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<p>So some of you know about my OCD and paranoia about things like listeria/toxo in pregnancy... I just made dinner for my kids and I (dh is working), salmon and Uncle Ben's brocolli cheese rice. The salmon is Gordon's (the frozen block kind, easy to cook in the oven), I picked it up with my bare hands while still frozen to put on the baking pan. Went to wash my hands and the water splashed onto my face (from my hands)- then I completely panic about any potential pathogens getting in my mouth (still can't stop thinking about it!!!!). After cooking the rice I look on the label and it says romano and blue cheese are both in it (which I know are no-no's in PG), so even though I was starving and had been sooo looking forward to that stupid rice, I didn't eat it. THEN, I cooked the fish 6 min longer (directions said to cook 14-16 min, I cooked for 22 min) then I was supposed to to make sure it was well-cooked. I pushed it around with a fork to see that it flaked, and it did, but it seemed a bit oily too (the box did say the fish was wild caught and could have some whiteish residue while cooking, etc so I am hoping that is what it was). Needless to say I just couldn't bring myself to eat it. I made plates for my kids and they ate it up while I sat there. I am still starving and I guess I'll make some soup... that's safe, right? I feel like crying... I am SO SO SO SICK of this!!!!! Worrying and obsessing over parasites and bacteria, I just can't take it anymore!</p>
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<p>Do you think the meal would have been okay? Do you think I could get toxo from the water that splashed off of my hands onto my face/mouth? I can't relax until I know baby is okay. :(</p>
 

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<p>I feel 100% certain that you could have eaten that entire meal.  The cheese in the rice would have been cooked so no concern there, and the water that splashed on your face would have only had a small chance of containing a frozen bacteria that would easily have been washed off before it thawed.  Do you have a doctor that you normally see for OCD?  When I went off of my anxiety meds in preparation to TTC my doctor said that if needed there were drugs that were safe to take during pregnancy.  I know it is difficult to take drugs while pregnant but honestly stress and starving are just as bad for your baby,  Fish is a really good source of nutrients for your baby, you shouldn't be afraid to eat it.  I wish I could give you a big hug mama and will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.</p>
 
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nintendork</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283524/feeling-like-crying-so-sick-of-being-so-paranoid-24-7#post_16093236"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I feel 100% certain that you could have eaten that entire meal.  The cheese in the rice would have been cooked so no concern there, and the water that splashed on your face would have only had a small chance of containing a frozen bacteria that would easily have been washed off before it thawed.  Do you have a doctor that you normally see for OCD?  When I went off of my anxiety meds in preparation to TTC my doctor said that if needed there were drugs that were safe to take during pregnancy.  I know it is difficult to take drugs while pregnant but honestly stress and starving are just as bad for your baby,  Fish is a really good source of nutrients for your baby, you shouldn't be afraid to eat it.  I wish I could give you a big hug mama and will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.</p>
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<p><br>
Thank you so much! It's like part of me knows I am being ridiculous, but the fear is SO REAL, you know? I am so scared... I just keep thinking about listeria or toxo being in my mouth and I want to pass out. :(</p>
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<p>As for meds, a doc I had a couple pregnancies ago told me if I needed to she could put me on meds but the thought of being on meds while PG gives me even more anxiety. This just sucks so bad! Why can't I be one of those free-spirited, happy PG women?</p>
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<p>I keep thinking about toxo being in my mouth... how do I get that thought out of my mind? Since the fish was frozen do you think most likely any potential parasite or cyst was killed?<br>
 </p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JFTB1177</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283524/feeling-like-crying-so-sick-of-being-so-paranoid-24-7#post_16093284"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I keep thinking about toxo being in my mouth... how do I get that thought out of my mind?<br>
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<p>You have to let go of the idea that perfect safety is even possible.  It's not.  If food is safe <em>enough</em> (i.e., it isn't raw meat or raw, unpasteurized cheese) you should eat it.  You could start by getting the leftovers out of the fridge and digging in.  I know that it's not easy, but the only way to overcome irrational fears is to face them head on.  <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"> </span></p>
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<p><span>ETA:  I just wanted to add that</span> there's no shame in taking meds.  Lots of women need to take them, and if you have to take them to keep yourself healthy, that's okay.  Nothing about life is perfect. </p>
 

