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Checking skin for petechiae is ruining my life

amonk1025

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Hi. I have a long history with health anxiety. I haven’t struggled with it in a really long time. About three weeks ago I had a routine checkup with blood work and it came back that I was “a bit anemic” which I have been in the past. I’m taking iron tablets for it. Everything else was normal, WBC, platelets, etc. red count was a tiny bit high, just out of range. 5.4 compared to the upper limit of 5.1. But I have been spiraling since then. I have mainly been obsessed with checking my skin for petechiae or bruising. Occasionally I will get a small place on my skin that disappears in a couple of days. And I have a few scattered bright red spots on my arms and legs here and there. I know some of them are strawberry hemangiomas but I’m nervous that some of them might be petechiae. I’m just terrified of leukemia. It’s always been a huge fear of mine. Would my WBC have been out of range? Does anyone else have these random red pinprick spots? Please help.
 

bin_tenn

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That's not petechiae as far as I know. Sounds like cherry angiomas, which A LOT of people have - myself included. I occasionally notice one or two new ones, but they're fine. Petechiae, especially as it relates to blood cancers, would be much more widespread, and not individual dots. I get petechiae from carrying something heavy, or a shoulder strap rubbing against my skin, sleeping wrong, etc. They're perfectly normal in most cases, a result of simple trauma.
 

MATD

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I’ve had the strawberry dots since I was a kid. I’ve got two on my chest large enough to get flagged during a mammogram. Never had an issue, they are a benign skin condition.
 

Phillies Phan

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Your platelets and WBC count would be way out of range if you had what you fear. You would be exhausted to the point where you’d sleep all day and wouldn’t have the energy to read and post on this forum. You simply do not have leukemia.
 

Jonathan123

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Oh dear!!! All these long medical words show how much Googling has been done. They are meaningless unless you are in medical practice or a student.

A man went to his doctor. "Doctor, I am not well. Please examine me". The doctor did so and looked a bit sad. He wrote out a prescription. The man took it to his pharmacy. The pharmacist read it and smiled. "I am sorry sir, but I can't fill this prescription" " Why not asked the man", in fear. " Because", said the pharmacist "It says in Latin, 'Stop worrying yourself about things you don't understand and get on with your life' ".
 

amonk1025

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Oh dear!!! All these long medical words show how much Googling has been done. They are meaningless unless you are in medical practice or a student.

A man went to his doctor. "Doctor, I am not well. Please examine me". The doctor did so and looked a bit sad. He wrote out a prescription. The man took it to his pharmacy. The pharmacist read it and smiled. "I am sorry sir, but I can't fill this prescription" " Why not asked the man", in fear. " Because", said the pharmacist "It says in Latin, 'Stop worrying yourself about things you don't understand and get on with your life' ".
ahh I love this so much. Thank you.
 

Phillies Phan

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I’ve mentioned this story before, maybe on another site. One day my wife had petechiae on her lower abdomen. I mean a lot. Being one with HA I knew what it was and my blood ran cold. I told her she needed to go have that looked at by her doctor. She does Krav Maga and said it must have come from when she was sparring. Nonsense I said. Get it checked!

I bugged her enough to where she said she’d go but would tell the doc why she was there, because she had a husband with HA as she didn’t want to be embarrassed.

She comes home and says the doc agreed immediately with her as to the cause, and the doc had a message for me. Stop Googling and catastrophizing, She didn’t order blood work. It was gone in a week or so.

What we fear almost always has a logical, simple explanation, but at times we just can’t see that reason, or our anxiety addled brain is too preoccupied to see it.
 

Jonathan123

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I’ve mentioned this story before, maybe on another site. One day my wife had petechiae on her lower abdomen. I mean a lot. Being one with HA I knew what it was and my blood ran cold. I told her she needed to go have that looked at by her doctor. She does Krav Maga and said it must have come from when she was sparring. Nonsense I said. Get it checked!

I bugged her enough to where she said she’d go but would tell the doc why she was there, because she had a husband with HA as she didn’t want to be embarrassed.

She comes home and says the doc agreed immediately with her as to the cause, and the doc had a message for me. Stop Googling and catastrophizing, She didn’t order blood work. It was gone in a week or so.

What we fear almost always has a logical, simple explanation, but at times we just can’t see that reason, or our anxiety addled brain is too preoccupied to see it.
You are so right. In health anxiety all logic and reason goes out of the window.
'IT' takes over! But only if you let it. It does seem we have no control over it, but we have if we stop trying to control it. There now, another of those anxiety paradoxes!
By struggling or fighting it we just add fuel to the flames. Let the fear come without any resistance. Difficult? I'll say it is, but it can be done given the will. We are always far less as bad than we think we are. Anxiety exaggerates symptoms. In your case you did catastrophise. The doctor was right. But we all do it!!:)
 
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