Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Head above water (well, just about)

How do you cope when the person you love is ill? So ill that they’ve convinced themselves that they’re very probably dying? Hopefully, none of you will ever have experienced this. For those who have, it’s difficult isn’t it? Some background. As avid readers of this blog, you will know that David has been having health problems on and off now for about 18 months, starting with a stomach pain which then he was so panicked about, got mistaken for a heart attack. A full MOT and it was discovered that he had gastritis but had developed anxiety and massive massive panic attacks because of the constant feelings of ill health.

Well, it’s getting worse, it seems. Dr Internet is a fucking bastard. My husband is convinced that he has something wrong with his pancreas, and it isn’t ‘just anxiety’ as the GP says. And I have to say, I don’t know what to do or say other than just be there and listen to his concerns, his fears, his worries. I listen to when he’s crying in pain, crying in fear. I can’t do anything. I’m worried and fearful, but I have to keep it in and be strong. I’m worried that his anxiety is taking over our marriage. I’m fearful that he is reading too much up on the internet about symptoms and illnesses that have the same symptoms as his anxiety. I’m upset at seeing the man I love in such a state, in pain, fearful, scared. There has appeared to be no trigger for this episode of anxiety.

His birthday the other week was incredible, he appeared fine, with no noticeable symptoms. He seems better if there’s something else going on in life. When his mother was ill and in hospital, he (and for the want of a better term) ‘manned up’ and took control of the situation. After her unfortunate death, the symptoms were there but only slightly. These were taken over by grief (understandably). We (David, myself and his dad) grieved for Irene. Between the three of us, we arranged the funeral and cremation, put notices in the paper, and everything else which goes along with a bereavement. Throughout this time, his symptoms were not there (or didn’t seem to be).

You’d think that arranging a wedding might take his mind off things too. It’s something else to concentrate on. The fact is that (and he will freely admit) I did most of the organising of this myself. ‘Oh but you chicks love that sort of thing’ I hear some of you cry. Nuh uh. Not true; being the least girlie girl ever, it was a chore for me to organise everything. But I did it, because IT NEEDED DOING. You just have to carry on. I found this, but it seems that my husband can’t just carry on. I mean he’s going to work etc. but every night when he comes home he’s down, aching, sluggish, in no fit state for anything and convinced he has something horrifically wrong with him. I adore this man, in sickness and in health I said I do, but it’s getting to be a bit of a strain for me at the moment.

Yes, I’ve applied to do a counselling course, I want to become a counsellor at some point but I’m not coping too well with David because I don’t feel like I can help. There’s nothing I can do but just be there and support and love him. I’m too close to him to counsel him, and I’ve told him this. He has an appointment with the GP on Friday; I’m in two minds about attending with him to make sure absolutely every minutiae of his illness, his moods, his anxiety are noted down. On top of this, I’m presently going through a bout of depression also, not really caused by much but contributed to by a few things. I’m trying to cope with my own feelings as well as David’s. It’s a struggle, but I think I’m doing okay. It’s a right barrel of laughs in our house at the moment I’m sure you can imagine…

1 comment:

  1. The worst thing you can do is self diagnosis on the internet.You will be able to convince yourself you have every sinister desease going.
    Believe me, all that you can do is to be there and supportive and show that it doesn't matter. If you think you have some magical solution to what is a genuine illness (albeit a pyschological one) then you will just get frustrated and annoyed. You wouldn't expect yourself to be able to cure any other illness like say diabetes would you?
    Remember you are not alone in this, if you want to look up illnesses on the internet then look no further than 'health anxiety forums'

    speak to you soon


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