Health anxiety/obsession

I’m tired of myself. I constantly think about, worry about, and talk about my symptoms and concerns…which is largely why I started this blog, actually. I don’t want to be totally tiresome to the people who still listen to me. 

I need a happy medium. One where I think about my body just enough to keep it propped up, fed, exercised, and appropriately hydrated and rested, but where I am not thinking about, or constantly needing to think about, how I’m feeling and what it MEANS. I spend too much time consulting all the things my phone and watch track and worrying about my blood pressure/blood sugar. I do need to keep track of all that stuff, but at some point, which I believe I’ve passed, it’s not helpful. 

I *know* my heart rate goes up when I get up and move around. I know my pulse pressure is often really narrow. I know that probably these things contribute to the symptoms I have, but whether they do or not at any given time does not really change anything. I seem to believe, deep down, that with enough careful obsessive self-observation I will finally figure out exactly what is going on to cause the symptom in question. That belief is probably false and leads to a LOT of wasted time. 

But I can’t just ignore all of it and don’t worry, be happy, because if I fail to accurately monitor how I’m feeling, I will end up horizontal either immediately or eventually for some span of time, feeling like hell. I have legitimate concerns that cause me to ensure I’m not about to kill off my kidneys with high blood sugar or hypertension or collapse from low potassium, and it’s indisputable that if I fail to rest when I need to the consequences are dire. When I ignore how I’m feeling and push through, it goes badly. So I would like to develop a Goldilocks version of self-monitoring. Not too much, not too little, but just right. 

It’s as if, after spending months if not years lying around feeling totally at the mercy of unknown forces, now that I have a diagnosis that explains what happens to me, I now feel overly dedicated to figuring out how to CONTROL IT. Well, that probably isn’t possible. Railing against fate has been replaced with trying to control EVERYTHING. Not helpful. 

If I have a good day, I wring my brain out trying to figure out what magical thing I did or did not to cause that, so I can do it again, and the converse applies to bad days. Best I’ve figured out so far is that mostly shit just happens some days, and I may never know why. 

Also on my wish list: figuring out how to avoid feeling dimly frightened most of the time. I’ve had two bad, bad falls in the last year, one of which resulted in a broken hand. Those experiences seem to have left me constantly anxious and hypervigilant almost all the time. I detest, for example, just having to cross a concrete parking lot. Because that would be a hard surface to fall on. I get all tense and experience a dozen falls a day in my head, most of which never materialize. Again: lots of wasted time and energy. Do I need to exercise caution about falling? Absolutely. Do I need to let it take over my life? No. 

I seem to have accepted having a chronic health problem that needs daily TLC. Now I need to accept that after I’ve done what I can to provide that TLC, I need to let go and live my life as best I can. 

 

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