Stress and anxiety

Hi, this is my first post even though I have had lupus 17 years. In the last year I get really stressed out by hospital appointments. I get so anxious I can't sleep and I'm just in pain from head to toe. I have hospital appointment on Thursday for my first rituximab infusion. I have been looking forward to having this done because my health has been so bad this last 2 years. I am on the verge of panic attack sometimes. Does anyone else feel like this and how do you cope.

I'm new to this forum and enjoy reading and finding out how everyone copes with the many problems we all have. I recently realised that I'm not actually going mad and other people have the complaints that I thought I was imagining I had. Mo x

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  • Hello and welcome Mo. As you've seen, you'll find lots of support here, and I'm sure there are plenty of us who feel just as stressed by hospital appts x

  • Make a list of all the positives of these appointments, they are to benefit you and to improve your health and lead to a better quality of life. Explain to the health professionals your worries and concerns, I'm sure it's not the first time they'll have encountered this and will endeavour to help ease things for you.

  • Hello Mo,

    It's not surprising that you get anxious - after all, our appointments usually mean a great deal to us and our lives. Before a long waited appointment, I often get a feeling where I'm both looking forward to it (because I have this hope that it will magically make everything better) and at the same time dreading it (because I know it won't). In any case, it can be an emotional time.

    There are a few "standard" techniques to help cope with anxiety and panic attacks, like calm breathing, mindfulness, visualisations and self talk. Do you use any of them? For me, the most helpful is usually to do some rehearsal of what I need to say (so that I have a kind of script to fall back on), plus some "happy place" type visualisations. Sounds corny, but it does help. x

  • Hi Whisperit, that's exactly how I feel, like my last steroid booster, I couldn't wait 'to get my life back even for a short while but it didn't work'. I was so disappointed. That was 2 months ago so I'm trying to be positive but also thinking what if. I do the speech thing to myself often and it gets me thru but this is a biggie for me so time to try the deep breathing. Thankyou so much x

  • Hi MauraQuinn,

    Welcome to the LUPUS UK HealthUnlocked Community!

    Sometimes, certain situations can be overwhelming which is why talking to someone can help relieve worries and anxiety that you may have. If you would like someone to speak to, we can provide you with LUPUS UK contacts who you can chat with over the telephone. These contacts are volunteers who mostly have lupus themselves; they are not medically trained but are there to offer support and understanding. If you would like a contact to speak to, you can email me at chanpreet@lupusuk.org.uk .

    Regular exercise helps to improve sleep quality. Exercise should be done at least a couple of hours before going to bed; otherwise the mind may be too active, making it more difficult to sleep. We published a blog article on exercising with lupus which you can read here: lupusuk.org.uk/lupus-and-ex...

    The NHS Choices’ website provides information on sleep hygiene which I hope you will find useful: nhs.uk/LiveWell/sleep/Pages...

    We published an article on our blog about ‘getting the most from your medical appointments’ which contains helpful tips and information which you can read here: lupusuk.org.uk/getting-the-...

    We published an article on our blog about stress management and relaxation which I hope you find useful: lupusuk.org.uk/stress-manag...

    To download or request our free information pack, click here: lupusuk.org.uk/request-info...

    Please let us know how you get on, all the best.

  • Thankyou for this information. You have covered all the angles here and I will work my way through all of the sites you have given me.

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