There are very few things I like less than going to the doctor. A doctor (and dentist) visit fills me with all kinds of anxiety. I’m not sure if it’s because as a kid I was ALWAYS at the doctor with allergies, asthma, and ear infections getting shots, and tests, and treatments or if it’s because I worry that I’ll get bad news. Regardless of where it stems from, other than my regular must-do yearly exams, I avoid the doctor as much as possible.
Like usually happens about 10 weeks into the new school year, I came down with a sore throat this week. It feels like I’ve raked a cheese grater over it. I didn’t sleep well last night, waking up several times not being able to swallow. I tossed and turned, knowing it meant I needed to go to the doctor in the morning.
Begrudgingly, I arrived at Urgent Care about five minutes before they opened this morning. There were already 3 patients ahead of me. Luckily, I only waited about 20 minutes to be taken into the back. After the nurse triage I was placed in the small exam room. This is where I tend to imagine all the things that could be wrong with me, in this case I was sure it was throat cancer.
The doctor interrupted my nerves for a bit when entering the room, asking me all the same questions the nurse had asked me not 10 minutes before. After looking at my chart, he commented that my blood pressure looked high. The doctors always comment on this at the beginning of an exam. Not because my blood pressure is high, but because I am a nervous wreck at the doctors (or dentist). I told him I tend to run high at the beginning of the visits, but if he doesn’t tell me I’m going to die, it will be back to normal by the end of the visit. “Deal,” he said. Next, he remarked that I didn’t seem to have a high temperature, in fact, it was about a degree and a half below 98.7. Yes, another oddity, when I’m sick, that temp usually goes down, not up. Urgent care is so convenient on the weekends, but since the doctors aren’t the regular ones, they don’t really know a patient’s history. I wanted to tell him to look at my chart; This is all normal for me.
After all was said and done, the sore throat isn’t a symptom of an incurable disease, but more likely strep throat – a culture will confirm. After the antibiotic prescription was written out, the doctor asked to take my blood pressure again. I obliged and smiled somewhat proudly when he said that I was right; my bp was just fine at the end of the visit.
Since there was no time to take it easy this week, I’m very happy to be drugged up, sitting on the couch, and watching TV (or falling asleep in front it). Actually, I’m very glad to be anywhere that is not the doctor’s office.