Quite an announcement, yeah?
I could probably write three novels about this without even once coming up for air, but I'll save you from that. (You're welcome.) Here's what I think it all boils down to:
I never liked going to the doctor growing up because it's boring and uncomfortable. From the first time my pediatrician had a conversation with my mother in front of me about how large my breasts were for my age and don't worry if one grows at a different pace than the other, that's perfectly natural, I have felt like the doctor's office is the place to go to feel bad about yourself. I was only nine or ten then, and wanted to pretend I didn't have boobs at all. Hearing that not only would they continue to grow, but that one might outgrow the other made me fear for dear life. Because, sorry, there was no way I was going to leave the house with oversized, irregular breasts.
God, wasn't middle school the best?
Not a couple years later, the doctor's office is where I would go to be reminded that I needed to watch my weight. Nevermind that I had the hormones of a girl five+ years older than me. Doctors and nurses would look at my age and height and see that I weighed more than I "should" and tsk at me and discuss the merits of not eating sweets. It would have been nice if they'd also looked at my boobs, hips and ass, because that might explain a thing or two (or three). "Sweets" wasn't exactly the core problem.
I've just had a lot of doctors I haven't liked.
For this reason, along with my general life philosophy, by the time I became an adult, I'd developed a keen sense of how to fix any bodily ailment: ignore it till it goes away.
Oh, sure, maybe this isn't the most effective form of treatment. But I'll have you know that my "ignore it" approach is actually quite balanced out. Because while I'm busy not going to the doctor, I am also filled with a super keen sense of: whatever it is that's bothering me is probably huge and horrible and going to kill me.
I am afraid that if I go to the doctor, I will be diagnosed with something awful. That scratch on my leg? Probably ebola. Heartburn? Most certainly a heart attack. (I did force Ish to rush me to the hospital for that once. I can laugh at it now, but clearly I have issues.)
And to be fair, I have issues for a reason. Everyone thinks you're a hypochondriac until you get cancer.
Whoa, way to drop the bomb on this post, K.
Sorry, I know. But let's just say I'm not so much with the perspective.
My mother was a classic hypochondriac, if there is such a thing. She always had these mysterious issues and pains and fatigue and hormonal imbalances. (She also drank coffee all day long and smoked and drank.) Regardless, I don't think she ever got one single helpful diagnosis. I know they didn't take her very seriously when she started complaining of weird digestive issues, which turned out to be the tip of her cancer iceberg.
So when I hear myself complaining about random ailments and worrying about stupid stuff, I want you to say, "I'm sure it's nothing," and I want to believe you. But the truth is, that phrase has a pretty hollow ring to it given that my mom died of cancer at age 53 (followed four years later by my dad). In fact, I want nothing more than to believe it's nothing. I'm just... I will forever be haunted by the time it wasn't nothing, by the times it was something, something big and bad and ugly and worse that never went away. I'm scared to go to the doctor and have my own personal worst fears confirmed. Again.
I haven't been feeling "right" for a few months now, especially as "right" pertains to some of my girl parts, and I'm finally seeing someone about it. I have a doctor's appointment today with a new doctor. Just a "routine" check-up, just to see what's going on. (The nurse I spoke with to schedule the appointment said, and I quote, "That sounds like it could be nothing, or it could be something." Uh, yeah. Here's to hoping it's "nothing.")
But I'm finally opening up about my great, (somewhat) irrational fears here because I honestly don't know and want to hear from people outside my own head: Is this the kind of thing normal people do all the time? I mean, if something bothers you, do you just call the doctor, get checked out, and go about your life? Is that really how it works?
I can't even fathom that.
If something bothers me, I try to ignore it completely while my subconscious works on coming up with a list of all the devastating diagnoses I could end up with, I fret endlessly, I eventually mention my ailment/concerns to Ish, he reassures me, and it either goes away or I eventually, reluctantly and with great trepidation call a doctor.
So I get that I'm crazy, but I'm curious -- how does it work for you?
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Update: Diagnosis? Normal, boring. Still need a few test results "just to rule some things out" but my new doctor says my lady parts are seem a-okay. (Well, except she didn't use the term "lady parts.")