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<p>This sounds so hard to deal with, let alone live and raise children and be pregnant through.  HUGS.</p>
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<p>I think perhaps you are thinking too quickly.  For example, you were afraid to eat the rice because of the cheese, but did you consider *why* blue cheese is sometimes discouraged?  I agree with the above poster that cooking it would've taken care of that problem (and correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that a rather highly processed product? - a lot of processed foods come *pre*-cooked as well, so you're only rehydrating and re-cooking it).  As for the fish, cooking it throughly also should set your mind at ease.  If you wanted to, you could also get a food thermometer, but that might be fueling obsession a bit too much.  Either way, I assure you that the white stuff on the fish is natural and not unhealthy, and just a part of cooking and eating fish.  =D</p>
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<p>It sounds like you panicked with the hand-washing.  Listeria isn't going to soak in through your fingers, so next time, slow down and wash carefully, but not in a rush or panic.  </p>
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<p>And, of course, ALL of these reassurances come with the caveat that chances are, there was nothing at all to worry about with the fish or the cheese in the first place.  Freezing doesn't kill listeria, but why assume there was any listeria in the fish in first place?</p>
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<p>Life is NOT a crisis.  Slow down.  Take a deep breath.</p>
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<p>Sometimes, we have to change our actions before our minds.  Like, proactively make yourself to stop and breath and gather your bearings before you launch into panic mode next time.</p>
 

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<p>One off the wall idea would be to maybe try Hypnobabies.  I'm doing that right now and I'm not even very stressed and it still really helps. </p>
 

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<p>I take meds for anxiety.  Being under that much stress during pregnancy is not good for you or the baby-it far out weighs the risks to medication in my mind, which is why I do not go off my meds during pregnancy.  I have severe GAD and am bipolar II.  The effects of poor mental health on my children, both born and unborn, and myself and marriage are far greater to me than the effects of medication that I truly need to function.  If you are unable to eat properly due to your anxiety, then you are not functioning. </p>
 

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<p>no advice here because i'm really not qualified to help you at all.</p>
<p>just here to let you know that i also take anxiety meds while pregnant (with number 1 and now number 2). i have agoraphobia related panic attacks so i know how it feels to have these things that you know in your head are completely irrational, rule your life.</p>
<p>i would try to find a dr that specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (but it's not easy, alot of them say they do and then you end up in endless circles of talk therapy) and start some meds. like pp said, with these meds, they weigh the benefit against the risk and it sounds like you might see way more benefit from them.</p>
 

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I just want to say that you are stronger than you think. I have watched you getbthru each step for months and you do get thru them. And it takes a lot to talk to us and be aware of what is happening, you are strong.<br>
Hugs and all the thoughts in the world for calm and peace in your mind.<br><br>
We are here for you.<br>
( and go much down on that food!!)
 

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<p>No, I do not think you could get toxo that way.  The dose from a splash is not large enough, you have antibodies in your saliva that can fight small inoculations, and you are probably immune like most people. You're letting the worry destroy you. It must be very difficult to have OCD on top of pregnancy.</p>
 

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<p>For those interested in OCD and pregnancy (I just learned something new):</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37626945/ns/health-pregnancy/" target="_blank">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37626945/ns/health-pregnancy/</a></p>
<p><br>
<a href="http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/287681-overview" target="_blank">http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/287681-overview</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also read that it can be a problem in the post-partum period due to hormonal changes. OP, I hope that you are able to get treatment after delivery...</p>
 

