Monday, March 27, 2017

Managing Weird Symptoms

So we all get these weird feelings sometimes. Something starts aching, or tingling, or twitching, or pinching, or just not feeling right. We start having little debates with ourselves (where it is perfectly acceptable to talk to yourself, ask yourself questions, and answer yourself back) how long has it been going on, is it that big a deal, do we want to go to the doctor, do we need to get some medical care (if dripping blood, the answer always apply pressure and get to the ER stat). Then we try to make decisions on what to do and when to call the doctor, or not.

Eventually, it goes away or gets better (with or without medical care) and we move on. We might have a scar or a bottle of left over prescription pills and or a pile of bandages we stick in the back of the closet. Or do we move on, can we move on?

I have found that before my second cancer, every medical misadventure just went by the wayside. I didn't overthink anything because it wasn't really that important. Well, I do admit to asking about potential cancer crap because of my first diagnosis once in a while but I never really stressed.

Now I have to institute the five day and two week rules to prevent over-stressing and too many doctor appointments. The time limit means if something is not getting better within the time frame, its time for a doctor. Significant ailments, like extreme pain, very high fever get the five day. Anything else is on the two week rule. If I make myself wait, usually I end up not needing the doctor, or so I make myself think.

Part of relearning to be a semi-normal person after cancer treatment is learning how to handle potential ailments. I cannot let myself fall into the trap where every new symptom is a really BAD thing.

I also have learned that I need to learn to tell the story about any symptom when I get to my doctor (my old PCP taught me this). I shouldn't go to the doctor and say 'this hurts'. I need to go to the doctor and say 'this hurts, for this long, when I do this, and this is what I have done to try to deal with it'.

But with two cancer diagnoses, my tolerance for symptoms is very different. Somethings I tolerate a lot of and somethings I tolerate none of. Its my body and I get a lot of the same reaction from medical professionals - I have a lot going on medically and am not the run of the mill patient. So its up to me to make sure the medical people understand what I need and how to make me feel better (if possible).

Okay, this is a long and whiny post on me and my weird symptoms and how I deal. Frankly, I just want to be healthy again...

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