Hey guys, it's been a long time since I have posted on here, however I am back and now I am very scared. Last night my dad was washing a broom that was used to clean up rat poo almost 2 weeks ago. We had advised him to throw it out but didn't listen. When he washed it in bleach he did not wear any gloves although he did wash his hands in hot water and soap, I am scared because of the fact that he has to help me out daily with my medical care procedure. I am afraid that he may or may not have caught a disease and will pass it on to me.
I just reviewed your prior posts, and now I recall your history.
You've been dealing with irrational fears about contamination, disease, and other intrusive thoughts for a good while now. What are you doing to address that? I know you've mentioned a therapist? Are you seeing a therapist? I know it's difficult for you, being that you're paralyzed and depend on others (your dad for example) to help you. Have you ever looked for any kind of online support group for other people in a similar situation? I think that would be very helpful.
Are you on any medications for the anxiety? Have you ever been diagnosed with OCD? Just my personal opinion, but I would bet that a lot (if not all) of your anxieties stem from the feeling of powerlessness you have being that you have to depend on others for a lot of your basic needs. How long have you been paralyzed, if I may ask? How long ago did it happen and how? Did you ever address the major emotional/psychological component that's involved in a spinal cord injury?
I worked with spinal cord injured folks WAY back in the very beginning of my nursing career, and I'll tell you that the emotional component of treatment is as important, if not MORE important as the physical part. Enduring a hugely life altering injury like that is VERY overwhelming, sad, anxiety producing...etc. If you never were assisted to deal with those emotions immediately following your paralysis, it's no wonder you're exhibiting these anxiety related thoughts. It's almost like a PTSD scenario, you know? Your anxieties are showing themselves as concerns over health issues, contamination, etc.
If you haven't ever really addressed your injury from a psychological standpoint, I would recommend starting there. You could be seeing a therapist and not benefiting a great deal from it.....a lot of people don't give much thought to the fact that they should be getting more out of therapy than they are, seeing progress, making new goals, etc. A lot of people just sort of get stuck in the status quo of keeping up with the same ole therapy appointments that don't differ much from appt to appt. Ring a bell? If so, that needs addressed. Have a heart to heart with your therapist, and explain that you're stuck in a rut with this anxiety, and want to work on it.
Just with a quick search, I found several online support groups (and other similar resources) for paralyzed people....hope you check them out:
I think being a part of one of those types of online communities would be SO beneficial to you! Just like this site....people not only come here to GET help, but often times, those same people stick around to GIVE help as well....which is VERY cathartic and helpful to a person suffering from any kind of condition, whether it be physical, mental, etc. You could join one of those sites,. get ideas, tips, support...and help others along as well...using all of the things you've learned along the way.
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