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Terrified of losing loved ones


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Hi Everyone, 

I'm not sure that this is OCD but it's definitely a recurring cause of anxiety for me and I think my fears are similar to Health Anxiety but just focused on loved ones.

Basically I worry about my Mum a lot. She has a brain aneurysm and has also had four NHS 2-week-suspected-cancer pathway referrals in five years- each of them have been okay in the end- one was a very rare/unusual abscess, another couple were benign lumps, one was diverticular disease with symptoms similar to bowel cancer. She is not an anxious person so for each of these the GP has been very definite about her needing the referrals. She now has hoarseness and some symptoms (severe fatigue, blue-tinged lips, faintness, cough), which could potentially be lung cancer (which causes hoarseness as one of the main symptoms) or oesophageal cancer- this has been going on for weeks now so she's finally going to talk to the GP tomorrow but this will almost certainly lead to another two week referral. I am feeling sick with anxiety about this. 

I think I'm more anxious because we're in the process of a long distance house move (our house is sold so we'll move in a few months but we'll be moving to three different holiday rentals before we buy/long term rent so it's all chaotic and uncertain and everything that my OCD hates!) and I just feel so scared and lost.

One of our neighbours recently died a couple of months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I'm scared that that could happen so quickly. I also have no life of my own and very few people to turn to in a crisis and I just don't know what to do at the moment! 

I realise my reaction to this is probably excessive and hopefully it might be fine but I was just wondering if anyone could offer any tips for coping with this anxiety!

Thanks :)

 

Edited by BelAnna
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It’s normal to be anxious about these matters. I have similar things going on. Maybe as we have OCD the anxiety is heightened. Not sure what more I can say to help without giving you reassurance.

Do you have a friendly CPN you can talk to?

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I'm sorry you and your mum are going through this, BelAnna. This would be difficult even without OCD joining in! 

I think the important thing for now is to take things one day at a time, as difficult as that is. Focus on what you have to do next, one step at a time. You're much stronger than your OCD might tell you, and you always have us to support you here! :) 

Although things are difficult, try and make some time to focus on yourself too - and be kind to yourself! Hang in there, BelAnna. You can get through this :) 

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18 hours ago, daja said:

It’s normal to be anxious about these matters. I have similar things going on. Maybe as we have OCD the anxiety is heightened. Not sure what more I can say to help without giving you reassurance.

Do you have a friendly CPN you can talk to?

Thank you Daja! I'm really sorry you're going through similar things at the moment. Are you coping okay? 

I don't actually have a CPN but I have a Psychologist who I speak to fortnightly so I will talk to him next week. 

Hope you're okay 🙂 

 

12 hours ago, ivybasil said:

I'm sorry you and your mum are going through this, BelAnna. This would be difficult even without OCD joining in! 

I think the important thing for now is to take things one day at a time, as difficult as that is. Focus on what you have to do next, one step at a time. You're much stronger than your OCD might tell you, and you always have us to support you here! :) 

Although things are difficult, try and make some time to focus on yourself too - and be kind to yourself! Hang in there, BelAnna. You can get through this :) 

Thanks so much Ivybasil! I will try to focus on taking one step at a time-  I might well be catastrophising again as I do tend to leap to the worst possible conclusion!  I hope you're okay and that this week is a little bit easier than last week! 🙂 

 

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8 minutes ago, BelAnna said:

Thanks so much Ivybasil! I will try to focus on taking one step at a time-  I might well be catastrophising again as I do tend to leap to the worst possible conclusion!  I hope you're okay and that this week is a little bit easier than last week! 🙂 

It's definitely easy to jump to the worst conclusions! Sometimes it just helps to write it down, and you know we're all here to listen too! :)

My week is definitely a little better than last week! Thank you so much for your support! :) 

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1 hour ago, BelAnna said:

Thank you Daja! I'm really sorry you're going through similar things at the moment. Are you coping okay? 

I don't actually have a CPN but I have a Psychologist who I speak to fortnightly so I will talk to him next week. 

Hope you're okay 🙂 

 

Listen to ivybasil she gives good advice!

