Maybe It’s Because I Watch Too Much “Grey’s Anatomy”

Doctors scare me.  Not the doctor PERSON, really, but what a doctor stands for.  To me, they equal bad news. Or pain.  I know that sounds really immature but, hey, it’s true.  I have a real thing called “White Coat Syndrome.” It means I’m afraid of going to the doctor. If I have an appointment on the calendar, I will fret about it for days.  I will question whether I really need to go.  Maybe I’m too busy? Maybe I should reschedule? I drive my husband CRAZY with all the wondering and the worry.  And note: My doctors NEVER end up looking like McDreamy.  (Or McSteamy for that matter.)

I finally broke down and went to a primary care doctor last week.  I have not been to a primary care doctor since…I can’t even remember.  I’ve always been to specialists.  I’m pretty proud of myself for doing that.  The best thing I have going right now is my regular appointments with the dermatologist.  I had a melanoma scare almost 15 years ago so that’s a priority.  It wasn’t from the sun because I never tan and I hate laying out.  It was from a strange shaped mole.  I went to the dermatologist for a rash that wouldn’t leave my eye lid and she was the one who said we should do a full body exam.  They found the melanoma and I had skin graft surgery.  They got it all. I was lucky.  I know that.

I guess that might have started the doctor fear.  I think you can go one way or the other.  You either get a scare and are adamant about going to every kind of doctor, or you develop a fear of the doctor, like I did.  A fear that every time you go they will find something else.  Something scary.

It hasn’t helped that I’ve had some really crappy experiences too.  When I was pregnant with Daniel, I was sent to a specialist for my excessive amount of amniotic fluid.  This is probably a story for another day, but the terrible-bedside-manner-lady doctor said my son had numerous problems, including something wrong with his BRAIN.  She told me that I needed an MRI as soon as possible and when I leave her office don’t Google anything because it will just make me really scared.  And oh, by the way, come over here and talk to my in-house psychologist about some “options” you may still have in terms of terminating your pregnancy.  Yeah, this IS a story for another day, but the short version is she was WRONG.  All WRONG.  About all of it.

Then there was the time I went to a physical therapist for my back problems.  She told me one of my legs was longer than the other and how could I even buy regular pants?  This was news to me.  She gave me massage therapy for a month to try and extend the bones and muscles in my leg.  It never worked.  I still have a bad back.

And don’t even get me started on the dentist.  I’ve seen so many dentists because each visit had me leaving in tears and I swore I would never go back to THAT one.  One even told me I was being a baby as he was extracting a broken tooth.  He wouldn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t numb enough and I could feel EVERYTHING.  Why would I lie?  Well, I’ve finally settled on a nice dentist and it’s been over a year since I’ve even been back there.  Don’t worry. It’s on THE LIST.

Yes, the list.  The list I promised I would complete before the end of the year.  The list which includes that annual gynecologist appointment.  I made that for this week.  So if you see me on edge, now you know why. The list which now also includes finding another primary care doctor.  That one last week did not go so well. I swear it wasn’t me.  I was left waiting a really long time in the room.  The cold, antiseptic room with no music and no noise except for the voice in my head telling me there’s probably something wrong with me.  The doctor finally came in and examined me for five minutes and then ordered blood work and looked at me sideways when I asked about supplements for someone my age.  He said he took aspirin twice a day so that should be fine.  Umm…I was out of there.

I’m sure it also doesn’t help that I’m at the pediatrician’s office with my two little ones all the time.  It’s always a “well visit” or a bad cold or flu shot or something.  And honestly, I’ve had some issues.  I’ve been told my son had allergies and it ended up as a double ear infection.  My daughter’s cough that would “eventually go away on its own” morphed into an upper respiratory infection.  Doctors are human and everyone makes mistakes, but my perception is that it happens to me a lot.  But my kids?  They have no problem with their doctor.  They like going.  When Daniel had to go to the emergency room for a head trauma, he told me he LIKED it there. (Kids.) They also adore their pediatric dentist.  (They get TOYS, okay?) They have not inherited this “White Coat Syndrome.”  Not yet at least. I’m really good at hiding my beating heart with deep breaths and my sweaty palms with my purse.  I always smile and tell them how going to the doctor is super important and there is nothing to worry about.  I just wish I believed it too.

Now, excuse me while I fax some new patient forms to my next new doctor.  I tried to email them, but they bounced back.  TWICE. Wait, that’s probably a sign, right?



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