Posts Tagged ‘WebMD’

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Uplifting or Pharasitical? Part 1

November 24, 2012

Around mid-October I start to really look forward to posting daily my Thanks. I start looking forward to the positive changes it makes in my attitude, wishing I had been able to keep it throughout the year. I can’t remember who issued the challenge three years ago “I challenge all my FB friends to post for the next 30 days…” and I don’t even know if they’re still on FB. A few of my FB friends credit me with challenging them to do the same. I’m flattered but the idea didn’t start with me.

About this point in November I begin to wonder about what these daily posts say about me. I plug along, finishing out the 30 days but I cringe ever time I hit “Post”.

You see, on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2010–just after I finally committed to starting this blog–I was accused of being “selfish, spoiled, self-centered and believing the world revolved around me while others were just trying to be good people daily.” Objective observers have all agreed that there was no offense on my part. **I have tried to give more details here but just the thought is causing a raging panic attack and now I must self-censor.**

But the damage was done. These accusations soon brought about panic attacks–after more than three months of not knowing why I couldn’t breathe. These panic attacks have now been classified as generalized anxiety disorder as I still suffer from them. I was sent into a depression–and I’ve never counted depression as one of my PTSD symptoms. I also believe that in addition to being genetically predisposed to PsA, the stress from this attack brought out the onset of this chronic disease when I had a random injury. Look it up–WebMD lists stress as one of the causes.

I spent months worrying about whether there was a grain of truth in that attack. Did my thankfulness posts sound conceited and spoiled? Did my close friends feel the same? Was I flaunting what I had, reminding them of what they didn’t? I tried to watch my words and my posts very carefully. But like that disappearing feeling of gratitude, the hyper-awareness of potentially being offensive wore off as I relaxed a little. Until mid-November as I tried to find unique and praise-worthy things to be thankful for–even as some of my posts last year were about “Just being able to take a step today; having a diagnosis after months of pain; etc.” Oh, yes, even those posts sounded tainted–what if I offended my friend who still doesn’t have a diagnosis or may never walk again?

I honestly cannot multi-task or divide my attention like I used to be able. I have to live with blinders on in order to function some days. I can only concentrate on one project or crisis at a time–but this doesn’t mean I wouldn’t drop everything if someone asked it of me. The problem is that often I need to be told to switch gears, to be told someone else is having a problem–especially if they don’t share as I do. It is a hard thing to swallow to have to tell a friend you’re hurting if all the “signs are there”. I often just don’t see them. Does that make me self-centered? (For that matter, what does having a blog all about me say?)

Back in 2010 was the first time in a few years that my friends and I didn’t go out for Black Friday. Most of us aren’t out there for the Big Deals… we just love to absorb the energy from all the crazy people and get into the holiday spirit. I wasn’t the only one left depressed that year. When 2011 rolled around we made a vow not to skip again. I will put this out there: in our group we have a variety of socio-economic and familial situations. Some of us aren’t worried about where the next paycheck are coming from, while others are. I’ve said I’m not out on Black Friday to score some huge deal–not necessarily because I need to save some money but because I really don’t need another TV or new bed sheets.

Perhaps that is something I truly take for granted. My friends that are barely scraping two pennies together must find the Black Friday frenzy more of a reminder of what they don’t have, rather than the relaxing (yes, I said it, relaxing) time with friends I and a few others do. We’ve tried to be sensitive to this and even limit things to just getting together for breakfast at the crack of dawn, just to celebrate the friendships we have.

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Her Hero

September 18, 2012

T2’s appointment went well. I love, LOVE her doctor. He answered all my questions about what the results mean and what tests would be next. He took such a thorough family history–even still I think Mom and I forgot some things (makes you want to go write everything down for the future and keep it on hand at all times!). And he was so nice to ask Mom about her upcoming treatments for her breast cancer.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that two of T2’s abnormals have already come back normal. We have to wait about 24 hours for the results of the other repeated test. He explained to me what happens next: if normal, “Thanks for playing!”; if not normal, they do what is called a mixed study–to see how her abnormal blood reacts to normal blood. The results tell us which factors or inhibitors are at play. He ordered an additional test to see if she has a syndrome so common most people do not know they have it.

If normal, it was just a virus that she had and I just didn’t wait long enough for it to be completely out of her system. The virus just thinned her blood out a little too much over the summer. She makes platelets and clots so that is okay.

If it is this syndrome, we decide if we need to be a little more proactive when she has viruses or dental work, and we’ll need to monitor “Aunt Flo” when that happens.

If it is this syndrome, it explains a LOT in me!

Okay, so to the hero part. T2’s first writing assignment (yeah, I LOVE this teacher!) was to write about your hero. T2 chose the Chief. I haven’t read it but because I’ve been having conversations with my spoiled princesses about selfishness vs. sacrifices lately, she has snagged on to this idea of the sacrifices the Chief makes for us.

On our way home last night, I got a call from the ship’s number. The Chief was using the expensive SAT phone to call. He did not want to wait until they were in port. He really wanted assurance (as did I) that we were not dealing with a cancer of the blood. I am fairly certain we are not (there is an acquired form of the syndrome that is linked to cancers but she does not have enough other symptoms to lead us in that direction and therefore it is probably the inherited or genetic form). My heart was aching for the Chief. I can’t imagine what he has been dealing with. Did he jump on WebMD like I did? He doesn’t exactly have the support group I have shouting at me to get off there (BTW, I wasn’t supposed to look up information on the syndrome per the doctor’s advice… but I did anyway :P). Staying off WebMD and venting to my friends via FB and requesting prayers helped keep me calm when I really didn’t feel calm. Poor Chief.

So when I hung up I told T2, “Do you realize he called on the SAT phone–we have to pay for that expensive phone call? He wanted to know how you are doing.”

“That’s why he’s my hero.”

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