booAs per usual, I’ve been MIA for the past week. Firstly, I’m still working like a b*tch trying to figure out my new job, and exactly what is required of me.

Secondly, I’ve had a bit of a health scare which made me want to stay away from the internet in fear of diagnosing myself with something life-threatening. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is a fantastic invention most of the time but last week it was the work of the devil.

You see, before I moved back home I found I lump behind my ear. The day after I found it I booked straight into the doctors because lumps are not something to ignore.

She diagnosed me with a swollen lymph node and made sure I had no lumps elsewhere – thankfully, I didn’t. She told me that if it hadn’t gone down within a week, I should go back for an ultrasound. And then I moved back home.

And this is where the internet comes in. In the week that I was praying that my lump would just go away, I diagnosed myself with lymphoma, neck cancer, head cancer, and the rest. I made myself sick with worry. And this sickness came to a head on my 23rd birthday last week, when I couldn’t eat a single thing. Not even birthday cake. And what did I do? I immediately typed “lump on neck+sickness+no appetite” into Google. Well, that’s that then. I must have a lymphoma then.

I ignored the fact that I had no other symptoms like night sweats, extreme tiredness, and weight loss. The big symptoms. I had none of them. The weekend following my birthday, I went to the doctors again. Rather than checking me over completely he simply looked in my ears, and felt the lump. Then said, “Well, it doesn’t feel cancerous. It’s fine.” And then he sent me on my way. Job done.

And the weight that lifted off my shoulders was immense. I immediately stopped feeling sick, which shows that that particular symptom was psychological. And now my lump is slowly but surely going back to normal. Why have a written a full post about a lump that wasn’t anything to worry about? Because I need to tell myself that I can’t worry about things like that. I can’t assume that I’m on deaths door because I found a lump.

I actually thought about dying. Which is outrageous, and completely irrational. Before I even knew what it was. I need to sit back, and rationalize things in my head. Sure, if it turned out to be something bad I would have had to deal with it there and then. But not before I knew what it was. That’s no way to live my life. Every time I get a headache I’d be thinking it was a brain tumor. Every time I got a slight cough, I’d be thinking I had lung cancer. It’s not sensible. And it’s definitely not good for my mental state.

Maybe it’s time to go back to the psychologist…

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