I’m well into my 4th month of my fun with pleurisy. I’ve had several chest x-rays now (all clear) and done skin prick tests, lung function tests and been seen three times by cardiothoracic specialists. The experts think I’m okay. I’m on some drugs (the first proper treatment) sodium diclofenac – an anti-inflammatory drug. The professor says that will fix me, and if it doesn’t he’ll run a CT scan. He’s pretty sure I’m okay. I’m back to see him in 8 weeks.
Great. So maybe I’m okay now. It still hurts, but very very very slowly it improves. Very gradually, almost immeasurably, but (I think) there is improvement.
But I’ll tell you what. After six months of feeling crap and being ill and being in pain, I’ve turned into a nervous wreck. Every sensation in my body is now analysed and re-analysed. A sore throat, a funny pain, a twinge, everything is treated with the utmost suspicion and fear. I’ve felt lumps in my throat. I’ve had headaches, and chest pains on the left (my pleurisy is on the right), I think just about anything it is a symptom of some new saga.
I wonder, once the pain is gone, (perhaps now, I can see the end of that tunnel) how long will it take for me to return to my “normal” anxiety levels.
The whole problem with anxiety is that is forms a vicious cycle of making you feel physically rubbish and that feeling makes you feel more anxious. It’s a bloody annoying thing. It’s well documented and I’m well aware of the process, but is that enough to stop it?
My boys provide welcome relief. “Daddy, I happy” D tells me every couple hours or so. He doesn’t know, may never know, what good medicine his words are. The boys are both asleep now. I think I’ll go in and touch their little hands. It stills my heart like CBT never could.