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<p>Thank you so much guys, I am so touched by your care and concern, I really am! And you are so sweet, Adorkable!!!! :)</p>
<p>I have suffered with hypochondriasis and panic attacks for a while even before I ever had kids. It was bad then (once I had convinced myself all of my organs were shutting down and I went to the ER and demanded them do testing. Even though testing revealed nothing, I was hysterical. I had had a panic attack before I left my house (where I had hot/cold flashes, diarrhea, sweats, and almost passed out) which made me think even further that I was dying. I went to my mom's house and she gave me half of a valium she had and it felt so good not to care about anything once I took it! That's the only time I ever took anything.). I did read once that OCD is hereditary and my mom said she had some OCD as a child (hers was more ordering and arranging, mine is definitely mostly contamination OCD with some checking compulsions).</p>
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<p>My OCD definitely got worse once I started having kids, and MUCH worse once I started having miscarriages. So not only do I think I am definitely going to come down with some horrific disease, I am convinced my kids will too. I am terrified of germs and bacteria, but when PG I do think that is much worse because I am certain I am going to lose my baby. It's such a screwed-up way to live. :( I don't even like my kids to go out on the playground or outside, for fear they will get germs or parasites on their hands or shoes. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>[email protected] thanks so much for that info, I keep thinking about what you said and it has made me feel a lot better! Thanks for the links too!</p>
 

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<p>Hi there,</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't have OCD, but I have a neurotic tendency and worried my entire pregnancy about toxoplasmosis and listeria and just want to share a few of my coping techniques (with thanks to my DH):</p>
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<p>(1) You're really far now (we're in the same DDC).  No5no5 is right: perfect safety is not possible - and yet look how far you made it all healthy!  Trust that those last weeks will go well too!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(2) The risks of listeria and toxoplasmosis have been highlighted to the point where they seem both the only dangers and truly big.  Neither is true.  The chance that your baby will get ill from either of them is really low (first you need to eat contaminated food - most food by far isn't, then it needs to make you ill - not all contaminated food will make you ill, then your baby needs to get a bad case of it from you - also low probability).  If you add everything up, chances are virtually negligible, esp. if you take the standard precautions.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(3) Distinguish between your fear (very real) and the chance something will be wrong (not very real at all).  It seems you're doing that already. I strongly recommend seeing a therapist or some counselor for dealing with the fear.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(4) Focus on eating well.  Food is good for you and the baby.  Pick foods that are known to be healthy (fish, veggies) and think of all the goodness you're giving to yourself and your baby.  All of that goodness far outweighs any potential, mainly theoretical risks.  It really helped me to think about getting the right food rather than having to worry about bacteria and the like.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Not advice, but a cry from the heart: shame on everyone and every medium highlighting all the possible risks of this and that!  It totally distracts from what really matters (eating well, feeling well, bonding with your baby, preparing for the birth). It didn't use to be like this when we grew up and we turned out OK.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>PS NO WAY that anything you describe could have done any harm whatsoever!  (And I studied this...!  More than cared for....).</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>EllisH</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283524/feel-like-crying-so-sick-of-being-so-paranoid-24-7#post_16094167"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Hi there,</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't have OCD, but I have a neurotic tendency and worried my entire pregnancy about toxoplasmosis and listeria and just want to share a few of my coping techniques (with thanks to my DH):</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(1) You're really far now (we're in the same DDC).  No5no5 is right: perfect safety is not possible - and yet look how far you made it all healthy!  Trust that those last weeks will go well too!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(2) The risks of listeria and toxoplasmosis have been highlighted to the point where they seem both the only dangers and truly big.  Neither is true.  The chance that your baby will get ill from either of them is really low (first you need to eat contaminated food - most food by far isn't, then it needs to make you ill - not all contaminated food will make you ill, then your baby needs to get a bad case of it from you - also low probability).  If you add everything up, chances are virtually negligible, esp. if you take the standard precautions.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(3) Distinguish between your fear (very real) and the chance something will be wrong (not very real at all).  It seems you're doing that already. I strongly recommend seeing a therapist or some counselor for dealing with the fear.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(4) Focus on eating well.  Food is good for you and the baby.  Pick foods that are known to be healthy (fish, veggies) and think of all the goodness you're giving to yourself and your baby.  All of that goodness far outweighs any potential, mainly theoretical risks.  It really helped me to think about getting the right food rather than having to worry about bacteria and the like.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Not advice, but a cry from the heart: shame on everyone and every medium highlighting all the possible risks of this and that!  It totally distracts from what really matters (eating well, feeling well, bonding with your baby, preparing for the birth). It didn't use to be like this when we grew up and we turned out OK.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>PS NO WAY that anything you describe could have done any harm whatsoever!  (And I studied this...!  More than cared for....).</p>
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<p><br>
Thank you so much for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br>
 </p>
 