I am ok maybe my situation is a bit better. I have been hoarding PPE and have too much stuff for the household bin collections. I have to move out inevitably and redecorate the room once I can clear it.

I worry about my Dad as he smokes and drinks… at least he works I guess which keeps him on the straight and narrow.

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I was doing a bit better and then my Mum told me that she's asked my Dad to make sure to watch out for me and my siblings if she does has cancer.

I'm back to square one with my anxiety now! 

 

On 23/08/2021 at 22:15, daja said:

Listen to ivybasil she gives good advice!

I am ok maybe my situation is a bit better. I have been hoarding PPE and have too much stuff for the household bin collections. I have to move out inevitably and redecorate the room once I can clear it.

I worry about my Dad as he smokes and drinks… at least he works I guess which keeps him on the straight and narrow.

I'm sorry to hear that abut your Dad! Would he be willing to cut back a bit? 

For the PPE situation could you ask someone to take some to the tip for you? 

 

On 23/08/2021 at 20:42, ivybasil said:

It's definitely easy to jump to the worst conclusions! Sometimes it just helps to write it down, and you know we're all here to listen too! :)

My week is definitely a little better than last week! Thank you so much for your support! :) 

Aw that's good that you're having a better week after feeling awful last week. :) 

I hope I'm just catastrophising again at the moment- I think I need to focus on something different and just put the worry to one side for now! 

 

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2 hours ago, Angst said:

Hi BelAnna

I would feel the same. But I am a catastrophiser.  Is your Mum scheduled for tests? Yes - switch your attention.

 

Thank Angst! We've sold the house now so I guess I'll just focus on getting it ready and the move (which is also stressing me out!). Hope you're okay! 

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Hi BelAnna

I have a very similar theme of anxiety and OCD so I empathise greatly.

I worry a lot about my 3 kids and my parents. What you have going on is stressful and people without ocd would also worry but when you have OCD you tend to catastrophise, I know I do. I had a similar worry with my dad about 5 years ago but all worked out well.

My advice would be, and I know more than most it's not easy to do, to try to take each day as it comes. Do not Google, it makes everything so much worse. Do not ruminate. Do not imagine worse case scenarios. Just think there are lots of reasons why your mum may have these symptoms and they are not all the worst case scenario ones.

You mentioned that you feel you have no life if your own. Maybe when things settle concentrate on yourself a bit more and building some new friendships, maybe join some groups or clubs when you move. Maybe if your life felt more positive and was more fun filled you wouldn't worry so much about things. I really hope your mum will be OK and that you will be also x

 

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Hi MarieJo,

Thank you so much for your reply and helpful advice. I'm sorry you struggle with the same thing- it's so difficult to cope with. 

I am constantly imagining worst case scenarios at the moment but I know that I have done the same thing at other times and then things have been fine- so thank you, I will try to stop that and to stay away from Google! 

I do definitely need to build up my own life as it's been taken over by OCD for so long that my life is quite empty and I have too much time and energy to spend on feeling anxious! 

I hope you are okay and coping with your OCD just now. :) 

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Thanks so much for your support and help Ivybasil, MarieJo, Daja and Angst.

My Mum is booked in for a cancer-pathway chest X-ray and urgent blood test now to rule out lung cancer (she has never smoked, which in a way is worse as I think if it did happen to be lung cancer it would be more likely to be secondary [spread from somewhere else]/later stage) but I'm trying to reassure myself that it could all turn out okay and be caused by something else.

 I am so anxious about it but she has actually specifically asked me to stop panicking about it- I have felt like the breath is being sucked out of me with panic this week so might have to ask the GP for diazepam or something if she does get diagnosed with anything serious. 

On 23/08/2021 at 20:42, ivybasil said:

 

 

On 25/08/2021 at 23:06, MarieJo said:

 

 

On 23/08/2021 at 01:24, daja said:

 

 

On 25/08/2021 at 18:58, Angst said:

 

 

 

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Hi Belanna

Have you tried relaxation exercises including breathing. Keep as active as possible in a positive way - walks, hobbies etc.  You need to take things step by step as we have now started the long bank holiday weekend nothing will be done by the NHS for a little while. Try not to speculate, such as you are doing in your post, as your speculation will tend towards the negative given your OCD. Your Mum is in the hands of the professionals so no need to research or google.

