Stress manifesting as physical symptoms

I find myself wishing this time away, I just want the days to go faster and for me to be numb to it all. I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to not wish my days away. Especially since Paxlet has come to this world, but even before while I was pregnant and maybe even during that last cycle before finding out I was pregnant. So, this is a bit strange to want to wish the days away again.

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There is less than a week before we, everyone in the service center at my work, find out who has a continued job and who doesn’t. I wish I could say I wasn’t stressed about it, but I would be lying if I did. I am constantly thinking about work: what will happen if I don’t get a continuation (I think I might cry when I find out and the dreaded looking for a new job will begin) and what might happen if I do get to continue (I think I’ll cry when I find out). This constant thinking and remembering about what is about to happen at work is taking its toll on me. I am stressed and it is showing up physically.

I think one of the most common symptoms of stress that I hear a lot about is sore and tense muscles, especially in the shoulder area. I do get that some, but that isn’t the worst of my symptoms. My never fail stress or strong emotional symptoms are the feeling of an oncoming UTI and itchy bumps (hives?), mostly on my hands and sometimes on my feet. I’ve known that I react to stress and pent up emotions with UTI symptoms since I was 16. This hive stuff is relatively newer. At least in relation to stress it is new.

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Just before my 16th birthday, I was dating/had a boyfriend named Ben*. Ben was my first. No one was home at my house and we did it upstairs in my bedroom, on my bed. He told me that it would hurt some and to think of it like a golf ball being pushed through a garden hose. (Yes, he actually said that.) He also told me afterward that no one, especially not my mom, whom I lived with, would know that I just had sex, even if I felt different. It was a summer fling and I snuck out of the tent** a lot that summer to go meet up with him and his friends. I can’t exactly remember how it ended. I’m not even sure we had an ending or if we just didn’t see each other as much anymore and that was that.

In any case, I ended up with a UTI. I went to the doctor, got the medication, took said medication but I still had symptoms. I think I ended up doing 2 or 3 rounds of medications because I still had UTI symptoms and excruciating pain radiating to my finger tips and toe tips when I peed. The doctor was baffled by my symptoms, as my labs came back clean. I was then sent in for some invasive testing***, which I usually don’t remember or think about. It must have been traumatizing for a 16 year old me. It was around this time of the testing and several months after Ben and I had stopped seeing each other, that my mom asked me if all of this could be due to anger, unhappiness or unresolved issues relating to Ben. (I don’t think she knew I had had sex with him, or at least I didn’t tell her, but maybe my stepmom had.) It was at that point that I realized I was a bit mad at him and that I was keeping some emotions bottled up and unacknowledged inside me. Once I thought things through and worked it out with myself, the symptoms went away. Just like that and immediately.

And so it has been, for the most part, over the years. More often than not, my UTI symptoms are a product of my stress and unacknowledged emotions. Once I take the time to think about my issues and what could be causing them, the symptoms will go away by the next morning (after a sleep).

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Thankfully during this stressful time with work, the UTI pains haven’t been that bad. Actually, it hasn’t been that bad at all. I just have an almost constant feeling of tension in my lady bits. It hasn’t progressed past that and I think that is due to my drinking enough water and being aware of my stress.

The itchy bumps on the other hand, literally, are annoying the crud out of me. My right hand seems to be more affected than the left. At this moment, almost my entire palm area, but especially the thumb base, has little raised bumps just under the skin. If I happen to scratch my hand or rub it in just the wrong way, it will start to itch like crazy! I am doing my best to keep my hands lubricated with lotion (I have no idea if that helps or not) and not scratching! Even when it itches painfully.

—–

*He was the oldest-youngest man I ever knew (so said the guys he hung out with and who later became friends of my own, even to this day). He wore white jeans, cowboy boots and a leather jacket. He also had long hair in the back (longer than mine) and bangs. He was such an 80s man and he was only a few months older than myself.

**My mom’s place was impossible to sneak out of, but because it was summer, I convinced her that it would be fun for my friend and I to sleep in a tent outside in our yard. (She never could figure out why I was so tired and sleeping until late each day, or so she commented one day.) Once my mom’s light was off in her room and I waited a bit, off I would go for the night and be back by early morning. That was a fun summer!

***I had to drink water until I was ready to explode and then pee on this special toilet set up in the middle of a huge room with no one around (thankfully) but lots of medical equipment. I had to pee as fast and as hard as I could so the toilet could measure it. I believe this was also the same period of time when I had to pee into a huge diaper/pad-thing while standing and having it x-rayed or something. And then I was put on a table where they stuck tubing up my urethra, filled my bladder up quite full, did an ultrasound and then they emptied it out again.

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4 thoughts on “Stress manifesting as physical symptoms

  1. So hard. I hope time flies until you know what’s what.
    Focus on the little things until then. There is nothing wrong with wishing time away when it is a matter of a short period of time, and things can change the course of your path in life. Waiting for news with you (and hoping it is good news all the way).

    • Thanks, Mina! Thankfully it really is a shorter amount of time now. I believe we will find out by Wednesday or Thursday. I sure hope they won’t be waiting until Friday. 🙂

      Until then, life does have to carry on.

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