You would think being chronically ill we would be masters at doctor appointments but truthfully, we're not. A lot of us get really anxious especially when we see a new doctor.
When you're chronically ill you deal with I guess you can call it verbal abuse by medical professionals. We're told we have a low pain tolerance, it's in our heads etc when our symptoms are very real. We are not seeking out attention we are just seeking help to get back to a "normal" life.
So here I am getting settled in bed trying to calm my nerves about seeing my new GI doctor. Here I am hoping for the best preparing for the worst. Am I going to get relief from symptoms? Is she (my doctor) going to believe my medical history, symptoms, diagnosis etc? Will there be happy tears or will I be stabbed in the back by another health care professional?
In the Spoonie/chronic illness community it is common for people to have PTSD from medical professionals which in itself is sad. So many of us already deal with our peers, school and/or boss to believe in our illness but on top of invasive test the way some medical professionals treat us makes you unsurprised that there is trauma
So how do we handle it? Honestly I have no clue. I just make sure I have my anxiety pills and I'm blest to have my dad come with me to all appointments cuz hes the only one in our family that drives. He's also really good at calming me down so there's that. You stay as busy as you can in the waiting room and pray to God they aren't behind, but when they call you back and you're put in your room I swear time stands still. Minutes go by but you've already gone through your Facebook twice. Your phone battery is trickling down... finally your doctor shows up and you get to talk about your lengthy medical history and you can sometimes see their own heads explode or be completely clueless as you name some of your rare illness. An especially scary sign if they specialize in the part your illness is apart of.
Hopefully by the end of your appointment your doctor is able to help you some and give you things to try that you haven't yet or they order test to find out what's wrong and give you a diagnosis.
Being afraid of new things, even something as simple as a doctor appointment, is nothing to be ashamed of. Spoonie or not. And you deserve a pat on the back each time you do something that's scary. So give yourself a high-five if you go to that specialist you've been needing to see. Get yourself some ice cream after that blood draw (did they really need that many tubes??) After that procedure or surgery get that movie or video game you've been eyeing especially if you have recovery time. You deserve it because not only are you facing your fears or doing something difficult, you're also taking care of yourself
Love and spoons,