Today I managed to make it to the doctors (much easier being awake for afternoon appointments).
I HATE going to the doctors. It’s not that I hate the actual Doctors (the people), it’s just that I feel SO anxious when I go to the doctors, especially in the waiting room.
I sit there, trying to keep calm, but I’m aware that I’m starting to fidget; my feet are tapping on the ground, and I’m starting to bite my nails. There are small children running around, and invariably there is a baby crying. The minutes go by painfully slowly as I wait to hear my name called by the receptionist, and I feel my eyes prickling with tears as the waiting increases my anxiety levels.
FINALLY “_________ upstairs to room 6 please”, the lady behind the desk calls. I jump up, relieved to be out of that room where time goes by so slowly. And I start to walk up the stairs, still in a slight state of panic. This was a new doctor; one I hadn’t seen before, and that made me feel nervous. I opened the door and Dr Dean introduced herself and asked me to sit down. I breathed a sigh of relief – she seems nice, like someone I can talk to.
I went through all the usual “what can I help you with” chat that seems to be the same every single time I see a GP, and then through the inevitable questions: how long have you been feeling like this? Was there anything that triggered this? What symptoms do you have? How are you getting on with the medication? And the list goes on… It’s not her fault – she has to ask these questions, but I’ve been through it SO many times, with SO many doctors; it becomes draining.
Then she asked about suicidal thoughts, feelings of failure and worthlessness etc, and I felt tears dripping down my cheeks. This also seems to happen (crying), every time I see a doctor or counsellor. Dr Dean gave me a tissue, and seemed as if she “gets it” (to use Bourbon’s words). She recommended that I contact a counselling centre, and said she’s going to refer me to the mental health team here (in London, as well as my referal in Lancaster where I study). This gives me hope that something will be done to help at some point soon!
She said she doesn’t know what to do about my medication, as I’ve tried several different antidepressants. She thinks it’s best to remain taking the current ones until I see a specialist, as they will be able to decide what is best for me.
I told her what had happened the day I missed my appointment (see my post “Feelings of Failure”), and how I had felt really bad and useless because of it. And she said (I kid you not – this is a direct quote) “I think this might indicate that you’re not very well”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this point. I know that I’m not very well, I would’ve thought that would be obvious – being at the doctors surgery. But on the other hand, it was slightly comforting, because when a doctor is telling you that you aren’t well, it’s probably true.
Now I’ve got to go back AGAIN next week, as she wanted to keep an eye on me. I feel like I live in that place sometimes, in fact at uni my friends always called the doctors my second home because I was there so often. But overall, despite the usual waiting room anxiety, it was a positive appointment, because firstly she seemed nice, understanding and wanting to help, and secondly because I actually made it to this appointment!
Note to Bourbon: Looks like I might not need to borrow your GP afterall! 😛