will happen but many of us can work on our minds and find the positive. When things do turn out okay, think about all that time you spent worrying.” It’s understandable that not everyone believes or understands the same way my friend does. “That’s how I choose to get through things that are sad and scary or that I don’t understand,” she said.
I think it’s natural and okay to have worries and fears but in my case I let the unknown control me and it made me feel worse.
Worry can rob us of living life.
Today I’m okay. The discomfort in my throat comes and goes and gets worse when I become stressed. I guess this is my new “normal.” It’s going to take some time to rearrange my thinking so I’m beginning to take care of me. I’ve had acupuncture for my anxiety and other medical conditions. I’ve also started walking more and meditation. Counseling has been beneficial to as well because it allows me to voice my feelings instead of keeping them in. I can’t continue to worry about what could happen. Worrying will not change the outcome.
Try to take care of yourself if you are able. Remember to give your mind a rest too; your life could depend on it.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its
strength.” – Corrie ten Bloom