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Are there any doctors there who can reassure me? scared

(22 Posts)
exasperatedmummy Wed 22-Oct-08 20:27:43

PLEASE, don't post and say anything negative, i suffer from SEVERE health anxiety and im in a bit of a state.

A few weeks ago, a painful lump appeared in my neck, just below the jaw line. I was told it was a blocked salivary gland and i would need a special x-ray - the lump went down after i sucked on a lemon, felt some grit in my mouth, but not sure if that was from crap in my mouth anyway, as i was eating. It went down and i went to my doctor the other day and she said, cancel the x-ray as there will most likely be nothing to see. I wonder if she thought the locum jumped the gun a bit.

Because i have become PARANOID now, i have fiddled and fiddled with my neck and i have found some small lumps, which are on both sides of my neck, just down from where i assumed the lymph nodes to be. They are pretty symetrical, and i have two more just at the base of my neck, again symmetrical. I have not felt these before - please tell me that this is OK, that they have come up because of the fiddling. They do feel smaller today because i have tried to leave them alone, but i keep prodding at my neck and people are noticing blush. I am going MAD here. I tried to get an appointment this morning but by the time i got through, all the appointments were taken and i was told i should have rung at 8am, um, well, actually, i had been on the phone since 8am and i didnt get through until 20 past angry.

My gut feeling is i should just wait a few days to see if they go down, but im really scared, REALLY scared. Please don't post and say - go to the doctors get this checked ASAP, because i am on the edge here. I'm shaking and crying and my DP is very angry with me.

needmorecoffee Wed 22-Oct-08 20:30:11

I'm not a doctor but blocked salivary glands do clear themsleves and yours has done so.
Symetrical bumps are normal bits of you. Either lymph nodes or the two knobbly bits at the back of your neck or valves in veins.
Symmetraical is good.
Even if I can't spell it!

LetMeEatCake Wed 22-Oct-08 20:30:24

there are lots of little lumps in my neck too
I think esp. if symmetrical they prob. are meant to be there? has your dp got them too? give him a good feel!

gemmiegoatlegs Wed 22-Oct-08 20:32:26

lymph nodes are usually more pronounced if you are/have recently been fighting off infection. i have had several small hard lumps just below my ear and my doc said it was just a cae of lymphs swelling due to all the extra work they have to do when you're infected

Lotster Wed 22-Oct-08 20:34:15

Fiddling with glandular areas like throats can often inflame glands - I know because I have had a large lump in my armpit for over a month now which the doc says is fine - but it gets bigger if I fiddle.
I'm sure you're all fine if docs say so, expecially if lumps and bumps are symmetrical, just you finding things you've never noticed before.

If you are really stressed then give NHS Direct ring to check any lumps you found are where they should be anyway, and put your mind at rest.

tissy Wed 22-Oct-08 20:36:30

lymph nodes are there for a reason, they swell up if there is infection/ inflammation in the area, that is what they are supposed to do.

You have had a blocked salivary gland, the nodes will have been there all along, you just haven't noticed them as you have been focused on the bigger lump.

You do need to go to the doctor, not for these lumps, but to be referred for some therapy for your anxiety. Your GP was not jumping the gun by cancelling the X-ray. It was absolutely the right thing to do.

smellyeli Wed 22-Oct-08 20:40:10

I think these sound like normal lumps and bumps - everyone has them, and particularly if you've had a blocked and inflamed salivary gland, you will get reactive nodes which will go down over time. You may also just be feeling things which have been there all along but because you've had this blocked duct you've become aware of them. I agree - symmetrical is good! I have lots of neck lumps, one funny one under my jaw I've had since I was 8! My glands go up and down according to the day of the week/state of teeth/mouth ulcers/sore throat etc.

I think your GP did the right thing to cancel the Xray as it would just make you worry more. Please, please don't worry tonight. Can you do something to take your mind off it? Have a bath? Watch some crap telly?

(Have you had any treatment for your anxiety, BTW? I know it's not what you're asking about, but it sounds like you have good insight into your anxieties and might benefit from CBT - maybe that's the thing to see your GP about?)

exasperatedmummy Wed 22-Oct-08 20:42:11

sorry tissy, i meant that My doctor thought the locum was jumping the gun for booking the x-ray. I am on medication for, and having counselling for my anxiety - i have lost count that i have been referred to the hospital for things that have been all in my mind.

There are more than one set of lymph nodes in the neck, aren't there?

Do you want to know what is really embarrasing. Next week, i have an interview, as a Biology teacher blush.

Surely though, if they are in both sides of my neck they should be there? I did have a small cyst once on my shoulder, it went away by itself, these feel similar but not so hard. The other day they were quite big, but now i have to feel around for them. This is driving me mad. My anxieties are ruining my life

exasperatedmummy Wed 22-Oct-08 20:42:57

sorry tissy, i meant that My doctor thought the locum was jumping the gun for booking the x-ray. I am on medication for, and having counselling for my anxiety - i have lost count that i have been referred to the hospital for things that have been all in my mind.

