Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Anxious Person

Would you like to take a little trip down crazy avenue? Let me walk you through what's usually a simple trip to the doctor office for most people. For me, it's a anxious person's nightmare.

I found myself feeling really crummy this past week and had a hunch it was strep throat. Instead of calling the doctor and making an appointment, I obsessed about how much I dislike going.  Negative memories of blood pressure and pulse rate readings, swirled through my mind.

After suffering three agonizing days of a raging sore throat and total lack of energy, I finally made an appointment to see my primary doctor. You know I'm miserable when I get to this point.

Here's how my trip to the doctor went:
Luckily, I didn't have to wait long for the nurse to call my name. That's always a good thing, because the longer I wait, the more I think, which increases my anxiety. First stop: time to step on the scale. Oddly enough, this is the easiest part for me, even as a larger woman.  Things get tough for me once we step into the examination room.

Me talking to nurse: "I have to give you my anxiety disorder shpeel. I notice you have one of those electric type of blood pressure machines in here."
Nurse: "Yes, is that a problem?"
Me: "The first time you guys tried this new equipment with me, I ended up screaming and pulling the cuff off my arm. It put me in a state of panic. You'll need to roll in the old fashion blood pressure machine for me."
Nurse: "Not a problem, I'll go get that as soon as I finish my patient assessment."
Me: "Oh, by the way, I don't always agree to let you take my blood pressure or pulse. I'll let you know my decision when you finish with your checklist of questions."
The nurse begins going over my medications- and then...Decision time!

I find that this particular nurse has a calming demeanor that makes me feel comfortable. I decide to go ahead and let her take my blood pressure. Just as she's preparing to take my blood pressure, I see a twinkle in her eye and she loudly exclaims, "Wait, I just remembered-Have you ever experienced the wrist band blood pressure gauge?" "It would be perfect for you." She leaves the room to fetch the newest technology for her neurotic patient.

Before she puts the band on my wrist, I tell her that although I'm letting her take my blood pressure, I don't want her to tell me what it is. I'll look at it in my own time when I leave the clinic. Pheew-rules are all out there. Let's get on with it.

I go to my happy place (usually a tropical beach) and begin some deep breathing. Boom! it's done. I can't believe how easy this was.  Usually when it's the cuff on my arm, I can feel my pulse when it gets really tight, which is what puts me into a panic.With the wrist gauge, I felt none of that. I felt so confident afterwards, I even asked the nurse to tell me what my reading was. It was pretty good for someone like me with white coat syndrome. Icing on the cake-She said it took my pulse at the same time.

Once this part of the visit is over, it's smooth sailing. They swabbed  my mouth to check for strep and the results came back negative. I was told I had some virus that's common in the summer months. The doctor explains there's no antibiotic to treat it, but he can prescribe something to ease the pain of the sore throat. It's called, "magical mouthwash." It basically numbs the throat so your not so miserable.  He writes me a prescription and I'm on my way home, feeling extremely proud of myself.

I know- anxiety is exhausting, isn't it? Next time you have a doctor appointment, think of me and feel grateful your not in my body.


  1. I get real nervous when I have to go to the doctors.

    I will tell you my run in with a blood pressure machine. You should fear them no kidding!

    I was waiting on a prescription so there was this blood pressure machine with the charts and all showing what is normal blood pressure or not.

    I hesitated but I put my arm in the sleeve. I hesitated to push the button.

    I thought what could it hurt? So I pushed the button.

    All goes well the sleeve start to tighten I new it would do that but it kept on and on and on it started hurting a paniced and started screaming this thing wouldn't let me go so they try to unplug it but the machine was so heavy finally they moved the blood pressure machine away from the wall enough to unplug it.

    Not only was I in pain but this thing is squeezing the life out of my arm.

    My arm was even going numb. The fire department had to cut the sleeve off my arm.

    I was hurting,embarrassed and scared.

    I few weeks later after the ordeal they sent me a bill for damages on their machine.

    Can you believe that? Anyways think twice be for you push that button!

    Linda what happened I thought you moved your blog? I clicked on your pic. in the friend follow box it took me to your profile there was nothing but your pic. so I never bothered to visit anymore!

  2. OMG-I cannot believe your terrible experience with the blood pressure machine.I am appalled that you would be billed for their machine not only hurting you but scaring the day lights out of you. Please tell me you didn't pay them. If that happened to me, I would probably die of fright. I did try one of these years ago and I flipped out as it was tightening but was able to stop it before it took my blood pressure. I'm sure my bp was super high when I ran out of the store. Anxiety stinks but I can laugh about some of my experiences now that it's in the past.
    I am still here on my blog, although I haven't written for awhile. I plan to blog tonite about the 'Bachelor Pad' finale. Thanks for sharing your story with me~even if you weren't an anxious person, this experience would bring on a panic attack.

  3. Tamron~ NowI can't get to your blog. I hit your name up above and your face on my followers and it says your blog isn't public????