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On 27/08/2021 at 16:49, Angst said:

Hi Belanna

Have you tried relaxation exercises including breathing. Keep as active as possible in a positive way - walks, hobbies etc.  You need to take things step by step as we have now started the long bank holiday weekend nothing will be done by the NHS for a little while. Try not to speculate, such as you are doing in your post, as your speculation will tend towards the negative given your OCD. Your Mum is in the hands of the professionals so no need to research or google.

Hi Angst, 

No I haven't although I did try mindfulness a few years ago so might try that again. Annoyingly even though the GP marked the blood test forms as urgent she is having to wait 2 weeks for it. We're hoping the chest x-ray comes through sooner.

I don't have a lot of confidence in the hospitals in our region- they were absolutely dreadful with my Gran (wrong medications, letting her fall and get a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which could have killed her [luckily she died a few years later], not feeding her so she had complications from that) and when my brother had a brain injury at 19 (not scanning him when he was unconscious for hours with a serious brain injury that left him unconscious for over a week, not putting a drip up when he wasn't eating or drinking, not responding when another patient had a hypo, wrong medications etc). 

I am beside myself with anxiety.

 

On 27/08/2021 at 20:33, daja said:

Best wishes BelAnna. Be careful if you do get the diazepam. x

Thanks Daja! have you had a bad experience with Diazepam? I'm not sure about benzodiazepines as Lorazepam gave me horrendous anxiety after stopping it. 

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Hi @BelAnna

Sorry to hear about you going through so much anxiety about the situation with your mom. 

Hoping you can find gentle ways to ease the anxiety and fear. I find for me walking (or running) is usually the best...

On 25/08/2021 at 15:06, MarieJo said:

My advice would be, and I know more than most it's not easy to do, to try to take each day as it comes.

I second this advice. Hard to do, but the best approach for me to when I can do it!

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Sorry you're going through this, BelAnna! I'm glad you feel able to share how you're feeling with us though - that's a big positive! :) Sometimes just being able to talk about it makes it a little easier to manage. 

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Obviously the idea of losing someone you love isn’t a nice thought to have, but the best advice I can think of is just keep busy and try to stay positive as you don’t know for definite it’s the C word. It’s so easy to think the worst in every situation, but you can’t. 

I’m sure the scan will go well and my thoughts are with you and your mum during this time x

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11 hours ago, BelAnna said:

Thanks Daja! have you had a bad experience with Diazepam? I'm not sure about benzodiazepines as Lorazepam gave me horrendous anxiety after stopping it. 

I was prescribed Diazepam by an emergency GP (it was the weekend) as I wasn’t sleeping and was very anxious. I couldn’t come off it by myself so went to a psych ward where they gave me different benzodiazepines while changing my other medication. You might be fine on it as it doesn’t sound like you are on any other medication which might complicate matters.

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Posted (edited)
On 29/08/2021 at 17:13, L.M. said:

Hi @BelAnna

Sorry to hear about you going through so much anxiety about the situation with your mom. 

Hoping you can find gentle ways to ease the anxiety and fear. I find for me walking (or running) is usually the best...

I second this advice. Hard to do, but the best approach for me to when I can do it!

Thank you L.M. I can't work out whether I'm being silly for being so worried or whether things really are as bad as I fear they are. I really hope I'm catastrophising and things turn out okay. 

Thanks I'll follow yours and MarieJo's advise to take things a day at a time. 

On 29/08/2021 at 17:44, ivybasil said:

Sorry you're going through this, BelAnna! I'm glad you feel able to share how you're feeling with us though - that's a big positive! :) Sometimes just being able to talk about it makes it a little easier to manage. 

Thank you Ivybasil :) I hope your week is going okay. Thanks, the support from this forum does really help- I really hope it's just health anxiety making me so anxious! 

On 29/08/2021 at 20:05, thistooshallpass1996 said:

Obviously the idea of losing someone you love isn’t a nice thought to have, but the best advice I can think of is just keep busy and try to stay positive as you don’t know for definite it’s the C word. It’s so easy to think the worst in every situation, but you can’t. 