There are more than one set of lymph nodes in the neck, aren't there?

Do you want to know what is really embarrasing. Next week, i have an interview, as a Biology teacher blush.

Surely though, if they are in both sides of my neck they should be there? I did have a small cyst once on my shoulder, it went away by itself, these feel similar but not so hard. The other day they were quite big, but now i have to feel around for them. This is driving me mad. My anxieties are ruining my life

exasperatedmummy Wed 22-Oct-08 20:46:09

I don't want to go back to my doctor again, i was only there the other day to tell her the other lump had gone down.

These lumps don't feel like the lymph nodes that come up when im poorly. Those get quite big and then just go back down. I suffer from allergies and have been a bit itchy in my mouth lately (a classic hayfever allergy type thing for me). They might be raised because of that?

smellyeli Wed 22-Oct-08 20:48:13

There are lots of lymph nodes in the neck - 3 main sets, each with more than one node, draining lymph from different bits of the face/ears/teeth etc. which is why they go up and down so much. You say they were big and now you can't feel them so easily? Sound like they are getting better! I'm glad you're having some treatment for anxiety - it can take time to become more manageable and can really flare up at difficult times. Good luck with your interview!

NBheebieGeebies Wed 22-Oct-08 20:48:59

sad em
I too suffer with anxiety. I am petrified of going to the Dr's or hospital.
You have my sympathy.

I agree with what the others have said.
I can feel two lumps on either side of my neck. More so atm as I have just had a cold and sore throat.
And fwiw, my dh has had a cyst on his shoulder for years and the gp has told him to leave it unless it causes him pain.

I hope your counselling goes well smile

JollyPirate Wed 22-Oct-08 20:52:13

Hi folks - I suffer with severe health anxiety too. A website which has helped me is "No More Panic" - it has excellent message boards on all sorts of topics and there's a whole board JUST for health anxiety and how to cope.

here is the address

JollyPirate Wed 22-Oct-08 20:53:21

Oh and what you can feel are probably lymph nodes - I have them too. Symmetrical is good - nothing to worry about.

exasperatedmummy Wed 22-Oct-08 20:55:31

Thankyou so much everyone - i do feel much better now - i delayed posting this all day because i was too scared.

One of the reasons they might be up, is because i have a really embarrasing habit - i tend to pick at my scalp until it bleeds, it almost becomes like an OCD thing - i will say things like, if i don't get some skin off, then something bad will happen blush. I have done this alot lately and my head is full of sores DP says some of them notice - people must think i am disgusting. I have never told anyone about this before. I have done this for as long as i can remember - i can sort of guage my stress levels by the state of my scalp. I just pick and pick at areas of dry skin until it bleeds and forms a scab, then i wont leave it alone blush

JollyPirate Wed 22-Oct-08 20:59:04

You are not alone exasperatedmummy - I get scalp probs too and can't leave alone when bad. It can be an OCD/anxiety thing and you are not alone.

Speak to your GP if you feel able to or there are plenty of people there who will understand what happens to you and will be able to advise about what to do when things are bad.

exasperatedmummy Wed 22-Oct-08 21:02:28

Thankyou everyone - im off to watch some crap tv, as advised. Very tired today, DD woke me up at 4am and i couldnt get back to sleep and have been "fiddling" ever since blush

emma1977 Thu 23-Oct-08 00:18:25

Please stop poking yourself around!

There are loads of lymph nodes around your neck and jawline, symmetrically distributed and if you poke around deep enough you will eventually find them even if they aren't inflammed. They are normal and harmless, and are meant to be there. Good news that your slaivary gland cleared spontaneously and you don't need the Xray.

I hope that you get some help with your anxiety and feel more in control of things soon.

zippitippitoes Thu 23-Oct-08 00:21:48

you could try aqnxiety management group ask your gp for a referral

health anxiety is pretty common in assocaition with depression and anxiety and even meeting others in the same boat may help as well as learning strategies to manage yoyr thoughts

exasperatedmummy Thu 23-Oct-08 09:41:15

Thankyou again everyone - you have no idea how much better you have made me feel. Even though i pretty much knew about the lymph nodes, i needed someone to tell me, preferably more than one person grin to stop the voices (metaphorical) driving me insane.

Now i can go back to fretting about my DPs tax returns - a REAL problem that has been looming for a while now, so i wonder if i look for alternative things to fret over. What a freak grin

hypomum Thu 23-Oct-08 12:36:20

Cricky...can you believe it I have just written a thread asking if you can reassure me exasperatedmummy!!!
I just have no idea how I am going to get myself to the doctors!!

I think you have read my threads before...but if you have any words of wisdom, I would be grateful.

LittleMissNorty Thu 23-Oct-08 12:47:43

Just to say that I've had a blocked salivary gland and had the sialogram and they gave me a lemon mixture to drink - which cleared the blockage - probably toothpaste - tis quite common - which is probably the chalky stuff you tasted.

Please don't worry, you are feeling either neck nodes or salivary glands - and poking hem about is probably making them sore

HTH smile

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