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for not being able to trust my gp, sorry if tmi!

(24 Posts)
kaylasmum Wed 15-Jun-11 10:11:39

hi, just looking for a little perspective.

I have health anxiety, depression and mild ocd. I have had cbt a year and a half ago which really helped, but recently the anxiety has resurfaced.

A couple of weeks ago while in the shower i found a small lump under the skin next to my anus, (sorry, tmi bit!). I worried for a week until i eventually went to my gp who examined me and said it was most likely a thrombosed pile. I also haven obsession with caner so had convinced myself i had anal cancer, the gp said i don,t! She prescribed me some cream and said to go back in 2/3 weeks. She's also referring back for cbt.

I've been in a terrible state for the last couple of weeks and keep googling and coming up with terrifying things. Aibu and should i just trust my gp, who has been working at my practise for the last 25 years and is one of the partners?

Fernier Wed 15-Jun-11 10:13:32

im sorry you are feeling so bad at the moment sad
but I think your gp is probably right and the lack of trust is probably part of the anxiety.

Empusa Wed 15-Jun-11 10:15:07

I'd trust your gp. Are you getting any help for your anxiety now?

squeakytoy Wed 15-Jun-11 10:15:21

I am no doctor, but what you describe certainly does sound like a pile. I understand your anxiety, but I do think the GP is almost certainly correct and will have seen the same thing many many times to be able to give a very informed opinion.

Stop googling.

I developed a phobia of illness similar to you, and reading magazines like Bella, or Take a Break also made my fears worse, reading so many life and death stories.

I would bet any money you are fine, honestly. It really does sound exactly like what the doc has diagnosed.

kaylasmum Wed 15-Jun-11 10:21:16

thanks for the prompt replies,

I'm waiting for my appontment for cbt to come through but it could take a while. I've been on citalopram for the past 7 years but i feel that it has stopped working for me. This anxiety is destroying me, i'm struggling to function on a daily basis.

Empusa Wed 15-Jun-11 10:22:17

My husband struggles with anxiety too, and is on escitalopram for it. Might be worth talking to your gp about changing or upping your dosage.

kaylasmum Wed 15-Jun-11 10:27:48

empusa- i have spoken to my gp about changing but she thinks its not a good idea.

Squeakytoy- the last time i was struggling with this anxiety i had to stop buying magazines, i even refused to go down those aisles.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 15-Jun-11 10:28:13

YAB a bit U. IIWY, and bear in mind that I have no personal experience of anxiety, I would go back to the GP and ask if your medications can be reviewed.
And, this is very important. STOP GOOGLING.

kaylasmum your GP has actually seen the lump. I strongly suspect you have felt it but not seen it (unless you are a contortionist). So your GP is in the best position to assess the true nature of the lump combined with many years of experience.

Do you have any coping strategies you have developed to deal with your anxiety until you get your CBT?
Here are a few ideas - feel free to ignore any or all of them if you don't feel they will help

1. Do not Google

2. Avoid health and lifestyle mags

3. Write down your thoughts and fears in a book you can take to your counselling so you don't have to keep reminding yourself of them whilst you wait for your first appointment.

4. Ring the Samaritans if you are struggling, they are there for anyone who is distressed and needs someone to listen.

5. Distract yourself from your anxiety, do things you enjoy and/or you find relaxing; it can be something as simple as sitting in the park looking at the flowers.

6. Do you have any techniques or skills you picked up from your CBT that worked or you used to find helpful but have stopped doing.

7. This is a tough one - remember no matter how anxious you feel that feeling will pass and whilst its horrible when you are stuck in the middle of the anxiety, its intensity will fade after a few minutes.

Take care of yourself (and really really stop googling)

TotallyLovely Wed 15-Jun-11 10:55:34

kaylasmum I had the same things as you, depression, anxiety (about health) and OCD. Was yours triggered by anything? Mine was triggered by a bereavement. It's absolutely horrendous isn't it?! It all consumed me for every minute of every day for several years.

I had stop reading those magazines, stop googling, watching medical programs etc. It wasn't easy and took a long time. I taught myself CBT from books and went to counselling for the underlying issues and also went on seroxat.

