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4 Reasons Why a Break From Doctor Appointments Was Beneficial for My Health

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Scheduling and attending doctor appointments can become extremely stressful. Especially when it seems it is one appointment after the other.

As someone with endometriosis, I find myself attending numerous amounts of doctor appointments. Along with seeing several different specialists. Not because I enjoy them – trust me, my bank account hates all of these appointments. But when I feel sick every day, I am desperate to find what else is going on with my body, and yearn for some sort of relief.

But how do I know when enough is enough?

Being chronically ill is a full-time job. Taking care of myself and trying to make it through each day without a breakdown can become rather exhausting. When I add a ridiculous amount of scheduled appointments to that list, I realize I have no real time to relax.

Sometimes doctor appointments can do me more harm than good. The added stress of being bounced around from doctor to doctor explaining my story over and over again becomes frustrating and a bit unnecessary. I found myself stuck in that routine a few months ago. That was when I decided I needed a break.

Each appointment I attended, I was no longer thinking clearly. I became fed up with explaining my symptoms just to see the doctor sit there shaking their head saying, “No. I do not think anything is wrong.”

The anger and stress I was building up after every appointment became unhealthy. I started to let the doctors take over my appointments and stopped fighting for what I really needed: answers. What they said, I went with. I left each appointment still feeling just as poorly as I did going in.

Appointments started to become useless. I was tired of being poked at with needles and exposed to radiation for X-rays and MRIs. My body could only handle so much of that after a while.

I had many doctor appointments lined up for the last few months of 2017. I decided to cancel them all. Was that the absolute smartest idea? Maybe not. But it was exactly what I needed.

Here are four reasons why taking some time off from doctor appointments was better for my health:

1. Clear my head. Sometimes, doctors may fill our heads with ideas that aren’t true – that we are “crazy,” imagining things, lying, need to take  unneeded medications or make tons of irrelevant appointments. For me, it put me in a state of depression. I began to beat myself up at every appointment and began to feel foolish. I was embarrassed to fully explain what was going on with me and felt as though I was just wasting their time. But really, I was wasting my own time by feeling like that. Taking time off from appointments allowed me to clear my head and helped bring my confidence back. I was able to get back on track and allow myself to have a clearer mindset of what I was looking to get out of my appointments.

2. Self-care. Having tons of appointments scheduled, I began to forget about one thing, myself. Between stressing before the appointment and stressing after the appointment, I became too tired to take care of myself. Sometimes, self-care may be healthier medicine than constantly visiting the doctor. Running around from appointment to appointment, you do not have time to relax. It is important to remember to take time to rest and pamper yourself. By taking time off from my appointments, I was able to find more time to offer myself peace and relaxation. Sometimes self-care means treating yourself to a little bit of normalcy.

3. Re-evalutate. What is it I am really trying to figure out and get help with? I began to lose track of what I was even going to the doctors for. I stopped bringing my list of questions and list of symptoms. It was to the point where I did not even know what questions I had and which symptoms I wanted to share. Taking some time away from appointments helped me remember why I started going in the first place. It gave me some time to stop and look at what was truly bothering me.

4. Live my life. Most of my doctor appointments were scheduled on the days my husband had off from work. Instead of being able to do something fun together, we would sit for hours in waiting rooms. My life, if that is what you would even call it, was being taken over by these appointments. My stress level began to rise because I constantly felt guilty that my husband’s only day off had to be spent in a room with sick people. By taking some time away from appointments, we were able to enjoy his days off more. Even if I did not feel well, it still beat sitting in silence in a waiting room. It is important for me to remember I do have a life outside of appointments and it is important that I live it.

Now that it is the new year, I have begun to attend appointments again. Last week I had a new appointment with another new specialist. But this time, I felt confident. I knew exactly why I was going there and exactly what it was I wanted her to look for.

Now that it is the New Year, Kimberli is feeling refreshed and has started to go back to doctor appointments.
Now that it is the New Year, Kimberli is feeling refreshed and has started to go back to doctor appointments.

Taking a few months off from appointments has really helped me feel refreshed, reset and renewed. Will I get to the point again where it feels like it is too much? You bet. But I now know how to handle it. Remember to listen to your body. Sometimes a break is just what you may need.

Follow this journey on Life With Kimberli.

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Originally published: January 22, 2018
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