doctor anxiety

I went to the doctor yesterday for the first time in 5 years. And the only reason I went is because they're giving out free fit bits at work for everyone who gets a physical this year. But it still took me three months to work up the courage to make an appointment.

I have what I like to call "doctor anxiety." It's not necessarily that I think the doctor is going to walk in and tell me I have every cancer and will be dead by 6pm, but it's more of a general fear of all kinds of doctor offices. It wasn't until I was about 20 that I stopped crying at the dentist. I wish I were kidding. Something about the whole environment and the fact that I'm about to be poked and prodded and have my personal bubble invaded sends me into a tailspin, even though it's "for my own good" or whatever else I'm told to make me calm down. Plus, okay, sometimes I do fear that I have every cancer.

I made this appointment three weeks ago, and I've had low-grade nausea the entire time just knowing it was coming up. One night I even woke up in a cold sweat just remembering it was a few days away, but I was determined to suck it up and get it over with.

It was all a bit of a (traumatizing) blur until I was told I needed to update my tetanus shot. I already knew this, because for some reason I vividly remember the appointment in which I got my last one. I was in middle school, and I know this because I remember I had slept in braids the night before so my hair would look crimped the next morning. I was also wearing a glittery MUDD shirt and frosted eyeshadow. I was SO PROUD of myself for not crying during the shot that day, but it was probably to preserve my eyeshadow. I remember using all my mental fortitude and emotional strength to keep tears from running down my face. I was not so successful a few years later when I got vaccinations before college and cried so hard several people had to hold me up, BUT LET'S NOT TALK ABOUT THAT BECAUSE IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

I was already feeling so traumatized yesterday from answering personal questions and refraining from screaming NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS and from being touched and poked that I wasn't even upset when I was told I was getting a shot. I took it like a champ and then got my blood drawn. I had finally grown up! I barely flinched, and I was just waiting for the needle to come out of my arm so I could grab my stuff and barrel down the hallway toward the door and on to freedom. I went back to work where I couldn't use my arm all day because it was ON FIRE and my shoulder actually didn't work. Lockjaw-arm.

When I got home, my shoulder was still so sore I couldn't move it and couldn't even touch it. I tried to take the bandaid off, and all the pent-up doctor trauma I thought I had skillfully suppressed came pouring out of my tear ducts, and I had an emotional breakdown on the bathroom floor. I violently sobbed for 5-10 minutes. I had no idea why I had gotten so upset all of a sudden until I realized it was all just a delayed reaction. Still better than having my mom and several nurses holding me up, so maybe I have made a little progress over the years. What happened the day of my middle school tetanus shot must've been a fluke. Either that or I was extracting some sort of power from my pseudo-crimped hair.


  1. I HATE GOING TO THE DOCTOR, TOO!! I hate it. My medical philosophy is ignore it until it goes away, or I die. It's one or the other.

    GLITTERY MUDD SHIRTS- OH MY HELL. I had one, too. More than one. I CRINGE at how good I probably thought I looked.


  2. I still cry when I go to the doctor. I plan on avoiding expensive doctors FOREVER from now on. thank you.

  3. Tetanus shots are no joke - they really do make your arm hurt, so no judgement for crying! I also hate going to the doctor, but I will go to Urgent Care like nobody's business. It's weird, I know they are doctors too, but I don't get as nervous (and I'm typically going there for a good reason) (double pink eye).


  4. Having Crohn's I go to the doctor alot and even though I have been a ba-jillion times and have been in the hospital, I still hate it!!

  5. IT was totally the crimped hair that you got you through. Good to know for the next apt in 5 years.

  6. I almost texted you this morning BEFORE I READ THIS to say you shouldn't have children. Annabelle had to get TWO shots this morning and IT WAS THE MOST TRAUMATIC THING EVER. I can't talk about it any more.

    I'm glad you survived. I'd hate to have a free weekend to spend with you only to have to visit you in the cemetery because you died from cancer.

  7. I had to read this because of the title. I avoid doctors like the plague. Mostly, I entirely avoid ever ever getting an exam of any sort or being "assessed". My hope is that when we have children Nurse Angel will take care of all of their medical needs. In my adult life, I've gotten a couple shots (just got my tetanus and Angel swore the pain in my arm for several days was "all in my head"). And I've gotten physical therapy for a wrist sprain (not too scary) and a blood test (pretty scary). What I love is that Angel has put up with my less than sane attitude to doctors and has taken me and come into the room with me any time I've had to go.

  8. Next time, you just have to wear glittery eye shadown and non-waterproof mascara all day. Who knows, maybe the MUDD shirt makes you brave too. You won't know until you try! :)

    My husband's work is also giving us money for doing random health stuff. It's amazing what I'll do for an extra 50 bucks. Luckily their "healthy habits" are ridiculously simple and include challenges like "drinking water instead of soda" and "using a microwave safe container." <<<Seriously.


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