I’m sure the scan will go well and my thoughts are with you and your mum during this time x

Thanks Thistooshallpass! I think one of the problems is that I cannot think of a non-cancerous cause of the hoarseness as antacids and omeprazole aren't helping and she doesn't smoke or have any sort of throat infection but I'm not a doctor and really need to stop obsessing until we know more. 

I hope you're okay at the moment!

 

On 29/08/2021 at 22:57, daja said:

I was prescribed Diazepam by an emergency GP (it was the weekend) as I wasn’t sleeping and was very anxious. I couldn’t come off it by myself so went to a psych ward where they gave me different benzodiazepines while changing my other medication. You might be fine on it as it doesn’t sound like you are on any other medication which might complicate matters.

Sorry that happened to you Daja! That makes sense though- benzos can be very addictive so I'm rethinking my idea to ask for some- thank you. I think I'll just start taking St John's Wort (I'm not on SSRIs so can try it) if things do go wrong. 

Edited by BelAnna
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St Johns Wort works for some people. I tried it but not for long enough to notice much.
 

I’ve never tried chamomile tea but it’s supposed to be good for anxiety. My sister said it doesn’t taste very nice so I guess you could take the odd chamomile capsule. I don’t know how safe it is.

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57 minutes ago, daja said:

St Johns Wort works for some people. I tried it but not for long enough to notice much.
 

I’ve never tried chamomile tea but it’s supposed to be good for anxiety. My sister said it doesn’t taste very nice so I guess you could take the odd chamomile capsule. I don’t know how safe it is.

Thanks Daja! I think I've had chamomile tea before- it just doesn't taste of very much of anything! 

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How are you feeling today, @BelAnna? :) 

As for herbal remedies, my pharamacist suggested that Rescue Remedy stuff with bach flower. :)  I'd be curious to try it if I'm ever not on prescribed medication. I hope you find it helpful, @daja

On the subject of tea, I recently came across the OffBlak tea brand 😅 - they do one that's camomile and peach and it's excellent! I find that chamomile on its own doesn't taste of much either, hahah! Pukka tea is good too, imo! Love a good herbal tea! :D Especially if there can be a biscuit alongside...

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4 hours ago, ivybasil said:

How are you feeling today, @BelAnna? :) 

As for herbal remedies, my pharamacist suggested that Rescue Remedy stuff with bach flower. :)  I'd be curious to try it if I'm ever not on prescribed medication. I hope you find it helpful, @daja

On the subject of tea, I recently came across the OffBlak tea brand 😅 - they do one that's camomile and peach and it's excellent! I find that chamomile on its own doesn't taste of much either, hahah! Pukka tea is good too, imo! Love a good herbal tea! :D Especially if there can be a biscuit alongside...

Hi Ivybasil!

Thank you for asking :) - I'm still really anxious unfortunately but trying to distract myself! 

My Mum's 'Head and Neck clinic' referral has been booked for 10am tomorrow so I might try some Rescue Remedy for that and at least it's at the same time as the support group. 

I think i'll try Chamomile and peach tea- I don't dislike chamomile tea but hopefully the peach will give it more of a muchness! lol. Biscuits are essential! 

How are you getting on this week? 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, BelAnna said:

Hi Ivybasil!

Thank you for asking :) - I'm still really anxious unfortunately but trying to distract myself! 

My Mum's 'Head and Neck clinic' referral has been booked for 10am tomorrow so I might try some Rescue Remedy for that and at least it's at the same time as the support group. 

I think i'll try Chamomile and peach tea- I don't dislike chamomile tea but hopefully the peach will give it more of a muchness! lol. Biscuits are essential! 

How are you getting on this week? 

Hope all goes well tomorrow! The Rescue Remedy sounds like a good idea for that - I sometimes find that feeling like I've done something about the anxiety helps to ease it off a little! 

I'm doing okay, thanks! I'm much more able to keep busy now. I think I still need to book a check-in with my GP but it's so hard to get hold of them and even harder to see one in person at the moment! But I'm coping much better now! :) Thank you!

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