DEAR HARRIETTE: In the past few weeks, I have learned about several friends or people that I know who have died in their sleep. It is scaring me so much. These people were pretty young -- in their 40s and 50s. Each seemed relatively healthy, though one woman had the flu or some other similar respiratory problem. They have got me so worried, I can hardly sleep.
My husband calls me a hypochondriac because I have gone to the hospital a few times when I have had heart palpitations or other weird chest pains. So far, the doctors have never figured out that anything is wrong with me. I have stopped going to the hospital since they never find anything, but sometimes I wake up or can’t go to sleep because of weird chest pains. I don’t want to die -- or waste time, energy and money rushing to the hospital. How can I know when it is time to go? -- Emergency
DEAR EMERGENCY: It is time for you to get a physical. Go to your doctor and get a complete health workup. Explain what you have experienced and also your fears surrounding recent deaths. Ask for medical guidance for yourself so that you can learn the warning signs of possible emergency situations. Talk to your doctor about anxiety. Figure out if you possibly are experiencing any type of anxiety right now and if you are eligible for some type of medical support during this period.
Ask your husband to be more supportive. Tell him about the people who have recently passed away, and make it clear to him that you are worried because of it. Point out that when he passes judgment over your worries, it only makes you worry more. Most importantly, get support so that you can determine what your warning signs are. Hopefully this will help you to relax a bit.