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Old 07-03-2004, 08:18 AM   #1
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Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

I went for my standard 6 month checkup at the doctor this past week. I have always been uncomfortable at a doctor's visit but it only began to register in my bp readings when I reached @32 years old. Since then, I have gotten so freaky about having my bp taken. I feel stupid because I feel like it gives away how uneasy I am when I would just like to act confident and bluff my way through it like I used to. I know quite a few of us here have white coat hypertension but this feels like it's getting to be a bigger problem. Even with a Xanax, my bp was 130/90. My doctor is very understanding and laughs about it and says he is a really nice person and he accepts my at home readings as accurate so I have no rational reason to be this way. I am feeling really down on myself about this today. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for dealing with this-physically or mentally? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

 
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Old 07-03-2004, 08:26 AM   #2
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

Excellent Question, because I tend to have the same problem, and I know we are not alone. This is a problem that physicians need to address by changing the office visit expereince. How they can do it, I don't know, but it makes me miserable as well.

 
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Old 07-03-2004, 08:40 AM   #3
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

I wish they still made house calls!! HA!

 
Old 07-03-2004, 01:55 PM   #4
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

I know this affects many people and yes they certainly DO need to change the way they do things, especially for HBP patients.
I really believe they should wait untill the end of the visit to ck BP. My doc is great too, but I have seen ones that got really upset with me like I did it on purpose. My gets really high (190's/100's) and the more I try to calm myself the higher it goes. I don't think there is anything you can do. I start to worry about it the night before. I can take it myself at home and 2 hrs later it's up to 80 points higher.
I give up!!!
Cass

 
Old 07-04-2004, 07:28 AM   #5
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

DMGW,

I was thinking about exactly that topic this morning.

I have that anxiety to a large extent with doctors (but not hospitals????), but that's NOTHING compared to my horrid, visceral dread of dentists. I've been putting off my dentist for at LEAST 6 months and it is literally making me nauseous every time I think about it.

I think it has to do with my being a "control freak." If I'M not doing it, my presumption is that it's being done wrong. At least with a doctor you can ignore him and take matters into your own hands but once a dentist ruins a tooth it's RUINED and anything you do afterward only ruins it MORE! <excuse me while I go vomit!>
There's also an element of every wrecked tooth is another step to the grave!

Actually I'm very glad I typed that- it was a needed bit of catharsis!

Last edited by zip2play; 07-04-2004 at 07:29 AM.

 
Old 07-04-2004, 09:20 AM   #6
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

We've all beem there. My white coat is really bad. Want to hear a bad experience? When I was in the police academy the instructors would take you BP in class with the entire class behind you in a single file line; silent waiting and watching. It was an electronic montior that each pulse beat beeped out loud. When it was my turn the pulse was like a thousand in front of everyone. Then he would yell at me about it. Talk about uncomfortable! Anyway, this is what I do now---I purchased an Omron monitor that prints out readings and bring it to my dr to show under control readings even that morning.

 
Old 07-04-2004, 10:15 AM   #7
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

dback-EWW, I almost just had a stroke thinking about being put in that situation!!

Cassiebel-My problem is that I can literally feel myself relax after my bp and pulse is taken so I'm afraid that if they moved it to the end of the appointment, I would just stay uptight until then.

Does anyone else take xanax,etc. before they go? I do and I take bp medicine too so it kind of makes me wonder what my readings would be with no medication at all!

 
Old 07-04-2004, 10:24 AM   #8
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

Zip2play-I am the same way about hospitals vs. doctor's offices. I think because the times that i have been in a hospital you are in your room with the TV on- not some sterile little brightly lit officeAlso they drop by unexpectedly. I often wonder how I would handle going in for a stressful procedure. My sister-in-law went in last week for a very scary biopsy. I just can't imagine how I would react in that same situation. I need to go for my gyno appt in a few weeks and just the thought of it fills me with dread. That was where i had my first hbp reading and I broke out in hives on my chest. And OMG there was no way to cover up at that appointment! I guess I will have to dope myself up and just hope that I'm not slurring my words! I love my life-such simple things have become a major trauma!

