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Thread: Please help me - need some tips

  1. #1

    Please help me - need some tips

    I am posting in the general forum and I hope this is not moved as I am seeking general advice.
    Some background - I have been twitching on and off since 2002 and have feared xxx ever since. The bouts of anxiety with this particular disease, when they strike, last for a 2-3 years. This one has been going since early 2019. I have tried hard to pull myself out of it and honestly was doing well the past few weeks - I starting exercising, going on hikes with my family, trying to sleep better. My husband has been travelling these past few weeks and I was even proud of myself for holding fort as a single parent...until yesterday.

    For a few weeks now I have been freaked out by a certain member's posts that have led me to worry about bulbar issues. So here's what happened yesterday. About 10 mins after eating breakfast, i blew my nose and saw a yellow stain on the tissue and wondered if some of the egg I had eaten had gone up my nose. I had been eating with my fingers and usually the yolk will stick to the sides of my thumb unless I wash and wipe thoroughly which I had not. It could very well have come from handling the tissue with my grubby hand. I really should have let it go. But I decided to test myself. I mixed some turmeric in water and gulped it all down and then dipped a tissue in my nose. I was horrified, and also perplexed, to see a yellow stain on the tissue as I had not felt anything go up my nose. I had an immediate meltodown and locked myself in a room not knowing what to do. I coaxed myself to come out and I found the original tissue that I had used and found it stained yellow all over. I had used only a tiny area to dig into my nose, so how could this be? That's when I realized the stains were coming from my fingers - opening the turmeric jar and spooning some out would smear my fingers and I had not realized this. When I looked at my fingers under a flashlight - three on both hands were stained yellow.

    I tried gulping turmeric water again, this time I cleaned my hands first - nothing. Then again, and again numerous times - still nothing.

    All day yesterday and today I have been opening and closing that turmeric jar and handling the spoon to see if any gets on my finger and stains surfaces I touch and press (kind of like simulating wiping my nose ) - it does pretty much all the time. I have wasted so many kitchen towels doing this.

    I have also been testing myself by guzzling MANY cups of water colored with - turmeric (bright yellow), tomato juice (red), raspberry juice (bright red), melted purple lollipop (purple), melted colored frosting from son's eclair (green), melted spirulina tablets (dark green), toothpaste (bright blue), mouthwash (neat - yes I swallowed it) - basically any brightly colored edible I could find at home. I have done this, at times, with a tissue stuffed up my nose as far as I can handle. I have tried wiping deep into my nostrils and blowing my nose hard - I have not been able to get any stains on the tissue. I am now at a point that my left nostril is bleeding from all this.

    How do I stop. I have to get back to parenting tomorrow and I am having a huge meltdown. I am desperate for concrete tips - my usual strategies are not working and my husband being away is making things worse - he usually talks me out of irrationality. Am I being irrational or am I doomed, help please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Please help me - need some tips

    Of course this is totally irrational - but then you know that already. You had a perfectly valid reason why you had the stains on a couple of occassions (your hands), yet chose to allow the fear to take hold. The point at which this should have stopped, as you know, is after the initial blowing of your nose. So, you know what - sometimes anyway things go go up the back of your throat and nose in perfectly normal healthy people. Some people can actually deliberately make milk come out of their nose after drinking as a party trick !!! (don't try this at home folks!!!). I would suggest firstly not reading anything further on the thread you are referring to. What are your usual strategies for dealing with this type of self-testing obsession ?

  3. #3

    Re: Please help me - need some tips

    Thank you Carys. I am usually not THIS bad but am feeling particularly vulnerable ATM.
    My usual strategies are distraction 9either doing a task such as cooking or watching a relaxing show), writing in my journal, having a heart to heart talk with my husband, and if nothing works then I just 'sit' with the fear and say 'so what'?. I tried the distraction and it helped to some extent - I was able to cook us meals and freeze some for the week, go out shopping for a bit with my son, get him ready for school tomorrow etc. But the self-testing and agitation continued so I wrote on here in lieu of writing in my journal. I do appreciate your reply - just having another adults to share with sometimes helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Please help me - need some tips

    Would it help to know, and rationalise really deeply, that what you are doing, the self-testing, is really not good for you and potentially dangerous ? You already have a bleeding nostril, you are damaging your mucous membranes, drinking and taking orally a whole variety of substances that could make you feel rather unwell and besides if you are actively blowing your nose and testing then you could be deliberately trying to force substances into your nasal cavity. You are running the risk of infections by doing this.

    I'm absolutely sure there is no issue with your swallowing reflex, of course now you are entirely focused on it and so it can feel wrong anyway once you bring an automatic bodily action into the domain of the conscious. I wish I could give you some great tips - but you are already doing the things I would suggest. A combination of self-reassurance and rationalisation that you have tested and nothing is wrong, along with distraction and strong will-power will be needed. You could add in another 'action' to take the place of the testing - for example fidget cubes and any of those wide array of ADHD type 'toys', a 'reward' for not doing the testing, Running up and down the stairs if you feel the need to test (distraction and uses adrenaline). Basically, find a subsitution for the action of testing.

  5. #5

    Re: Please help me - need some tips

    Thanks Carys. Your support is very much appreciated. You're right, I could be harming myself with these behaviors. I will not google turmeric toxicity but I really shouldn't be consuming as much of it as I have been, not to mention constantly touching the insides of my nose in these Covid times. I guess I'll use my health anxiety to quell the urge.
    Yesterday was a busy day with work, school etc. So the self-testing was much less. It helped being in places where other people could be watching me and not having access to testing supplies. although I had a very brief moment where the purple dish washing liquid at work caught my eye. I wasn't planning on drinking it, but since I am journaling everything here, the thought crossed my mind briefly.
    Today is hard. Working remotely, kid at school. I decided to work at a cafe to avoid conditions conducive to testing. But I did buy a magenta drink and couldn't resist the urge. I have tested thrice already but have decided to stop. I am putting it down here to hold myself accountable.

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