Greetings web browsers, nutty and not-so-nutty, and welcome to my new blog. I have created this site for two primary reasons (1) for my own sanity and (2) to provide some comfort (and hopefully a few laughs) to my fellow worriers who have created a rather frightening bubble of anxiety for themselves thanks to the wonders (read:horrors) of readily -available health information on the net and their own predisposition to visit crazy town on a pretty regular basis. (Embrace it, people- it's the only way.)
Anyway, here is a little about me. And, just maybe, a little bit about you.
I am a health nut. No, not the good (but, let's face it, pretty punch-worthy) kind of health nut who spends hours at the local gym, subsists on a diet of salmon and leafy greens and shudders if anyone utters the word "diet soda" in his or her presence. No, I'm a CRACKED health nut. The kind who will make a fast food run a few times a month, often skips the gym in favor of watching reruns of The Office and shudders when someone asks her to "go for a run". But also the kind who is constantly worried about being knocked off at any moment by the most debilitating and fatal disease she can think of that month.
I use humor because it's a defense mechanism and also because, despite the fact that I've never stopped suffering from this often strangling anxiety (not yet, anyway), when I look back at some of my bizarre behaviors and positively insane obsessions over the years, what can I do but laugh?
In truth, the internet was probably one of the worst inventions of modern times to co-exist with my existence. Fifty, hey - thirty - years ago, if I suddenly found myself covered with purple spots with two limbs hanging off by threads, the most I could do would be to head to the doctors and trust in their medical knowledge. With the internet, I can Google a headache and find out within seconds that I COULD be suffering from a brain tumor, an aneurysm or bacterial meningitis. Peachy.
Before I get into my long journey with health anxiety/panic disorder/ "maybe it's some kind of OCD" (thank you, psychiatric community), I need to explain what finally prompted me to create this blog. As I said, the internet is a dangerous place for us cracked nuts and it has been a rare and reassuring moment that I've come upon a blog, message board or medical web site that offered some compassion, had someone write "It's OK. I've had this too. And I'm still here." Look, no one knows what tomorrow will bring - I could get run over by a tractor trailer, a meteor could fall from the sky, or I could be bitten by an ultra-poisonous spider unknown as yet to scientists in my state, but THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY OF FORESEEING OR CONTROLLING THE FUTURE and that is something I am finally beginning to accept.
What I can do is share what I've been through in the hopes that it will help someone who has been holed up in a room, staring at his or her laptop for hours with debilitating fear, actually go out and live a life instead of worrying obsessively about if that mole was there yesterday or if that twitch in the right shoulder is a sure harbinger of doom.