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<p>I don't have any real advice, or experience with OCD, if anything I'm the opposite as far as germs/contamination are concerned:) But I just wanted to offer you a virtual hug and reassure you that you would have been perfectly fine eating those foods. The whitish fluid/stuff that comes out of the fish I believe is mostly fat/liquid mixture. Nothing to worry about. I personally don't eat it, just because I don't like the texture of it, but not because I think it's harmful. As far as the rice goes, the blue cheese was already cooked, dried, and all you were doing was rehydrating everything. The issue with soft cheeses(and I don't even think it's a real issue) is that they're too fresh, therefore could contain bacteria, but I eat raw cheese, so maybe I'm not one to talk! lol. I know you're probably hearing all this and thinking it makes sense but you may go off later and worry some more, because I know that OCD yields irrational thoughts, even if you know in you're heart that you are being irrational. I'm so sorry and I hope you will consider getting on meds for this. Know that while you might be more worried at first being on the meds, if they work, they will help take that worry away and you might start feeling more normal. Oh and, yeah...no food is perfectly safe! Did you ever think that peanut butter would have salmonella? But it did! I agree with one of the other posters about hypnobabies. I'm looking into it for my birth..I think it could really help with OCD!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JFTB1177</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283524/feel-like-crying-so-sick-of-being-so-paranoid-24-7#post_16094148"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thank you so much guys, I am so touched by your care and concern, I really am! And you are so sweet, Adorkable!!!! :)</p>
<p>I have suffered with hypochondriasis and panic attacks for a while even before I ever had kids. It was bad then (once I had convinced myself all of my organs were shutting down and I went to the ER and demanded them do testing. Even though testing revealed nothing, I was hysterical. I had had a panic attack before I left my house (where I had hot/cold flashes, diarrhea, sweats, and almost passed out) which made me think even further that I was dying. I went to my mom's house and she gave me half of a valium she had and it felt so good not to care about anything once I took it! That's the only time I ever took anything.). I did read once that OCD is hereditary and my mom said she had some OCD as a child (hers was more ordering and arranging, mine is definitely mostly contamination OCD with some checking compulsions).</p>
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<p>My OCD definitely got worse once I started having kids, and MUCH worse once I started having miscarriages. So not only do I think I am definitely going to come down with some horrific disease, I am convinced my kids will too. I am terrified of germs and bacteria, but when PG I do think that is much worse because I am certain I am going to lose my baby. It's such a screwed-up way to live. :( I don't even like my kids to go out on the playground or outside, for fear they will get germs or parasites on their hands or shoes. </p>
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<p>[email protected] thanks so much for that info, I keep thinking about what you said and it has made me feel a lot better! Thanks for the links too!</p>
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<br><br><p>your story sounds so much like mine. i thought there was something physically wrong with me until i had the huge panic attack (also hot flashes, vision change, trouble breathing, etc...) and went to the ER. that's when they gave me ativan and it was the first time i had felt ok in months. but i've on a medication in the same family ever since. was able to get off of it for a while but gradually the panic came back.</p>
<p>for me it also got worse during pregnancy. last time i literally thought i was going crazy and would have to be locked up. but i think it helps to remember that you did get through it before and you will get through it again.</p>
 

