Flares Plus

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Yesterday was my yearly mammogram. Having dense breasts, I always wonder when I’ll have a suspicious scan. Thankfully my scan was negative again. Twenty years of negative results is such a blessing, but I can’t help but worry each year.

I was surprised how stressed I was and still am today. I’ve felt very panicky, with shortness of breath, stomach-ache, and rashes. Panic attacks are terrible and I haven’t had one for years, but anticipate another one. I am trying to calm down by slowing my breathing and resting.

With my long list of diseases, I’ve gone to so many appointments. Most of my appointments lately have been stressful. Being 61 is a little scary, because I’m afraid that all the diseases I have are progressing. I sometimes worry too much about my future life.

My strange un-diagnosed rashes that one doctor said could be pre-cancerous is enough to fret over. I’m having tremors and jerks that will soon be tested to see if I have Parkinson’s. It seems like I have a PTSD-type thing going on. Whatever it is, it isn’t good.

As I’ve known for a long time, my physical problems cause mental/emotional experiences. Mine seem to be on a roller-coaster. When I’m in a flare, I’m very susceptible to panic attacks, depression, or other issues. When the flare includes panic, it’s so much harder to deal.

Is this how you feel sometimes? I am sure that every person with chronic illness will have a unique experience. Every day when I wake up, I never know how I’m going to feel physically or mentally. I may always fight against panic or depression, but some days my world is brighter.

woman prayer

One thing that helps me to escape these mental symptoms is to meditate. I spend some quiet time dwelling in and on a Bible verse that gives me truth, love, and care. The Scripture brings me comfort and helps to bring me back to the “me” who can look at life in a way of seeing truth and balance.

So today I plan to continue resting and breathe slowly and steadily. My body needs rest in order to heal from the stress of a mammogram and other worries. I’m starting to feel more relaxed and I hope you have a flare-free day.

@2024, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert and this post contains only my experiences and opinions and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please consult your personal physician.

12 thoughts on “Flares Plus”

  1. I hate the not knowing how you are going to feel part of having similar problems to yours. I feel like I can’t make plans because I never know when I’m going to wake up and be mid-flare. I just hate to cancel, but have grown used to it as the years with an autoimmune disease have ticked by.

    Congratulations on the negative scan! I too have dense breasts and mine are fibrocystic, so I get an extra ultrasound every visit to go with the scan. Whatever they saw last time, they asked me to come back in 6 months instead of 12. I’m hoping it was nothing.

    1. Unfortunately, it does get easier to cancel. I’m sorry you have to get the ultrasound. I had one of those a few years again. They just want to make sure they’re seeing everything. (at least it doesn’t hurt). I hate mammograms, and guess that everyone does. Will say a prayer for you.

  2. mammograms worry me too also having dense breasts, 2 years ago they found a lump but it was just a fatty deposit so I worry every year

  3. I can relate! For me, it is like a never-ending cycle! A flare comes with fatigue and pain. These in turn cause anxiety, which increases the pain. More pain! More anxiety! And then throw in an occasional panic attack. It is like a whirling vortex pulling down. Down, down, down, into deep, dark despair.

    A loving, supportive husband and a change in careers has helped, but the only thing that really keeps me going is my faith. I will pray for you as well.

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