 
Old 07-04-2004, 01:40 PM   #9
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

I know DMGW,
It's bad when you have to take anti-anxiety drugs just to have your BP taken ( I take ativan, it's like xanax ) Still it's high. I to can feel myself relax right after they take it. But like the others said when I have been in the hospital they have me hooked up to a monitor that takes it all the time, Its like 90/58!
Then I worry that it's too low (LOL)
Cass

 
Old 07-04-2004, 07:20 PM   #10
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

I have the answer!!! At the beginning of the summer, I went to a Spa manicure and pedicure. As I was in the pedicure room, the lights were low, the music was peaceful and I was getting my feet massaged in a vibrating recliner. If Drs would imitate the spa atmosphere it might be different! LOL!!!
The lowest my BP was, was when I got my root canal two summers ago.
#1 I had no idea that they would take it, so I had no apprehension
#2 I had my portable cd player with Christian praise and worship music and I was lost in the music.
The assistant told me she was going to take my bp, my thought was "oh well, it will be high". Lo and behold it was 112/72!
I think I need to take my cd player to all appiontments and find a spa doctor.

 
Old 07-06-2004, 07:35 AM   #11
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

Yes, I take Xanax on a daily basis, but it doesn't work at the docs. when they take my b/p. It was like 158/80 the last time that I went. I'm only 33, thin+. They ran all of the tests... everything is normal. I don't have the answer. I have taken my own readings for almost 17 months 2-3 a week. I think I should stop worrying.

Friday 7/2- 115/64
Monday 7/5- 120/72.

This is on Atenolol & Lotrel. It was upsetting my stomach, so I finally had to give in & eat something in the morning. Bingo.... no more stomach problems. Atenolol is great... sarcasm mode on.... my pulse was 64 after walking my dog & running as well in 94 degree heat yesterday. These meds. I believe do more harm than good sometimes.

My doc. told me on my last visit that I have isolated hypertension. If xanax & meds. don't work at the doc. & it goes down by over 30-50 points 1/2 hour after the doctor. I don't think there is a solution other than being hypnotized or yoga.

 
Old 07-06-2004, 10:38 AM   #12
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

Hi DMGW,

I have the exact same problem at the doctors office as you and , actually, many of us on this board. I have tried to do relaxation breathing before the doctor comes into the examining room, but have had no success. My doctor also finds my problem amusing and relys on the reading I take at home before my visit. Perhaps it is something we just have to live with.

 
Old 07-06-2004, 02:29 PM   #13
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

Hi all...I also have the white coat hypertension problem. My BP is always low 90/50 at home but shoots up to 140/95 at the doctor's office. The doctor put me on an ACE inhibitor. He said that white coat hypertension is my reponse to stress and that I probably have spikes of high blood pressure in lots of other situations throughout the day. He may be right, but I hate taking any kind of medication. Also, I have lots of anxiety around people I feel are authority figures. Maybe I'm just a nervous person. I really dread going to doctors, dentists, to traffic court, or any place where I'm not in total control.

 
Old 07-06-2004, 04:49 PM   #14
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sopal1953
Hi all...I also have the white coat hypertension problem. My BP is always low 90/50 at home but shoots up to 140/95 at the doctor's office. The doctor put me on an ACE inhibitor. He said that white coat hypertension is my reponse to stress and that I probably have spikes of high blood pressure in lots of other situations throughout the day. He may be right, but I hate taking any kind of medication. Also, I have lots of anxiety around people I feel are authority figures. Maybe I'm just a nervous person. I really dread going to doctors, dentists, to traffic court, or any place where I'm not in total control.
I think that is what worries me, many times when I am in the doctor's office I do not know that I am nervous, until my BP is high. But there are times that make me nervous in everyday life, driving around our busy beltway (I live in Norrhern Va.), arguing a case (I am an attorney), arguing with my kids, or waitiing for them to come home after curfew (I have teenagers). So perhaps even though it will come down when I am calm, if I am wired frequently due to stress perhaps I should be medicated. What does everyone think?

 
Old 07-06-2004, 05:30 PM   #15
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Re: Help! I am developing a real phobia about doctor appts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandra49
I think that is what worries me, many times when I am in the doctor's office I do not know that I am nervous, until my BP is high. But there are times that make me nervous in everyday life, driving around our busy beltway (I live in Norrhern Va.), arguing a case (I am an attorney), arguing with my kids, or waitiing for them to come home after curfew (I have teenagers). So perhaps even though it will come down when I am calm, if I am wired frequently due to stress perhaps I should be medicated. What does everyone think?

It probably would be a good idea. No one wants to take meds for life but some of us are predisposed to situational hypertension
Cass

 
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