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Absolutely terrified...


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Hi guys.  I'm back. I can't believe how grateful I am for the boards right now.  I'm worried sick about something--still unmedicated, so it's unclear as to how much of this is *valid* worry or *pathological* worry so I am hoping the wise minds here can help me sort it out.

 

My sister is very sick.  She has hep c and an assortment of other ailments. It's terrible. She basically has no life, lives with my parents, has to have major surgery again on Friday and....it just sucks. 

 

It sounds terrible, but I am constantly grateful that I am not her. That I have something to live for. But. A few months ago I got a tattoo to commemorate my graduation and honor my dead best friend.  I then visited my parents, in their small apartment, and in my infinite wisdom I took a shower there. IN MY SISTER'S BATHROOM USING THE SOAP IN THE STALL. OVER MY TATOOO WHICH WAS HEALING.  She has like psoriasis and shit so she bleeds a lot. I am so fucking stupid, I can't believe I used that fucking soap.  I read recently that hep C can live for DAYS outside the body. I am just about to move across the country, back home, I have a good friend I am living with, two job interviews, some savings and I AM CONVINCED I NOW HAVE HEP C AND WILL END UP LIKE MY SISTER.  A worthless piece of garbage with no means no life no nothing and shit for blood--this is NOT how I think of her, but how I would think of myself if I got it.

 

It would mean that everything I did, graduating, writing a manuscript, saving money--meant nothing b/c I'll end up dying alone. My sister lost like all her friends and the same will happen to me. I can't stop crying. I don't have health insurance so I can't get tested, and I told my mom--not about the tattoo, b/c she'd flip out and I didn't want to deal with it---but that I had an "abrasion" that was bleeding and open and that I took a fucking shower with the soap in my sister's stall.  Her reply: I thought I changed the soap or gave you different soap....oh well, I wouldn't worry about it. OH MY GOD if she thought she changed the soap, that would mean that it WAS FUCKING DANGEROUS for me to use it.  I just am freaking out. How easy is it to get hep C? I'm supposed to get on a bus and get on a plane and go back home tomorrow but instead I just feel like fucking ending it all because if I have hep c and no insurance i'll end up just like my sister with no life anyway. I'm so fucking scared. All b/c I got a fucking tattoo to honor something I cared about I'm such a fucking loser.

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wow, calm down

 

I don't know any statistics, but I think it is unlikely

not sure how long the exposure period is but in your new location the public health department

might be able to test you

I do not think you are going to lose your friends and die alone

I am sorry about your sister

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Hep C is transmitted from blood to blood contact. It isn't that easily transmitted. So unless the soap you used of your sister's was bloody before you used it you didn't catch anything. The local health dept. can test you for a small fee. 

Don't be so hard on yourself. Even if you did contract it you are still a good person who's hard work still has meaning. You won't lose your friends unless you try to push them away. If in the very small chance you did catch it tell your friends "this" is how you got it, and "this" is the precautions that you are taking to make sure they are safe. If you were sick people would get piece of mind knowing that you are making sure to take steps not to spread the disease. 

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I think you are overreacting quite a bit. Try to calm down. The chances that you contracted Hep C through soap in a shower over your new tattoo is VERY slim. Was there VISIBLE blood on the soap? If not, don't worry. HCV is spread via blood-to-blood contact. 

 

If you are THAT worried, GO GET TESTED! There are plenty of sliding-fee scale clinics out there so not having insurance is no excuse!

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I'll get tested as soon as I can. No reason not to. The city I'm moving to has better access to health care, and I will have some free time, initially, and transportation. I should also get back into treatment for the MI as soon as I can.  Thanks for the blast back into reality. I just hate the fucking treatment part but I have been doing so well and I can't let the anxiety and despair get ahold of me again. I think that's what this main anxiety is about--fear that now that I am trying, actively trying, to be healthy, I'll fall ill.  Something that speaks to a need for lifestyle changes, which are entirely possible now that I am moving.  It isn't the end of the world. Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I believe it and go nuts about it and I'll see later it was a fucking distortion

 

Clearly, I have shit I need to work on, and one of them is accepting the fact that I do, indeed, have an MI and that it isn't a matter of "willpower". I always say I need the time to work and write but time devoted to treatment can help improve the quality of that time.

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It's OK that you panicked over this. It's unfortunately par for the course with our particular mental illness. Of course we know we're overreacting, and of course we know at some point or another the sensible way to handle any foreboding situation, but the anxiety and worry over it is impossible to prevent. Don't beat yourself up over stressing it, but do try to put a little more faith in your optimistic side (the side that keeps us anxious people from panicking ourselves to death!) and gather all the facts you can to reassure you in the meantime while you wait to get a test. Believe me, I know exactly what it is to stress about something that could happen and is terrible, but hasn't happened yet, and most of the time, won't. If I start to feel that sort of panicky it always helps to talk to someone, or getting it out somehow, so at least you know you can share the pain.

 

That being said, I hope all is well with you and this was just a temporary scare. I have a huge fear of becoming deathly ill because I would rather die than be that sick. But I'm afraid of suicide so I don't know what I'd do if I got some debilitating disease.

Edited by NeonGhost
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