I can’t sleep the night before a doctor’s appointment. Not anymore. And I get snarky, twitchy, and scared almost a week before a specialists appointment. On the day I don't want to leave the bed, don't want to dress or get ready for the trip.
When I get to the medical office, I try to calm down with listening to music but my mouth is dry, my heart is racing, and I feel like it is bursting through my chest. I feel like there are fingers ripping open my rib cage, and have a hard time getting a breath. The more I try to focus, the worse those feelings get. I know that I am having a panic attack, and yet I try to say nothing to anyone, for the same reason I can’t sleep the night before….
Because I know it would be used against me.
I have nightmares about missing finals and how I can’t find my classroom but I wonder how much of that is about the OTHER type of tests: medical tests. Like a final, I will have a short period of time, sometimes only a minute or two in which I will be given a question by the doctor to which I need to have the perfect answer. And I never seem to get it right.
“I am tired of wasting my time.” My GP says, and walks out. “Stupid” is the most common phrase he uses for me. He tells me my questions are ‘time wasters’, ‘Stupid’, ‘Idiotic’ and yet, he is one of the better GP’s I have had. The closest he has come to saying something nice was one question he said, “Now THAT question was a GOOD question.” (Gee, what would that make every other question I have asked him?). Linda said outside, “Did you notice how much he like you.” No. I feel too much like throwing up after a doctors appointment from the fear, and the adrenaline in my veins to feel anything other than, “Please let me never have to do that again!”
I ask doctors questions because I don’t know why things happen. When the side of my colon fell over my anus blocking it and he put me on a softener and other products, I asked, “Will the colon fix itself, and why did that happen?” This, I was told, was a stupid question. Linda thought he probably didn’t know the answer.
I’ve noticed that the more the doctor doesn’t know the answer, the more they attack me. And with my disease, they don’t know a lot of answers. Ergo, I am always the problem.
To me, if my anus is blocked, this is considered BAD. I want to know why, so I don’t have to go to a doctor again, and to get an X-ray again for a blocked anus. I don’t want to tell the X-ray tech, who is cute and looks like California, that I am here to check for anus blockage and constipation. It kills the romance fast. There aren’t a lot of anus jokes which can be used as pick up lines (though MANY men have tried, trust me).
I have been told that I am lying, that I am delusional, that I am suffering from trauma from my childhood, that because I take medicine for depression I used to have, I am making this all up. I have been told that what I say isn’t possible, and the most common reaction of a doctor seems to be to ask my partner, “Is she lying?” No.
I have been told that I want the attention, or that I subconsciously want the attention and that it isn’t my fault, but I need to go to a mental asylum. Or that it is my fault. Or that they need to run the blood tests again.
I have been told that my blood tests must be wrong. The MRI must be wrong. That the conduction test must be wrong. That the CT must be wrong. Then I am told that the notation, “Indication of an adrenal tumor” on the blood test isn’t relevant. That the 40% of the blood test which showed up with star by it and bold with ‘GP, address then or refer to specialist’ note on it, isn’t important. I’ve been told that I haven’t had an infarction because the blood test shows there is no damage to muscle. I have been told that the result showing the massive damage to muscle is likely from me bumping into a table. When the damage increases and is in bold and ‘urgent’, I have been told that it ‘isn’t important’. I have been told that I am at fault because I let my B-12 get too low. I have been told that my B-12 is irrelevant. That anemia isn’t relevant. I have been told that if I had fatigue, how could I be in the doctors office.
I have been told that I look too good to be sick. I look too animated to be in pain. I have been told that purple fingers come from florescent lights, not lack of oxygen. I have been told that even though my nerves are dying, and have an auto-immune disease, I am probably ‘faking’ the level of my autoimmune disease, though no one knows WHAT disease it is yet.
Jazz at Fighting the Fibro visited a pain doctor. He treated her like shit. She still managed to make sane, logical arguements. My pain doctor said, "Hmmm, you don't exercise." After finding out I did he said, "You are too complex to treat." I didn't have anyone even try to treat my pain for the next 2.5 years.
I've had a male doctor tell me I'm not masturbating correctly (no, I'm not kidding). And then want to follow up about it. I always thought, "If I orgasm, and don't use any gardening tools, then that's good." No, not good enough.
I have nightmares about doctors because doctors hurt me. They hurt me emotionally, and psychologically. They hurt me physically, they grab me, they leave bruises on me. The idea that I go to a respite where any doctor can walk in at any time and do anything to me is beyond terror. Having a room where I can’t lock the door with doctors around terrifies me.
Several people told me about how they developed needle phobia after a bad incident with a needle (one where the nurses tried 16 times without success). I have had dozens and dozens of doctors conduct, supervise, oversee, evaluate and manipulate both me and the results of the hundreds of tests I have had. One doctor told me that ‘I don’t need tests to tell you have pseudo seizures, regardless of what the ER neurologist said, and I don’t treat pseudo seizures. This will probably be the last time you see me.’ He sent me for a single 1 hour black and white flash test, which produced no seizures. I wasn’t scheduled back, and ended up getting meds from the seizure specialist in the ER.
I am fatigued of crying from the abuse of the white coats. I am tired of the two days of nightmares BEFORE I go, and the three days of nightmares AFTER I go.
I think I have Post Traumatic Stress from the trauma of the doctors who have often judged me and found me wanting even before I saw them. “X talked to me, when they heard you were seeing me. So, I know ALL about YOU.” Once specialist told me at the start of the meeting. This wasn’t even the man who hated me, told me so, but added in all seriousness that if anyone wanted to do anything to my heart, he really wanted to do the cutting.
Like a gal who seems to pick the 'hit me' type of boyfriends, I have started many doctor relationships with good hopes. But then the 'Do it and shut up' soon starts. And after that it is 'Do it or else' In our Province you can go the CPS, and see how many doctors in your neighborhood just got requirements to have a female in the room due to the multiple number of rapes or sexual abuses. No, the doctor doesn't go to jail. And it has to be more than just one, but the college won't tell me the magic number of cases before they go from being published with a line about 'complaints of abuse' in a doctor only publication until they are listed on this board.
One doctor told me they wouldn’t touch me at ALL, because I made him uncomfortable. Another doctor wanted to know why I got into the sex trade. Seriously. His apology was, "Oh, or was it exotic dancer." A DIFFERENT doctor sent me for monthly HIV tests. One doctor refused to treat me anymore unless I consented to a double mastectomy. Could I do that at a sandwich shop? Could I do that to the doctor’s family? Ask his daughter when she chose to be in an escort service? Or would that be out of line? One doctor said they wouldn’t see me in their office, but they would consent to examine me in the parking lot.
What is the cure for Doctor Phobia? And am I the only one who has it?
2 hours ago