Why Doctors Scare Me Silly

18 Jul

Ever since I can remember, I was scared to go to the doctor. I was always making up excuses not to go– whether it was a regular check up or because I had a cold.  The anticipatory anxiety before each visit is so intense. At times, it’d even make me actually physically ill.

I’ve gotten better. But, I’m still nauseous before my doctor’s appointments and will do anything to get out of them. At the heart of the matter, of course, is not that I think all doctors are evil and out to get me. It’s really all about accountability. (Are you noticing a theme here?)

scaled

scaled (Photo credit: wader)

For so long I really lived by the now cliche saying, “ignorance is bliss.” I somehow  believed if I just completely disregarded my weight, my health, the facts that are right in front of me on a daily basis, I would be okay. It seemed like so many people went about their lives without making their health a priority and ended up alright, so why should I be any different?

Well, maybe I am different. I need to put my health first. And, no matter why I’m in that doctor’s office, I still need to face the numbers in front of me. The blood pressure will be taken. I’ll have to step on that scale. The doctor will evaluate the current state of my health. I always hated failing.

So how have I learned to stay calm when I’m headed to the dreaded doctor’s appointment?

There are few things that help me keep my composure:

  • Stay focused in between appointments. The more accountable I am between trips to the office the more prepared I feel. The less the numbers or information the doctor shares with me feels like a surprise. Knowing somewhat to expect, even if it’s not all positive, really helps.
  • Schedule the appointments strategically. If possible, schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning. Then, there’s less time day-of the appointment to worry.
  • Bring a loved one. My boyfriend always comes with me to my appointments. He knows everything about my health condition and my endocrinologist even assumes we’re married, which we always enjoy. Having him with me really helps me focus and keep myself together.
  • Be prepared and ask questions. Write down all of your questions and concerns before you go to the office and make sure to bring them with you. No matter how silly they might seem. This is another point where having someone with you really helps. They can remind you to ask your questions and also help you remember whatever information or answers are shared.
  • Find a doctor you are comfortable with and you trust. Build this relationship. Be honest with your doctor about your concerns. A good doctor should be your advocate.

Do you have any tips for making the most out of your visit to the doctor?  If so, please share!

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