The Verdict

Two weeks after my first therapy session, I returned to see The Professor.

I was feeling more than a little apprehensive.

Because today was an important day.

Today was the day he would deliver his ‘verdict.’

About what was ‘going on’…

…WITH ME!

They were his wordsnot mine.

I knew what was ‘going on’ with me.

I had known for ages!

What was ‘going on’ with me, was I had a disease,

A dreadful, disgusting, debilitating disease, which doctors dismissed and wouldn’t take seriously.

Except for one ‘doctor.’

Dr Google!

Dr Google was on my side.

Dr Google believed I was ill.

But Dr Google was biased…

Because Dr Google diagnosed me!

What’s the story?

The Professor finished tapping at his laptop then turned his attention to me.

“So, what’s been the story of the past two weeks?” he asked, adopting a hand waving gesture as if to conduct an orchestra, rather than therapy.

The story of the past two weeks had been quite a story.

More tragedy than fairytale.

And like any good tragedy, it featured heartache, yearning, worry and pain.

The sort of heartache, yearning, worry and pain usually felt when you lose someone important in your life.

Or something…

Because since I’d last seen The Professor, I’d lost something very important in my life.

I’d had a huge loss.

Because I’d been through a major break up…

With Google!

google 1

And as with most break-ups, it left me feeling terrible!

I hadn’t wanted the split.

But I’d had to go through with it.

Because The Professor thought our relationship was ‘unhealthy’ and said it should end.

Which was ironic, because I had hooked up with Google for health reasons.

I wanted my health back!

And because ‘real’ doctors wouldn’t help me with that, I turned to Google.

And I Googled and Googled and Googled some more.

I explored every crevice of cyberspace.

And wandered into the darkest, most doom-ridden recesses of the internet in my mission to get well.

But I didn’t find anything.

Ever!

But I didn’t give up. Regardless of where I was or whatever I was doing, the search continued. From dusk till dawn and dawn till dusk, I kept at it.

On holidays, in meetings, days out and play-dates, Google was with me. Giving me facts, spurring me on. sharing information.

Even though it wasn’t always the right information!

Google didn’t always get it right!

Like the time Google told me about dysphagia.

Dysphagia is a swallowing and choking condition – which nobody would ever want.

But I had it!

At least I thought I had it.

Because Google told me about it and then I knew I had it.

I realised it was at the root of all my problems.

Because I had the symptoms…

Well, one symptom!

Choking.

You see, I’m afraid of choking and often think I’m choking.

I can ‘choke’ on anything – or at least think I am.

Even though I haven’t physically choked since I was about six years old!

But because I have this choking issue, I thought I must have dysphagia.

And then I got dysphagia.

Which was inconvenient because I was eating steak at the time. And because I’d just found out I had dysphagia, I panicked and couldn’t swallow it.

Then panicked some more.

And then I REALLY did choke.

Sort of…

And because I had dysphagia, eating ‘chewy’ food was too dangerous so I quit real food. And lived on soup and porridge.

Until Google told me I had a different ailment.

And then I realised I didn’t have dysphagia after all, which was great as I was bored of soup and porridge!

So you can see how much influence Google had over me. Google was master and I was servant.

And over time our relationship became an addiction.

And I became an addict!

And while I wasn’t flooding my body with a substance of choice…

It was just as toxic.

Because it flooded my life.

And my thoughts,

With more things to worry about!

But I couldn’t stop.

And I didn’t want to stop.

heading image blog 4

Going ‘cold turkey’!

Until the day I had to stop.

And when I did, my health deteriorated and I felt even worse.

And the worst part was, I couldn’t ask Google why everything got worse!

Because Google had been banned.!

There was no going back.

I’d gone COLD TURKEY!

And it was fowl!

But I managed to do it and I kept my promise to The Professor.

And now it was over to him.

Time to see if I had a future.

Time for ‘the verdict’.

The Professor’s ‘verdict”

The Professor had been listening intently.

“Well Janie, everything you’ve told me confirms what I believe to be the issue.”

My heart was pounding.

“It’s anxiety.”

NO!

Oh no, I was doomed!

Again.

Why would nobody believe I had a serious disease?

I felt sick.

I felt scared.

I felt doomed.

But The Professor carried on….

“When we last met, you said your symptoms began at hospital where you were told – in a negative way – you had an illness. You were frightened, but suppressed your fears and acted ‘normal,’

I nodded….

“That was a ‘traumatic event’ – which triggered anxiety and suppressing your emotions compounded the trauma.”

He paused,

“So as a result you are extremely anxious about your health and symptoms which you think and worry about excessively.”

I felt tears start to well.

He was right.

The hospital event had been traumatic.

I had pushed my fears back.

I had felt anxious.

I still felt anxious.

Terrified actually!

About my health and my symptoms.

And most of all, my future…

The Professor continued,

“You had to stop Googling because it made everything worse. Googling fuelled your fears and you don’t need to Google diseases! You don’t have a disease.”

And then he gave his final verdict…

“You have anxiety. A specific type of anxiety called Health Anxiety Disorder.”

My head was spinning.

I’d never heard of it.

But yes, I was anxious.

About my health.

But anybody with a serious disease would be anxious about their health!

Wouldn’t they?

Unsure, I decided to Google later and see if The Professor’s verdict was right.

Oh dear. Maybe not.

Google and I had split up!

And then I realised something.

He thinks I’M A HYPOCHONDRIAC?

Does he?

Was that what he REALLY just said?

I’m not a hypochondriac...am I?

I’m ill…

..aren’t I?

Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking.

And I don’t blame you,

Because suddenly I realised I had a lot to think about too…!

 

Click here for the previous blog post.

10 thoughts on “The Verdict

  1. A fascinating journey for you janie, delivered with honesty and humour. So helpful to others who are in the space you were in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done Janie xx

    Like

  3. Keep it up, I really love these blogs

    Like

    1. That’s great to hear…. and don’t worry there’s plenty more to come 👍

      Like

  4. Such a great read. Trying to figure things out sometimes is the most difficult part of the process. Thank you so much for continuing your story. Loving it!!

    Like

    1. Thankyou so much for the positive feedback. Figuring it all out can be gargantuan… like the most difficult jigsaw ever. But eventually you find the last piece!

      Like

  5. I finished reading the verdict . are you going to tell us the out come of how you realised you were free of anxiety . i googled endlessly but decided to stop . now i have few attacks of anxiety although i get it sometimes but not as bad . my worst fear is of it coming back when it was at its worst . i try not to think about it to much and when i do i dismiss it as quickly as possible . i.d like to know if it will return .

    Like

    1. Hello Henrietta
      Thankyou for your comment.
      Firstly a I wrote a final blog in this part of my story, titled ‘I am NOT a hypochondriac.
      Go to menu, hit blog it was published December 7th.
      Secondly, I will share things I did to find a way through anxiety.
      There were lots of things, but the most effective thing for me was changing how I viewed it abc thought about it all.
      I had therapy and I also worked hard by myself to get better.
      You are never free of anxiety, it’s always there, but when you stop being afraid of anxiety and viewing the things that set it off in a different t way, you will see a big difference.
      As soon as I have time to focus I’m going to talk about this in detail.
      For now, try googling ‘changing your thought’…
      There is no cure, but you can get past it.
      I promise..

      Like

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