Today's Session: Latrophobia AKA "White Coat Syndrome" AKA Fear of Doctors
Here's the deal...I am NOT a fan of going to the doctor. I know, I know...no one actually enjoys going to see the doctor. But when I say "not a fan," I really mean that the mere thought of sitting through a doctor appointment gives me severe anxiety. I'm not even referring to extreme appointments that involve shots or frightening procedures. I'm referring to your every day, routine check-up.
I can't pinpoint any single thing that causes this anxiety. I mean, there are multiple reasons that going to a doctor's office is not enjoyable. There are the silent waiting rooms with the hard chairs filled with other anxiety-filled patients and the monotonous hum of the fish tank in the corner. (Is it a requirement to have a fish tank in a waiting room, by the way?) There is that annoyingly crinkly paper on the examination tables. There are those sterile containers that you just know hold used NEEDLES. There are tongue depressors and jars full of cotton balls and other "doctory" things. There are all of those scary pamphlets in the plastic bin on the wall. There is often a human skeleton in the corner of the room, staring at you while you sit and wait for the doctor to come in. And to top it all off, the warmest it gets while you're sitting there, sometimes with nothing but a gown on, is about a whopping 60 degrees. Need I say more?
Maybe I'm just harboring negative feelings from when I was a kid and had to go to the pediatrician for yearly growth check-ups. For the most part, I have always been perfectly healthy. But I still have a fear of hearing ever repeated phrases like "You weigh more than you should for your height," or "You need to lose a little weight," or "Your feet are way larger than other people's your age." (Why did they tell me that by the way? I couldn't control the growth of my darn feet.) Then there was the major OCD disorder that I constantly had to go to the doctor for. Not good memories, folks.
Also, to this day I still have a crazy hatred towards finger pricks. Do not bring that little needle near my finger unless you're up for an argument.
With all of this said, I am happy to report that I went to the doctor yesterday for the first time in nearly six years. I know...I should have never let that long go by, but I'm not one to get sick or have a serious need to go, so I have been using that as an excuse. However, after I had some serious stomach pain a few weeks ago, I knew it was time to get checked out. So on top of being scared to get a checkup, I have been afraid that I was going to be told I had to get my gallbladder or something else removed.
I guess pushing my fears aside, and saying some prayers, paid off. Everything was normal, and I'm healthy. Plus, my new doctor is possibly the sweetest woman who has ever graced the planet. I'm extremely thankful for that. I'm going to try really hard to overpower my brain and throw this ridiculous phobia out of the window. Some people have to spend almost every day of their lives in a doctor's office or hospital, and they are so brave about it. In comparison, it's just stupid for me to panic about having to go for a yearly checkup.
The doctor has been conquered. The "female doctor" was conquered earlier in the year. It's looking like the next appointment in line is for the dentist...which I may dislike even more than the doctor. But, that story will be taken from the file at another time.
Does anyone else suffer from this same fear? Tell me your stories!