This morning I had to go into a medical imaging clinic to get an abdominal ultrasound.

I wrote a couple weeks ago about taking an afternoon off to go to my doctor because of a piercing pain in my right side.  She didn’t think it was anything serious, but ordered the ultrasound just to be safe.

So, this morning I went.  I had to fast after midnight, so I didn’t get to drink my coffee this morning.  I was acutely aware of my pissy-coffe-less mood, but kept reminding myself that it was only temporary and I would be able to hit the Dunkin drive through as soon as I got done with the ultrasound.

I pulled into the parking lot and became aware of another sensation as well.  Anxiety.

All sorts of thoughts bubbled up in me like blisters on a burn.

What if I’m not okay?  What if it is something really bad?  What if this moment sitting here in my car in this parking lot is the last moment of my ignorance of some terrible tumor or fatal condition.  How would I ever say goodbye to my kids.  How would I explain my hair loss?  How would I manage to make a million video tapes explaining all of life’s little moments to them?  

Labeling this brand of thinking my “dread thoughts” helps a bit to bring me back down to earth.  Because I think this way a lot.  I have an active imagination that swings over into the realm of morbid when I’m in the bad place with my anxiety.

It is kind of embarrassing and self indulgent.  Some people actually have these issues going on in their lives and I don’t know for a second how they cope, because I can’t even imagine how I would cope.

Maybe I watch way too much medical drama on TV.

I was in and out of the ultrasound center in a half hour.  The tech couldn’t say for sure, but she said everything looked okay.  The radiologist will look at the images, write a report, and fax it over to my doctor.

She said my gall bladder looked “nice and clean.”

I’m not sure what that means, but I’m thankful to be healthy.

I’m also thankful for the two coffees I ordered on my way in to work. 

What are you thankful for today?  Do you ever have dread thoughts?  About what?  

8 responses »

  1. I catastrophize all the frickin time. I totally identify with your anxiety around the ultrasound and worries of illness and death, and I think it’s ok to have those worries and thoughts. Just because people actually do have life-threatening cancer doesn’t mean that your worries and reminders of your own mortality are any less valid.
    For me, I continue to catastrophize even after I’m out of the woods with my own cancer, because I feel like the experience has fucked up my ability to discern what is a serious emergency and what is just a passing worry. My cancer symptoms were pretty benign and I never imagined it could be the c-word. So take that into account, and I feel like I never know when I’m supposed to freak out anymore.
    Sending vibes that the results of your ultrasound are swift and benign.

  2. Lots of hugs! I hope the results will be ok.
    I’m freaking out all the time but especially when I am tired/depressed. I am reaching the 5 years mark after my cancer treatment and when I imagined this time 5 years ago I was sure I was going to be very happy about it. 5 years later, a new husband, a new baby, a new job, a new house later I am just terrified. I took the appointment for May but didn’t yet dare to ask what blood test I have to take beforehand.
    since I am driving a lot I am always afraid of car crashes as well, that my baby will get sick or injured… Generally around 3 am.. But for me, letting out those fers means to tame them. one’s have to fight its monsters!
    lots of love

    • Wow, lots has happened for you in five years! I know your tests will be clean and fine, but it is understandable you would be nervous about all that! And why do all these thoughts have to plague us at 3 a.m.? Stressing in the middle of the night is the worst! xoxo, tons of hugs to you! Thanks for always letting me know I am not alone.

  3. I’ve been filled with dread thoughts the last week. Hmm, no, they aren’t dread thoughts because I don’t have them exactly. But they are my version = If things don’t go well then ____ will happen so I have to ____ now. It’s negative, limited thinking, that’s for sure. Keeping myself in line because I don’t trust myself. Eek. That was the inspiration for my post today, too. Great minds think alike, momaste. Or is it crazy minds?

    • gosh, I hope they aren’t crazy minds! I know what you mean though about keeping yourself in check because you don’t trust yourself… that is the perfect way to put it!

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