You need to stop the googling. You do it to try to make yourself feel better and to be reassured but there are so many horrible things on the net (a lot of which are not true by the way!) that you will ALWAYS find something horrible no matter what you type in.

The same set of symptoms can come back with thousands of different diseases but you will always focus on the more scary one's, like a headache will be a tumour rather then just a headache. Your doctor knows your history and can judge objectively which is what they are there for.

I also had to stop checking my body for signs and lumps all the time and I had to realise that my anxiety was actually causing my symptoms, for eg, I would be anxious so would hyperventilate causing numbness and tingling but would then google the numbness and tingling and find loads of horrible things that can cause that and then focus on one I thought I had. Once it was proven I didn't have that I would focus on the next one.

It's a long road but you can get there. I am at the stage now where every now and then I have a tiny wobble but mostly am fine and I look back on it as a really horrible time.

FilthyDirtyHeathen Wed 15-Jun-11 11:22:13

I really feel for you kaylasmum. This year I have experienced anxiety and health anxiety for the first time in my life. I have to say it has been very difficult to deal with. It is all consuming and any reason or rational thinking go out of the window. You do convince yourself that the lump or bump you are feeling is absolutely the worst case scenario and it is hard for anybody to talk you down from that even an extremely experienced GP!

Based on my own experience, I would say do trust your GP on the anal cancer issue but do ask her to talk you through options for changing either the dose of meds you are on or the meds.

I second staying away from the internet. Googling my symptoms did not help me. I also tried to stay away from any radio and TV programmes (including news/current affairs programmes) dealing with health or death or pain. I also took up Yoga and practised mindfulness both of which were fantastic for focussing my racing, anxious mind. Daily physical exercise, even just a walk round the block also helped as did keeping busy and distracted.

I really hope your CBT appointments come through quickly and that you can get on top of this.

ps. It turned out my anxiety was caused by an overactive thyroid. It was such a relief when I got treated for it and the anxiety began to disappear - it also allowed me to see that the fear I had been experiending was created purely by brain chemistry and hormones. That helped me put it in perspective.

kaylasmum Wed 15-Jun-11 11:36:31

thank you all for your helpful advice,

My gp did'nt actually see the lump, she felt it. Its a tiny hard lump under the skin. She explained that cancerous lumps are usually irregular and that mine was smooth. It just freaked me out because it felt hard and under the skin, not like any other piles that i've had.

I'm totally caught up in this anxiety and i have been trying to use the coping strategies that i've learnt but not doing too well i'm afraid. My mind is being bombarded and i'm in a constant battle with myself.

kaylasmum I think you are doing better than you realise. Keep trying with the coping strategies and everytime one of them works, even a little bit, give yourself a huge pat on the back.

Perhaps today posting on here was the right coping strategy, you just needed some people to listen and to have a space to air your concerns. Well done for not bottling it up and sitting fretting.

From what you say about the visit to the GP its clear that the GP knows the difference between thrombosed piles and anal cancer. They do not feel the same and yours felt like a thrombosed pile and not like cancer.

Well done for seeing your GP rather than sitting in front of Google getting more and more terrified. It must have taken a lot of courage to confront your fear.

I think you should be proud of yourself for finding ways of dealing with your anxiety and facing your fears. Every step you take in the right direction, no matter how small, is a victory. Every day that you make it through the fog of anxiety and get on with your life or ask for help or confront your fears is progress.

Have an unmumsnet ((hug))

eurochick Wed 15-Jun-11 12:12:04

You should trust your GP and stop googling.

Insomnia11 Wed 15-Jun-11 12:25:17

Would it reassure you to see another doctor at the practice? You could if it would.

MrsTwinks Wed 15-Jun-11 12:31:29

trust your GP

I've been on the flip side, told my blood test results signified i very likely had tumors on my adrenal glands and he would be sending me to the endocrinologist at the hospital. FREAKING OUT majorly for 6 weeks until my appointment for the specialist to effectively laugh and say my doctor was totally wrong. No tumors... no need to spend 6 weeks thinking oh shit what if i die. (even if i had had them they wouldn't have been cancer but GP didnt tell me that) I'd just come off citalopram myself at the time so it really was horrible. Dont do it to yourself worrying.

your getting the tests to double check, leave it until the results to worry that somethings wrong because if your GP isnt worried then theres no reason for you to be.

