Stress or Worry?



Pick your poison..are you are worrier?  How is your stress response?

Stress is essential for survival. The chemicals it triggers help us to cope with difficulty, but too much stress can cause health problems.   Stress is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands.  Stress can be a motivator.  It can be essential to survival. The “fight-or-flight” mechanism can tell us when and how to respond to danger.
There is a difference between stress and anxiety. …Stress is caused by an existing stress-causing factor or stressor. Anxiety is stress that continues after that stressor is gone. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or even anxious.

These were some definitions I found on the internet.   Who hasn’t had or is constantly stressing?  I think we are either stressed or worried.   No wonder we talk about happy pills because it is difficult to relax and be happy.       I think some stress helps motivate me to get stuff done.  I think I am an excessive worrier and it would explain my early onset gray hair…OR maybe it is just my genetics.

There is work stress, home stress and constant worrying.   You have kids you worry!  Your husband gets ill you worry!  I get ill and I worry about my family! I know it sounds crazy however death sounds peaceful because it would put a stop to my incessant worrying.  I actually relax when I think about it..  Told you I have issues.

While I was recovering from the lumpectomy and SNB (sentinel node biopsy) both my husband and son got sick.    My Doctor tells me to not get sick.  I am thinking that’s right I have cancer and I am not sick….uh huh.   I was definitely on the mend and it did make sense not to be exposed to something that could compromise my immune system further.    Mike is told he has the flu and must rest and is given nothing for treatment which is customary for flu symptoms.  Few days, later my son is coughing and feeling sick.  He is diagnosed with strept.  I was the healthiest of the bunch…

I decided the house needed a decontamination.  I was opening up windows and doors for 10 minutes daily even though the temperatures were -30 degrees.  Out with the bad and in with the good germs.    I am also planning to have a priest come in and bless this house in the near future.  I strongly feel we have had a spirit of negativity around this house as we have battled multiple illnesses, multiple deaths in the family and other  challenges.   For example, I had to hold it together when my husband was ill in 2002, 2012, 2014 as he had 3 major surgeries….all life threatening.  A blog for another time.  I think I am suffering from PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) as a result of some of that.

I did end up picking up a sinus cold from the pair of them but it was gone within a few days and without the need of antibiotics probably because I have been eating clean and loading up with my vitameatavegamins!  My son recovered well after taking antibiotics.

Meanwhile Mike’s still isn’t right.  His symptoms are unusual weakness, fatigue, digestive pains (bloating, gas, cramps) and diarrhea.  As he describes it, after he eats anything he has the “spray shits”.   He can be quite descriptive to help you get the visual.   He has had this so-called flu for approximately 4 weeks now.   He also has lost about 10-12 lbs.   His Doctor asked him to provide several stool samples and do that colon cancer poop on a stick test.   I was beside myself when he was asked to do that test.   Likely because I was thinking of his sister,  Kathleen,  Twin of Madleen, who passed away Jan 18th, 1998.   She suffered from Krohn’s disease and fought a tough battle with colon cancer.    So I turned into “the Doc” researching other options with Dr. Google.  I told him he may have picked up C-difficile from the hospital, the day of my surgery.  My mind was spinning out all kinds of possible diseases, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis or diverticulitis etc.   I was sick to think not something else…he has had enough hasn’t he?

So when earlier this week, the Doctor’s office wanted him to come in today, Sunday Feb 18th, to discuss his public health results, I was fearful of  what we would be told.  Planning for what lay ahead, I am visualizing us doing chemo treatments together and getting our wills updated.  I told him we really are soul mates and not cell mates like he likes to joke.

Then we get the news!  It was fantastic!   Ok not so fantastic however you could feel the tension and relief drop from both of our faces when we are told Mike has a parasite.  Yeah!  A monster inside him!  Mike’s Doctor suggests we name this parasite pet.  Mike calls it Wilbur the Wanderer and I suggested we should call it Percy.   Mike is on coumadin for his heart valve and we are told the specific antibiotic required to kill Wilbur will wreak havoc with his INR (internal normalized ratio) levels.  Basically he takes coumadin to ensure his blood doesn’t clot for his valve to work and this drug will actually make his blood too thin which is equally as dangerous as he could hemorrhage etc..  He will need to be very closely monitored.

So naturally I am still a little worried about this because I can’t shut the worry off.   He has to get his bloodwork done on Tuesday, and then they can determine when he can start treatment.  Doctor figures it will be gone in 7 days once he starts.

Immediately we both agree he picked up this pet at the hospital on Jan 18th as his symptoms started about 1 or 2 days after that date.   Apparently the doctor says it is likely from some fecal matter.   The analyst in me, reminds Mike about the man, a patient, that was sitting directly across from me when we were waiting for me to go into surgery.  Let’s put it this way, his gown was on but I could see 2 dangling and hairy sagging sacks from under his gown that made me nearly toss my cookies.   I guess I can be descriptive too..just trying to help you visualize.   I further conclude, if those hairy gonads were dangling, then that man would have had his bare butt on the chair so who knows what fecal matter was left in that waiting room area.  Mike told me to stop talking.  I asked again, you remember don’t you?   He says, I remember but I just took your word for it and never looked.   Then with disgust he said, let’s not say it was that.  He also told me when I went into surgery he also helped another patient out by helping them get up and could of got it from that person.   That will teach him to be nice to people…always the nice guy.   Regardless of how he got Jasmine the jumper, I mean Wilbur, our focus is to get rid of it.

You don’t really realize what this worry, anxiety and stress does to your body.  I struggle daily with trying not to worry and learning ways to relax.  I have tried some meditation…not sure it works for me but I think I have to try it more consistently.  Deep breathing helps too!  Also I think I have to retrain my brain.  I read somewhere that you need to identify the frightening thought, being as detailed as possible about what worries you and instead of as viewing them as thoughts, treat them as hypotheses that you are testing out.  If all else fails I do what my work husband, Bob, use to tell me and chant “serenity now, serenity now”.



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