I have this fear, phobia- thought I'd share it with you.
I absolutely dread going for any medical exam, it starts from booking the appointment. I might get as far as the clinic waiting room, then it starts. Kind of a panic attack, fear of pain, humiliation, violation. This obviously applies to ob-gyn visits more than anything (well, dentist is no easier.. neither is a visit to my general practitioner). I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, two operations- thank God the cancer had not spread. I felt very uncomfortable in the hospital, but the op was done under general anesthesia, so I wasn't terribly worried. Since the cancer diagnosis I haven't seen my ob-gyn.
But now, I am supposed to see my ob-gyn in January for pelvic exam and pap smear and I am getting anxious two months before the appointment!
It's causing insomnia, anxiousness.. My previous ob-gyn visits have never been easy, last time I took Valium, but it didn't really relieve the tension and anxiousness. My doctor (male) is very kind and caring, I would not really like to see anyone else, but it would be nice if I could somehow make my doctor's and my life a bit easier during the appointments. I e-mailed him and told him I will be coming in January, but all he said was "Welcome"- no mention about sedatives, even though I specifically asked for them.
I fear the pain of the pap smear (they have always been painful for me), feeling of being violated (speculum exam is just something awful words can't describe), the whole situation makes me want to run away. If the doctor is late and I am stuck in the waiting room even for extra five minutes, it makes me want to run away. If I see the gynae instruments and other tools of trade, it makes me want to throw up. My previous pap smears have all been normal, so we have an agreement I would come for check-ups every three years. Not too much to ask for.. but.. I would probably go more often, every 1-2 years, but.. yes, you guessed why.
I also have failed to attend my cancer follow-up appointments- I have been to various scans, then just called the doc for results, but haven't seen the doctor for 6 months now. Scans are all clear, I know very well I need to see the doctors too, but being so worried about what other investigations they have in mind for me- well, I feel I just can't go.
Someone advised me to have a glass of cognac. Sedatives have been suggested too, as well as behavioral therapy ( I am going to try and discuss this with psychotherapist next week! And this time I am not scared, so this one will be easy for me, I hope).
How do I ever get over this? Or will it be like this for the rest of my life?
I have a boyfriend, no kids- again the fear of pain stops me from even thinking of giving birth.. My boyfriend won't be around in January, otherwise I'd have asked him to come to the clinic with me- but in the other hand I'm not sure I'd like him to see me when I get really scared.
If any of you suffer from the same, I'd love to hear from you. If you guys have any ideas how I could cope with this, please do write.