20/02/17 I had an appointment at the JR in Neuroscience. I already had it in my head that it was a waste of time being there. Just another appointment with no answers. Luckily i don’t suffer from what some may call “White Coat Syndrome“, if im honest, i didn’t even know what this was until someone asked me about it. And if you are also unaware of this it means- People with this syndrome exhibit a blood pressure level above their normal range in clinical setting (Dr’s surgeries and hospitals). The term white coat comes from references to the white coats traditionally worn by Dr’s. So, luckily I don’t have a fear of hospitals or white coats! I just don’t have much faith in them at the moment.
He asked what my understanding of this appointment with him was ‘I have no idea if I’m honest’. He said that was ok and asked me to give a brief description as to what has been going on since May. I tried to make it as brief as possible but he kept asking me more questions so I’d go into a little more depth about it all so this “brief description” ended up taking about 35mins!
He started to focus on the fact that I have quite a high level of anxiety and was asking about previous counselling sessions I’d had for my anger and anxiety. It was then that I started to get an understanding for what this appointment was all about… It was basically another damn counselling session! My partner had to take a day off work and drive me to Oxford for a counselling session!? Once I’d got this into my mind I felt a little annoyed but I tried my best to stay focused and answer all of his questions.
Hands starting to sweat as I rub them together and jiggle my legs whilst stutterin as I become more and more anxious with all attention being on me – ‘How was your childhood?‘, ‘What sort of cancer did your mother have‘, ‘do you have any siblings?‘, ‘what we’re your previous counselling sessions like?‘, ‘How old were you when your father left?‘. He even drew up a rough drawing of my family tree! This guy now knows more about me than most of my friends and family do. I’m starting to feel a little uneasy, I’m not very good at letting my gaurd down and explaining how I felt during what could be described as tough times from the past.
I started to realise where he was going with all of this. He was about to blame all of these blackouts and the memoryloss on my anxiety! Man was I right! So I’m feeling a little knocked down by this approach. I’ve always said that many Drs will just give you a random diagnosis just so you feel you have an explanation as to what is happening to you even if it isn’t precise. And now this guy had just proved my point.
Yes, I understand that my anxiety probably doesn’t help, but now this Dr has made me feel like it’s all in my head! As if I don’t feel crazy enough when I come round after passing out and I’m convinced everyone else is wrong about the day and time!
‘Now, don’t feel like I’m telling you it’s all in your head because it’s not, it’s very much real’. What!? ‘Do you like reading?’ He asked. Well I’d never read a full book until recently, but now I love reading books on psychology and how the brain works. ‘Perfect, I’ve got a book that you may enjoy, it’s called – It’s All In Your Head by Suzanne O’Sullivan. Is this man for real? One minute he’s telling me it’s not in my head and the next, he wants me to read a book about it being in my head! Well, I’ve ordered the book but I’m not sure whether I should read it as it may just wind me up even more! But if I do get round to reading it I will make a blog of my review 👍
I came away from this appointment feeling quite let down in a way. I understand that he was trying to help and see it from a different point of view but I couldn’t get those words out of my mind “It’s all in your head“. But he’s the Dr, right? So he should know best. And he feels that the stress my anxiety is giving me may be a cause to my headaches as I tend to overthink things and wind myself up, putting myself under stress that could be avoided.
At the moment I’m willing to give anything a go to try and get this all to end or even calm right down. So he has prescribed me some new medication, it’s something that people with epilepsy take to calm them down apparently. He’s also going to sign me up to a group session to talk about my anxiety. I said I’d try my best to attend but, ironically, I have anxiety so I’m not exactly a huge fan of socialising, especially when it means sitting in a group of people I don’t know!
So at the moment that appointment seems pointless, just like the rest. But who knows, maybe if I can get my anxiety under control, it will stop the headaches, which in theory should stop me from passing out. I’m willing to give it a go but I don’t have too much faith in it all at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed for me! And if you have anymore questions about this appointment then please feel free to contact me 🙂