Monday, August 23, 2010

Medical Monday

I woke up early this morning, to try to avoid the hustle and bustle of the first day of school. The alarm went off and I rubbed my eyes. I counted the hours of sleep that I have gotten over the last 3 days and was not surprised when I could use one hand to this.

Do you ever find yourself so completely overwhelmed by things that you have no real control over? I do this to myself all the time and often wonder if I am normal, or just totally nuts.

I lay awake at night (tv usually on) and think about things...anything from lost credit cards, crashed computers, conversations I had during the things like if I remembered to lock the front door. It drives me nuts, but I can't seem to "fix" this.

I'm a researcher by nature, so I took to the Internet and found some really interesting articles relating progressive disorders, to anxiety. I found comfort in that I am NOT nuts, and that other people struggle with the same things.

Those who are diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis, or similar disorders that affect nervous system are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than those who do not have a condition. That's A LOT of people dealing with overwhelming feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The thing that helps me with my anxiety, is to find some kind of outlet for the feelings I am having. Things that help me are; to journal, to go for a walk, or to call a friend, who won't mind if you "whine" to them. =)

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, please know that you are not alone. Some signs or symptoms of anxiety may include:

*Uncontrollable or Obsessive thoughts
*Overwhelming feelings of panic or fear
*Nausea, Sweating, Muscle Tension and other uncomfortable physical reactions

Dealing with a diagnoses of Neurofibromatosis alone can bring on tremendous fear and anxiety. I know that the first time I heard my child being diagnosed, I felt like I was the only one in the world, dealing with this dreaded disorder.

But once I reached out (blogging for example) It helped me, 1)Understand and Research NF, 2)Build some amazing friendships and most importantly 3) Realize that I am NOT alone.

If you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety, please reach out for help. Chances are, when you do reach out, you will find an unbelievable sense of relief.

*Please note....I am NOT a doctor. I talk from what I experience, and what works for me. Seeking help from a medical professional is ALWAYS first.


  1. Know what's weird? I get highly anxious Sunday nights before I go to bed. I do not know why, I just get really anxious. I get anxiety in general, and am very neurotic because of it. It makes me feel better to know I am NOT nuts! And meanwhile? NF has more baggage than I want to discover sometimes x.x

    What would we do without you, Kristi dear?

  2. Excellent post and suggestions, Kristi. If I may, I'd like to throw in my 2 cents a week late (I'm playing internet catch-up.) If not, just delete this post. These are general suggestions based on existing literature, not professional advice (as-of-yet-unlicensed therapist covering here bases, folks. ;-) )

    Like Kristi said, reaching out to others through blogs, support groups and friends is really helpful both to reduce the anxiety or other emotions and to reduce isolation which can come along as a result.
    Other things that can help w/ anxiety are exercise, breathing exercises, and/or seeking professional help or medication if the anxiety is keeping you from living life. Other things that can help w/ stress which may trigger or make anxiety worse is keeping a diary or journal to sort thoughts and feelings out and developing a hobby.

    I do not have NF nor do I have a child w/ NF, but I do know a thing or two about anxiety on a few levels. I also want to say something to the parents out there who may be reading this blog b/c they have a child with NF: Raising a child with special needs can bring it's own stresses and anxieties beyond what raising a "typically developing" child can bring. Like Kristi, remember you are not alone and reach out to others as you can.