Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To the Moon

Let's talk blood pressure. I do not know what I am going to do. The second I walk into the doctor's office my heart starts pounding. I can feel it accelerating.

ThumpThumpThumpBaDumBump, OMG, OMG, OMG.

I tell myself to relax. To chill. To not let the anxiety get to me.

It doesn't matter.

The second they put the bp cuff on, this perverse little voice in my head starts wailing 'you have high blood pressure, you have high blood pressure' which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So stupid. I am psyching myself out. I even do it when checking my bp at home.

Bp at the doc's office was 138/85 which is not bad considering the last time I was there it was 150/100. My heart rate was up too at 90 and I was sweating.

Doctors, even nice ones, stress me out. As I've learned this year, even nice doctors can hurt you. I don't feel safe, I don't feel empowered, I don't feel like I have any control over what happens to me at the doctor's office.

It's an awful feeling.

My first thought is, since I'm so good at driving my bp up, I can probably learn how to bring it down. That is on my to-do list to research and try.

The second thought is how do I stop feeling like a victim? This is part of the reason why I get so freaked out when I go to the doctor. What are they going to do to me now?

How do I empower myself when I'm without any authority? You can't make doctors take you seriously. You can't make them give you medication. If you're too squeaky wheel, you run the risk of getting a psych diagnosis that will haunt you forever (I have avoided this thus far, as far as I know, but it happens to other patients).

The only thing you can do is doctor hop, but that isn't as productive as one might think. Eventually you run out of money and doctors.

I feel like I'm pretty assertive and that I communicate clearly. If you recall, I've had the hubby come to appointments with me and give me feedback on my communication skills.

I went back to school and took premed classes until I figured out what was wrong with me. How extreme do I have to be to make this better?

Whatever I do, it doesn't seem to ever be enough to compensate for the problems in medicine and its practitioners.

It really feels like an abusive relationship. If I called a domestic abuse hotline and gave the medical system the name Dave, I would be told I should leave.

Who protects patients against medical 'abuse'?

No one.

And that is why my blood pressure shoots to the moon whenever I walk into a doctor's office.


  1. I went to the Hotze clinic in Katy, TX. They have a lot of great info on their website.


  2. This yet another reason why I argued in favour of socialised medicine for the US.

    If a doctor messes up in the US your only option is to sue them. If you don't have the money to sue them nothing happens to them. They are allowed to continue practising and continue messing up.

    Here in the UK, if a doctor messes up you approach the NHS Trust they're employed by and an independent body reviews everything. If the doctor did screw up there are consequences [being fired, compensation paid to the patient etc.]. There are a lot more protections in place for patients. Also, if I'm unhappy with my doctor, I can change to any other one I want. I don't have to ask permission from my insurance.

    I could go on for hours, so I best stop there.

    I'm so sorry you're struggling. I wish I had something that could help.

  3. Good points Ezekiel. The other thing is, I'm in a gray area. Clearly I fell through the cracks and continue to do so, but it takes a lot more abuse to cross the line into filing complaints with the medical board or suing anyone.

    I checked when I was dealing with that allergist last year as I felt she should not have been practicing medicine. Even with as egregious as her behavior was, it still wasn't bad enough for,the authorities to care. I would've had to die first or lose a limb or something. Fortunately, I was not the patient she killed last year.

    Thanks for your support. I always look forward to your comments.



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