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We Don’t Understand Deep Dislike of Doctor Visits

This entry is part [part not set] of 19 in the series What CFers Do

Being healthy to avoid the doctorCFers (as a whole) have to overcome a lot of the rest of the world’s fear or dislike of visits to the doctor while every kid would rather be playing outside than going to the doctor. We go every quarter, or even more often, so we have to be used to it and just see it as a part of life. Those who have CF centers who put them on IVs at the first sign of PFT drops have to get used to the hospital. It’s called “life” for us. Heck, I get excited to see the doctor when it is not a CF-related issue.

Then there is the rest of the world. We’ve got the stereotypical man who won’t see a doctor until the bump on his neck is the size of a softball, he is in advanced stages of prostate cancer, or any other number of ailments that can be fixed easily if attended to early on. My dad is somewhat like that, but I think life with me has rubbed off on him a bit so he doesn’t take it to the stereotypical extreme.

Then there is Beautiful. I thought it best for everyone’s sake to get her approval for this, since this is almost as much about her as it is about me now (all clear – good!). She loathes going to any doctor. They make you take your clothes off. They look at every freckle like it’s cancer. They put instruments in uncomfortable places. UGH! Did I capture your disdain accurately, Honey? She says, “almost… continue.”

She hates that she went to the doctor for the sole purpose of getting to the bottom of why she was feeling dizzy or sick to her stomach after every meal. When it came down to it being allergies and going on a paleo diet, she went from being a normally-eating person who felt like crap afterwards to someone who simply can’t eat those foods now lest things swell or hives appear. Gone are the days of restaurants and normal family vacations, which largely include eating – all of the time. She more or less wishes that she’d never gone to the doctor and just coped with the symptoms. Now she can’t go back. Her recent experiences also include vaso-vagal reactions to her allergy test AND shots, which we’ve discontinued and getting a literal taste of my ENT life when the allergist sprayed her sinuses and looked around with the scope.

I can’t blame her that now she doesn’t want to go back to that doctor, (or just about any other doctor) but now we have a need: foster care medical waivers. Ironically, I took mine to Sue when I was at the next building for my ENT visit and she had it filled out and signed and returned to me via e-mail the next day. I, the 33-yr-old CFer am medically cleared to be of sound health and mind to raise a child in a home free of dangers associated with any medical condition. Beautiful on the other hand…

Her doctor wouldn’t fill out the form unless she came in to be “checked out.” Sounds like a date gone wrong if you ask me, but I’ve always felt that way about that phrase. Next appointment time: March 2nd! So, after having these forms since May, we’re getting down to the last few things to do and the healthy person has a doctor issue because she’s healthy enough to go more than a year without going to her doctor.

My turn for an UGH. I need a moral of the story here, don’t I?

The silver lining of this cloud we call CF is that it keeps me in such close contact with my doctor and his super-awesome RN that I am not only cleared for foster care, but I didn’t need to make a special appointment to be sure I’m “still okay.” If I wasn’t “still okay,” they’d for sure know it. I also don’t have any major emotional or physical discomfort when I have to go in for exams or treatment. Well, there was that GERD test

Anyway, I’m actually thankful for my experiences that make doctors no big deal, but I truly wish I could relate to my wife in her time of emotional discomfort.

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  1. Well said, Jesse! It’s good to read about these issues from both points of view. Praying that all continues to go well with the fostering process.

  2. Great post.  I can relate to most of this as a 42-year CFer.  Either way, Beautiful is right on point with saying she loathes doctor visits because “they make you take your clothes off”.  I REALLY appreciate my privacy.  So anyone or any procedure that invades my privacy is asking for major resistence (and, at times, noncompliance).
    I’m not sure if you have a post on this, but I’m curious how many CF patients see an internal medicine or general practice doctor for their basic (non-CF related) health concerns.  This is where I think CFers would have a deeper dislike of doctor visits.  Let me know what you think.

    • Most insurance policies require a PCP or GP to refer them to a CF Center so they can get their bills covered. I enjoy my PCP visits because it’s so small and quick compared to a giant hospital with a parking garage that makes you pay, registering with the hospital, and all of the things associated with that.

      I guess I’ve been poked and prodded enough in my life that I don’t give a darn if they want to give me an enema stark naked in the hall. I’ll feel better, put my clothes on, and never see those passersby again. 😉

  3. I think I can understand where others come from when they loathe the doctor this much, but at the same time I can’t really sympathize.  Being so used to doctors, blood, disgusting mucus, and bowel issues, it amazes me when people can’t deal with any of it.  My husband says all the time that it’s a good thing I’m the one with the diabetes because he can’t prick his finger.  Really?!?  I think that’s one of the easiest things about my daily CF routine lol.  

    I think your wife at least has a REASON to hate doctors since they seem to have put her through everything and then some.  I hope the appointment is stress free and that you are given the approval quickly.  I can’t believe you have to wait over a month to get in – that always amazes me.  Do they have a cancellation list?  If so, maybe that could get the process done a bit quicker?
    Good luck to you both though..I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

    • I should mention that she has never liked going to the doctor. The only reason she went this first time after we got married was because we needed a primary care doctor for insurance. The date is a typo: Feb 2.

  4. Kristi Bowers says

    I also hate doctors. Maybe it is because the few times I have gone I have had to have surgery or was told I had cancer when I did not and went through 2 years of tests and blood draws and bone marrow aspirations. Maybe it is also that I see what Kaleb goes through so I feel like normal doc stuff doesn’t need to happen because it is nothing compared to Kaleb. I am also stubborn and take pride in my mommy immune system. Dave says I am a HORRIBLE patient because I hate taking meds, especially if they are pain pills. I am used to being the caregiver and I don’t like being taken care of 🙂 Control, I think. I have to do my yearly womanly thing and that in itself is horrible and invasive and awkward, if breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer didn’t run in my family, I probably wouldn’t go at all. 🙂