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My Fears and Concerns After Leaving a Doctor's Office

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Maybe it’s just me… or maybe it’s not. But the light-headed, dizzy, disoriented feeling I get when I leave my doctor’s office is something I cannot shake. It seems whenever I leave my rheumatologist I feel as if I am still hanging onto each word that was said.

I find it both interesting and slightly uncomfortable when the doctor and nurse refer to me as “the complicated case.” Yes, I know it’s complicated and my disease has been given many different names in a short period of time. It’s like a label you wait for that just gives another way for someone to judge you. But without that label it can cause even more pain and headaches down the line.


I don’t why I listen to each word like it’s my defining end to my story. I feel as if I am in a court room awaiting my verdict pleading not guilty, being wrongfully charged for something I didn’t do. It’s like a rollercoaster for your mind, constantly moving in different directions when all you want to do is get off.

When I hear the words lupus, arthritis, autoimmune disease, connective tissue disease or chronic illness I just sit there and wonder… is this it? Why do these titles scare me so much? Why am I so worried they will change? Why am I more worried about something being taken away then added to the list?

I know this sounds absurd and ridiculous. But I fought for my diagnosis, to have doctors actually believe me, to take notice there was something really there. That I wasn’t making it up! I don’t match the books, I don’t dot all the I’s and I don’t cross all the T’s. This is why it was so hard and when you don’t match the books, doctors become leery. Most of the time when they see someone young, the first words out of their mouths are “you are too young to be sick” and “you don’t look sick.”

My past has caused me to be this way. So many doctors, so many diagnoses, how do you know who’s right? One thing I do know is I feel better than I have in a very long time. On my current treatment, I’ve had more good days than I can remember, I find myself looking towards the future with ideas of growth and happiness.

But my fears of not being able to walk and being in tears from the pain haunt me. I couldn’t imagine going back there. And I see my medication as what keeps me going. It’s amazing that a drug that can be so damaging to some can be so helpful to others. I know tons of people went years without the help they needed only to get worse.

I know the minute I get home from the doctor visits I play back every word that was said. I start asking myself questions. “Did I miss something?” “Should I have said that or not?” “Did my husband say something wrong?” “Did I downplay my symptoms?” I literally fear I’ve done something wrong or something was missed.

From there I analyze and realize I know I’ve shared things such as my other medical conditions with my doctor and they act like I’ve never told them in my life. On top of it when you are worried you are more informed about a topic than your doctor.

Then my head thinks… have they missed this the whole time? (I freak out inside.) Then you think, “Should I be trusting this person with my life?” As I further play back everything in my head, I start researching all new questions that came up in our visit or new blood work that was asked for.

People would probably say I’m over the top. But I truly think my head is literally spinning when I leave my doctor’s office. Sometimes I lay in bed the whole day after just wondering what’s next. I mean, wouldn’t anyone be afraid of going back to the worst pain they ever experienced in their life?

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Thinkstock photo via Sladic.

Originally published: September 20, 2017
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