Scheduling and attending doctor’s appointments can become extremely stressful
As someone with endometriosis, I find I attend numerous doctor’s appointments. 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 relief.
Being chronically ill is a full-time job
Taking care of yourself and trying to make it through each day without a breakdown can become exhausting. When you add a crazy amount of scheduled appointments to that list, you realize you don’t have time to relax.
I found myself stuck in this routine a few months ago. That was when I decided I needed a break.
I no longer thought clearly in my appointments. 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 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. I went with whatever the doctors said.
I had many doctor’s 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.
4 reasons why taking some time off from doctor’s appointments may be best for your health:
1. Clear your head.
Doctors can fill our heads with all sorts of junk. That we are crazy, imagining things, lying, need to take unnecessary medications, or make tons of irrelevant appointments. It depressed me. I beat myself up at every appointment and felt foolish. I was embarrassed to fully explain what was going on with me and felt as though I was wasting doctors’ 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 began to forget about one thing in the midst of tons of scheduled appointments: myself. Between stressing both before and after the appointment, I was too tired to take care of myself. It is important to remember to rest and pamper yourself. By taking time off from my appointments, I was able to find more time for peace and relaxation.
What exactly are you trying to figure out and get help with? I lost track of why I was even going to the doctors. I stopped bringing my lists of questions and symptoms. Eventually, I didn’t even know what to ask or which symptoms to share. Taking time away from appointments may help you remember why you started going in the first place.
4. Live your life.
Most of my doctor’s appointments were scheduled on the days my husband had off from work. Instead of doing something fun together, we sat for hours in waiting rooms. My life, if that is what you would even call it, was taken over by these appointments. By taking some time away from appointments, we were able to enjoy his days off more. It is important to remember you do have a life outside of appointments and it is important that you live it.
Now that it is the new year, I have begun to attend appointments again. Last week, I had an appointment with a 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. 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.
You can find the full version of this column at www.myendojourney.org.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.