MrsTwinks Wed 15-Jun-11 12:33:02

ok that doesnt sound like a good thing for GP's trust wise, but meant just to say stop worrying cos if they even remotely think it could be they will go for it like a bull after a red rag.

kaylasmum Wed 15-Jun-11 12:59:05

hi mrs twinks,

Not sure if your post has helped me or not! I've not been sent for any tests. The doctor just felt the lump and told me she was'nt worried about it and that she could refer me for my peace of mind. I said i did'nt want that if it was'nt necessary as it would just increase my anxieties, she said ahe did'nt think she needs to.

MrsTwinks Wed 15-Jun-11 13:22:35

referal usually is the other tests, not just talking to someone, which is proably why you havent had any then. When i went even thou the specialist laughed they did all the weird tests on me as there are only certain ones a GP can do in house IYKWIM (including me needing to keep all my pee for 24hrs. that had to be done by the hospital for some reason and not my GP)

in the TMI stakes, I've had the same problem for YEARS, dont even notice them anymore they are part of the furniture grin (I have bad guts). If you continue to worry get that referal, but if the doctor is happy to let you refuse it its going to be nothing. Its a really common thing, I'd say the GP has seen enough to know them when she sees them.

eurochick Wed 15-Jun-11 13:27:29

I also have a similar thing (although mine was described as a polyp). I had it removed once, surgically (OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!) and it grew back before the scar had healed. It has been there since about 2001 and I haven't dropped down dead yet.

kaylasmum Wed 15-Jun-11 15:26:06

hi eurochick,

Was your lump under the skin just next to the anus or was it internal? Have doctors just decided to leave it alone?

crystalglasses Wed 15-Jun-11 15:31:09

Actually, I would definitely take up your GP's offer of a referral for a second opinion, to ease your mind.

kaylasmum Wed 15-Jun-11 16:19:27

crystalglasses- if i go for referral i will be more anxious until the appointment comes through and it could take a while. my gp did'nt say she wanted to refer me, just that if i wanted then she could.

I think the lump is getting smaller and softer now. The thing is i keep checking it all the time because of the ocd. I'm worried that i'll inflame it, but can't stop myself. I know that seems pathetic but this anxiety seems to win each time.

CurlyGirly2 Wed 15-Jun-11 17:06:54

kaylasmum you have my sympathy - I have health anxiety which goes in cycles of roughly 3yrs. Starts with a symptom, an ache, a pain, a mole, a lump etc which I then spend weeks or months worrying that it is cancer or a blood clot, and the anxiety makes the symptoms much much worse.

Eventually I pluck up the courage to see my gp (terrifying as this makes the 'cancer' or whatever 'real'). They are generally very sympathetic and understanding (thank goodness) examine me and then fob me off/reassure me its nothing. (Except the moles - had 2 of them removed.) The symptoms then miraculously disappear overnight. I will be ok for a while - then the next lot of 'symptoms' will appear.

Its truly incredible even to me - I guess the symptoms are psycho-somatic. And yet even though I know all this, each time I think 'oh this is it - this'll be the one I ignore, and it'll really be cancer'. At the moment I am on the verge of going to the gp about my lungs - I'm currently convinced there is a blockage there and I'm suffering from shortness of breath. It's horrible.

I would say to trust in your gp - otherwise you will drive yourself mad. I find the reassurance of a gp giving me a cursory examination to be the thing I need to lay my fears at rest - but perhaps it's different for you as you have a very real lump and it hasn't disappeared like my symptoms seem to? Try not to worry though, gps are very well trained in being able to recognise the signs of something serious - she offered you a referral for peace of mind, she would have referred you instantly if she thought it was anal cancer.

For my part, I have found some of the stories on here comforting. I think if I do go to the gp again I will talk about my anxiety not just my 'symptoms'.

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