I was a psychology major in college. That's it. No further expertise. But my husband and I often joke about a variety of psychological phenomenon and occasionally accuse each other of having different maladies. (He has an MSW, but left the Social Work field and is now a Network Administrator - i.e. computer geek.)
So, it probably doesn't help that I have a limited psychology background because I'm always trying to analyze myself. I think way too much and ponder on what's wrong with me. This is not a good thing. For the record, I do occasionally try to look outward and be more service-minded and less Jen-minded, but the gravity of self-absorption is too strong for me to break free for very long.
So, here's what I'm wondering: I wonder if all (or at least most) of my physical ailments are psychological. I have migraines, allergies, gall bladder problems, bunions, depression, fatigue, and, introducing, some weird pain in my abdomen. I'm just getting over bronchitis, which is probably part of the reason I was in a stupor for the last month - I came home from Florida with a cold that never really went away and eventually morphed into bronchitis.
So, now that that's getting under control, I get this weird abdominal pain. During the day yesterday, I felt it and it was the kind of pain you get from doing ab crunches. But I thought to myself, "This is weird. I haven't done any ab crunches since last fall sometime." As I went to bed, I realized it was kind of painful to sleep in a certain position because that area of my abdomen hurt. And when I went to get up - ouch!!! It is definitely a sharp kind of pain when I move it in just the right way. So, I got to thinking, "Great! I'm going to have to go to the doctor and spend more money on a stupid copay and even more prescriptions than I'm on right now." Then I set to analyzing the pain. It's not far down enough to be appendicitis, and it's not far up enough to be gall bladder pain. And it's far enough into my abdomen that it's probably not kidney-related but I do have a little pain radiating to my back. I finally did a little research on the web and, in no time flat, diagnosed myself with a pulled rectus abdominus muscle. . . .I hope. I also tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac because I start thinking, "What if it's something serious and I only have a month to live." But I am able to talk myself out of that mindset before I truly panic. So, I sit here today, typing away about this pain and not going to the doctor because I'm sure it will go away before long. (And please don't worry - if it does persist for more than a few days, I will have my doctor look at it - I'm not that stupid!)
The frustrating thing is that it's always something with me. I never seem to be healthy any more. I fantasize about being a healthy, energetic mom who keeps her kids fed and manages to make it through the day without a nap. I'm turning into one of those old ladies who ALWAYS has some health problem to tell you about. "Well, it's going to rain because that corn on my bunion turned purple and then my back started aching, and oh, my lordy, it's gonna be quite a storm."
The problem is: I don't want to be that lady. BUT, have I sabotaged myself? I occasionally enjoy the excuse to drive the kids to school while I'm still in my pajamas and then come back home to some hot coffee, a nap or two and a few video games (ok, well, it's like hours of video games, but that issue merits an entirely different intervention). But I don't want to do that every day. I want to get up and be productive and efficient and energetic. I want to accomplish more than a garden slug.
But does my brain tell my body to come up with some new ailment every time and old one is medicated so that I have yet another excuse to lay low? Yes, I really would love to hibernate, as I have addressed in many previous posts, so am I subconsciously looking for a way to do so?
I hope not. When I felt this weird abdominal pain in its full glory, my response was, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING!!! Can't I ever feel good for JUST ONE DAY??? And I'm reasonably sure that is my husband's response as well because he has to pick up the slack every time I'm not feeling good.
This is probably why I never actually became a psychologist: I would spend too much time talking about myself and my own problems to adequately help anyone else. Or maybe that would be a good thing. Patients would slowly inch toward the door, feeling much better about their own issues, as I rattled on incessantly about my gall bladder and my bunions and my rectus abdominus.