My anxiety in doctors appointments.

At doctors appointments I turn into a anxious, rambling, waffly mess who probably makes little sense. Which isn’t helped by the fact I’m always in a lot of pain and even more unwell at the minute. I come away from appointments often feeling frustrated at myself for getting so anxious and not being able to convey things properly. This then makes my anxiety at subsequent appointments even worse because I’m worrying about how to try and not be as anxious as last time, which makes the levels rise even more. I find that I’ve got so much in my head that I want to say and that I’ve over thought about, that nothing comes out in the way I intended it to and I fail to explain things or discuss things I’d like to.  My doctors probably think I’m an idiot, which is actually very far from the case. I’m actually pretty clever and I like to learn as much as my health allows, which believe me isn’t as much as I’d like, but I am a very well informed patient.
Believe it or not I’m actually quite a level headed person, I’m very good at advice, seeing two sides of things, well reasoned and good at not looking at problems as completely black and white.  I’m incredibly understanding and will pretty much do anything to help anyone if I can. I am all this for everyone and anyone, other than myself who I seemingly like to give a hard time and I just end up beating myself up about things.

I think some of my issues with anxiety in appointments stem from me finding it hard to talk about things in person, to be completely open with people about how bad my health is, how much pain I’m in and how I’m feeling emotionally, I mask it probably about 98% of the time as I feel I have to. I also have a wall up with doctors, even with doctors who I’ve seen for a very long time and really do trust and like. I don’t like admitting how bad I’m suffering and how bad the pain actually is, I’m really not a complainer and I don’t like to bother people when most of the time they actually can’t help much anyway, which is no ones fault just the way it is. And above all my irrational fear of being seen as weak, and yes I’m very aware that it is completely irrational, and not how people I know see me. But I don’t know how to break down this wall I have seemingly created.
Then there’s the abandonment fear and the fear of dismissal even with medical professionals that I really like and completely trust and who have never made me feel like that the entire time I’ve been with them. But yet I still have this stupid fear that I know is unnecessary. When my headache first started I had about a year and a half of constant dismissal, lack of understanding, and next to no help from specialists for both my headache and POTS symptoms in Dubai and a few in London too. Before a doctor who was actually okay but just didn’t have enough expertise in my problems so he sent me to two of the most lovely and fantastic doctors, one of which I still see regularly. But that period of time being dismissed by doctors I feel still affects my anxiety, even when my current doctors do not give me any reason to feel like that.

I speak to a lot of people who have NDPH or other chronic illnesses that I’ve become friends with, speaking to me online, on the phone or in person I am very very far from a anxious, rambling, waffly mess. My doctors would probably think it was a completely different person, but that’s me without crippling anxiety, which is actually how I am the majority of the time. I am far better at conveying things in writing than in person where my unnecessary anxiety has the opportunity to strike and ruin everything, which only really happens in doctors appointments and not in general everyday life. But I don’t feel that writing things down I want to discuss and giving them that in my appointment is the solution for me.
I’m very aware of my problems, however I haven’t quite figured out how to address this issue in order to decrease my doctors appointment anxiety and therefore have a more productive and open appointment with my specialists. But I will continue to try to figure it out.

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4 thoughts on “My anxiety in doctors appointments.

  1. Sian,

    Hi! I just came across your blog and want to say thank you! Reading so much of what I’ve been going through on your blog helps me to know I’m not alone.

    I have had my NDPH for 4+ years (with anxiety, panic attacks, depression) and have tried many things that have not worked. I just saw my neurologist and he recommended something called Petadolex which is an herb called Butterbur. He said it has helped a lot of people and some believe it’s a “miracle”.

    I have not started it yet because I just had my fifth useless round of Botox and wanted to see if that worked before adding something else. I am going to start it soon and hope it works.

    A friend who also has headaches started taking it and she has had a decrease in pain and days of pain (she does not have NDPH but pain from brain surgery for an AVM).

    I haven’t been able to read all of your blogs so I don’t know if this is something you’ve tried. I personally know it’s frustrating to hear people say “have you tried this or that” as if you could be “healed” by trying what they suggest. I hope coming from someone with the same thing as you doesn’t make you feel this way.

    I just wanted to make sure you knew about it just in case it could also be a miracle for you! My disclaimer is the same as yours – check with your doctor! 🙂

    Hoping you’re having a low pain day!

    Amy

    • Hi Amy 🙂
      I’m glad my rambling helps you feel less alone, but sorry to hear you have NDPH too and that nothing has helped you yet either.

      I have heard of Butterbur, think it’s been mentioned on the NDPH Facebook group a few times over the years – if you’re on Facebook it’s quite a good group (there is 3 NDPH groups now I think, I’m in them all but mainly use the largest one which has over 1000 people in now), but I’m sure there are probably some people on there that have mentioned and tried it. I’m sorry the Botox hasn’t helped you and I really hope that Butterbur does!
      If anyone has read every post then they may need a medal lol, there’s a lot of them, some of them are really old now and probably mainly consist of me moaning and rambling 🙈 but I’ve always felt I needed to be honest about how horrible NDPH is and how destructive it can be to people’s lives rather than sugar coating things per day. But don’t worry I’m not frustrated at your suggestion at all 🙂
      I’ll have a look into it but not quite in a position to try anything right now, it’s complicated to explain in a comment back but there’s a blog post on that coming soon.

      Thanks for the message, it’s always nice to hear from people despite it being awful that others have to know how bad NDPH is. If you ever want to chat feel free to send me an email, or if you end up joining the Facebook you’ll see me around on there 🙂

      Hope you’re having a low pain day too!
      Sian x

  2. I’ve enjoyed reading your post. My husband tends to have some anxiety leading up to his appointments. Always the fear that the doctor will say “I’m done, I can’t help you anymore”. He also fears they don’t fully believe him. So he down plays all his symptoms and pain. So far his doctor keeps assuring us he won’t give up. He’ll keep working to find some way to relieve his pain. He is almost at his 6 year anniversary for his onset date. 24/7 pain, I think everyone with this deserves a lot of recognition for what you live with every day. It always good to find others who can relate. Always hoping for healing!!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m sorry he doesn’t feel like they believe him and that he’s been in pain a very long time too.
      I find my anxiety is completely irrational at the appointments because my doctors are fab, is like an unnecessary ingrained fear response from past experiences. But have improved with it the past couple of weeks actually which I’m pleased about!
      Nice to hear from you and I wish you husband a low pain day 🙂

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