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<p>Hang in there! Although I have no personal experience with OCD and extreme anxiety, my sister has, and I understand how absolutely debilitating it can be. I'm very sorry you're having to endure such suffering and I hope you get some relief once this baby is here. I won't suggest you "calm down" or "relax" because if it were that easy, you wouldn't be feeling this way. I do hope that you're getting proper medical/psychiatric care and some counseling. If not, could you talk to your GP about getting some additional care for yourself? </p>
 
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<p>*Hugs* I know what this is like. I haven't been diagnosed with OCD, but it wouldn't completely surprise me. I have been diagnosed with panic disorder, and my panic attacks almost always stem from the fear of sickness. I, too, have gone to the ER for a severe panic attack. (I didn't know what it was at the time. I thought I was dying. They were worthless and had no clue that's what was happening...but that's beside the point.)</p>
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<p>I have been on Zoloft for 3.5 years, and it has helped immensely. I am still on it, and I am in a good spot right now. I've only had one panic attack my whole pregnancy so far. </p>
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<p>I really suggest that you talk to your doctor about your options. Maybe you could be ready to start a medication once you have the baby, since you are so close now. (Zoloft is shown to be compatible with breastfeeding, but I don't know if it's taken for OCD or not.) I know how awful that obsessive feeling can be. It was very bad for me last winter. (Wash hands. Wash hands. Wash hands. Oh no, I accidentally brushed my lips with my hand! I'm going to get sick!) There are things that can help. <img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></p>
 

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<p>*hugs*. Please get some help for this! I just cannot imagine the stress of making dinner and being too scared to eat it. I cannot think of a single food that is cooked, in your own home, that you would have to worry about eating while pregnant.</p>
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<p>If it makes you feel any better, I eat raw salmon in sushi, and real blue cheese and I am humming along fine in my 7th month. I have never been worried about food poisoning though.</p>
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<p>I have been very obsessed with burning the house down though, leaving lights on and especially the stove. I used to loop the block in the car and come back into the house several times for each trip out to check that I didn't leave the stove on. <em>Even when I had not used the stove that day.</em> It got so bad I made a mantra that I would repeat to myself when I was feeling compelled to go check the stove after I drove away. I would say to myself, "Laura, the risk of burning the house down in a small price to pay for your mental health . . ." It sounds stupid but I meant it. What I meant was that worrying about the very very small chance that I left the stove on and that would somehow burn the house down (I mean, the stove is designed to burn safely) was not worth how it was destroying my mind worrying. I stopped letting myself check at all. It almost hurt not to check, but it got better.</p>
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<p>I still give a silent "YES!" when I pull into the driveway and the house if <em>fine</em>, but it was really battle, a serious battle, to not go back and check at first. I still think about it some when I am out but I force myself to push it out of my mind.</p>
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<p>If you really don't want to take drugs, try and find a therapist you can talk these things through with. I think that would be very helpful for you.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But the food you made was fine!!!</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>greenmulberry</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283524/feel-like-crying-so-sick-of-being-so-paranoid-24-7#post_16096314"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>I have been very obsessed with burning the house down though, leaving lights on and especially the stove.  </p>
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<p>I'm sorry. :( I actually have some checking obsessions too (although they are not as bad as my germaphobia). I have to check on my kids (via our video monitor) throughout the night to make sure they have changed positions as to assure me they aren't dead! I also have to put my 20-month-old down to sleep in the same pattern every night or I think something bad will happen to him. Or if I miss one night of giving them a bath something horrible will come about. I have a slight fear of a house fire, but mine is only really when my mom is watching my kids, like I think she'll light a candle and it'll tip over and she won't know (she doesn't light candles at my house), etc. I think up the craziest scenerios in my head and it sends me into a panic. Thanks for telling me you eat blue cheese and sushi, it actually does help to hear that!! :)</p>
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<p>Thanks again ladies, so much! It feels good to know that there are others who understand what this feels like, even though I am sad you guys go through it too. I am going to look into a therapist that specializes in OCD, I do think I need help.<br><br>
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