DH panicked about gastro issue

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
DH panicked about gastro issue
4
Mon, 02-15-2010 - 9:50am

Hi all,


I'm desperate for answers to help my DH.  He has mild discomfort on the lower left side of his abdomen (has for years), is 42 yrs old, overweight (probably about 50-60 lbs) and does not eat a healthy diet.  His stools have been flattened somewhat for the past year or so (not really sure how long).  His family history:  his mom had non-cancerous polyps removed from her colon when she was between 55 - 58 yrs old and then at about age 60 she had a section removed because polyps continued to grow back.


DH finally pushed his primary doc to get a colonoscopy scheduled - his doc wasn't sure he really needed it at his age, but went along with it due to family history.  But DH never had the colonoscopy - he had a major panic attack (first one ever of this intensity) and cancelled the test.  Since then every day (it's been almost 2 weeks) has been a struggle for him.  I got him in to his primary doc (a GP) and he gave him anti-anxiety medication with some Zanax to use for really bad attacks.  He told him to take a break from any medical tests for a few months and get the anxiety under control.  The meds only help temporarily and don't resolve the main issue.


DH really wants to be able to just focus on getting the anxiety under control but the GI stuff is still constantly on his mind.  He's convinced himself (and reading stuff online hasn't helped) that he has colon cancer.  We have two young children and it terrifies him that if it's cancer or even just something requiring surgery, he'll burden us too much.  It's making him frozen - he wants answers but can't get himself to do the test because he's afraid of bad news.  He's also terrified of any surgery, even if it's just a hernia.


DH doesn't think a phychiatrist will help - says talking to me and one of his buddies is enough.  He's convinced he has a medical issue, and just wants reassurance that he can wait a few months to get the colonoscopy (or any other test).


With his symptoms, age 42 and family history of non-cancerous polyps, what could this be?  I've read online that it could be many different things. 


DH's main concern or question is if he has time to work on the anxiety issue without causing any further medical damage IF there is anything wrong.  Just looking for opinions, not a diagnosis of course.


: (     this is stressing me out too and I'm sure is affecting the kids although they haven't asked yet (they're 6).


any info or thoughts are appreciated


Dig66

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 11:22am

I'm sorry about the stress, it would cause me to feel much of the same concern and stress for someone I loved.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 1:59pm

Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2007
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 2:31pm

Oh, I'm so glad he'll be meeting with a specialist today.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 5:22pm

Hi! I am sorry I have not been around much lately and missed your posts before. I have had some family issues that I am dealing with.


I think your husband is doing the right thing by going ahead with a g-i consult. Hopefully the doctor will be able to reassure him.


I agree with Amy, though, that at least a short term course with a therapist -- not necessarily a psychiatrist -- could help your husband learn to deal with his anxiety more effectively.


It must be very difficult for you to see him in so much distress. I hope that you have someone that you can talk to to help relieve some of the stress this puts on you.


Please let us know the outcome of his visit.


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