Saturday, September 21, 2013

Doctors Can be Anxious Too

Doctors can be anxious too.  I have assumed that I am always the anxious one, and most other people are calm.  A month ago I went to see my family doctor about some body pain, and she gave me some medicine and told me to call her the next week to check in.  When I did, and I wasn't 100% better, she said to make a specialist appointment just in case it still wasn't gone the next week.  When I checked in again, and told her that my specialist appointment was October 21, she freaked out and said that was completely unacceptable, and I needed to be seen in the next 2 weeks.  This in turn ratcheted up my anxiety!  She also ordered a test for an ailment that would manifest pain in a different location, "just in case I had an atypical presentation."

My husband said, "Your doctor is anxious.  I don't know if that is good for you."  What we decided to do was have him do a search for treatment guidelines, rather than have me search, which is my primary compulsion with health anxiety.  I felt blessed to have someone who would help me get more information, but who would stop long before I would ever feel "done" if I was searching myself.

I got an earlier appointment with the specialist, who said the medicine hadn't had enough time to work, and that we could set aside the test for the unlikely ailment.  She did schedule a different test for October, but it was one my husband had found as the next step in the diagnosis process.

It's been a long week, with a dental appointment and a gynecology annual exam.  Preventive healthcare is important, but my OCD gets all stirred up.  Not to mention that I still don't feel good.  The challenge is to keep doing things important to me, even if I don't feel 100% or know what's wrong with 100% certainty.  Maybe my family doctor is right, and I have something unusual going on.  Maybe it's just that I live in a malpractice prone part of the country.  Maybe she lost someone to a disease and she never wants to lose someone again.