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Old 10-07-2002, 05:43 PM
RubberSoul RubberSoul is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Great Lakes, USA
Posts: 191
I Am Seriously Freaking Out

I need to solicit some free GC psychotherapy here.....

Let me say that I am not (or at least I never used to be) a neurotic person when it came to my health. I pretty much have always taken the typical "I am invincible" standpoint that all young people do. I had one brief interlude when I was about 19 where I was convinced I had a life-threatening disease, but my concerns were legitimate and once I knew I was ok I got over it.

I was born with a condition called SVT.....to explain it quickly, I would have these episodes where my heart would begin to pound extremely hard and fast (over 200 beats per minute) and I would get a kind of burning pain in my chest. I was told from the time I was 7 or so that it was benign, and was just monitored and medicated over the years. In May of 2001 I finally had a procedure where this problem was remedied, which involved a heart catheterization and ablation procedure.....I have not had an episode since. I do still have miscellaneous thumps and bumps, and I have to watch my blood pressure (bad genes!!!!!!) but I am basically ok.

NOW the good part.........my grandfather (mom's dad) dropped dead at 52 of a massive heart attack. Granted, he had been a smoker and I think a drinker, but 52 is awfully young to die. My mom was paranoid when she turned 52.....she had not taken the greatest care of herself and had spent most of her 30s and all of her 40s obese.....though she lost the weight at roughly 50 she developed type2 diabetes (major risk factor.) She did not take it very seriously despite this. Once she hit 53 I think she felt like she had dodged the bullet and would be ok. Unfortunately she was wrong. At 57, she literally dropped dead right in front of my eyes. She had just gotten out of the hospital after an emergency quintuple bypass (up until that week we had NO idea she had heart disease.) She was put on life support but after 5 days it was over. That very night I began to have panic attacks.....even I was able to realize that it was a direct result of the trauma of my mom's death, but I had a hard time controlling it and the fear that I was going to die young too.

Now I have just learned that my uncle, (mom's brother) who was 58, just died......I'll give you one guess as to what killed him. He had a pretty serious heart attack right after my mom died and never really took care of himself right. This time he was washing his car and it hit him. He called 911 but died in the ambulance. His 15 year-old son called my Aunt Cathy (Uncle David and my mom's sister) with the news.

I (and my aunt, who is 43) are both completely freaked out. I have been trying to get myself in the best possible condition, both mentally and physically. I have been working out. I have been doing running/speed walking intervals. I have been eating much more carefully and trying to pare off a little weight, though I am not by any means obese. I have been through 2 cycles of grief counseling to help me with my fears, and have seen a psychotherapist for depression/anxiety as well as going through a couple of different medications for anxiety (that I am no longer on.) I am only 30 years old!!!! I hate being like this. I feel like the hypochondriac characters Woody Allen always seems to play. On one hand I know a lot of it is in my mind, but on the other I know I have a genuine risk and need to do what I can now to prevent myself from following the same doomed path. So now what?
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