Yesterday, I had the task of visiting two separate hospitals. The first was with my wife and the second with my mum.
For those that may have stumbled across my other scribbles, I have a big anxiety over illness and dying. If there is one place where there is a lot of this, it is a hospital. I have always challenged myself to go and take on the fear, but I also have a constant battle with my brain.
Like some parent on a massive guilt trip, my mind tries to think of any reason possible to stop me going into the hospital. Anything from ‘You will catch some terrible disease if you touch anything’ to ‘Is that the sound of someone throwing up I can hear?’ and everything in between is possible.
Thankfully, the appointment was on time and we were in and out quickly. The second visit of the day wasn’t quite as good. We had to take my mum to see her oncologist about chemotherapy treatment. Now although I know that cancer isn’t contagious, that didn’t stop my mind from trying a couple of quick shots to unnerve me. The clinic was also running late and so we had to wait for over an hour past our appointment time.
I always try to act calm, especially as I know my mum is worried and my daughter is upset for her nanny. This can make my anxiety even worse if I try to bottle it up, but I wasn’t going to let it win today – not yet.
The appointment was a little more negative than we thought, but there is still a good chance all will be well. I then had an unexpected shock that gave my mind a lot of free ammunition.
We decided to treat my mum to a meal at a local restaurant that we all like. We were in good spirits, but when the food arrived my mums wasn’t very nice. We complained, but by the time my mum got home, she wasn’t feeling well. Needless to say, we think she got food poisoning. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest trigger I have.
Even though we all had different things, my anxiety was treating it like a big news story. Headlines, live broadcasts and a tickertape running along the bottom, the whole nine yards.
The rest of us have been ok and mum is thankfully on the mend, but I didn’t get any sleep until 2am, once my mind had squeezed every last drop out of the situation. I think I used every calming trick in the book yesterday and I think it stopped me from going into a complete panic, but I know it will be waiting for its next strike.