Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Why does calling my doctor fill me with such anxiety?

Here is the way health care works in Canada (at least my experience of it). If you think something is wrong, but not so much so that you're dying, you call your doctor and make an appointment. That appointment could be within a week, or it could be a month from now, depending on whether your schedule is flexible enough to take the random slot that's open (aka probably your doctor's 10 minute lunch break). You go to said appointment and the doctor orders up some tests (or you get a diagnosis and prescription on the spot with instructions to "come back if it doesn't improve in two weeks"). If the doctor isn't really concerned, you get the standard "you'll hear from us if anything is abnormal" and chances are you won't - but trust me, if for example your cholesterol is through the roof, you'll get that phone call inviting you back! If the doctor thinks something is wrong, you're booked in for a follow-up as soon as they expect the results, like the time my doctor was convinced I might have an ectopic pregnancy, and didn't believe me that I wasn't pregnant but sent me for blood tests and had me come back the next day! I haven't seen my OBGYN in about 6 weeks now. The last time I saw her she said I'll get a call about an ultrasound appointment and from the fertility clinic. I got the ultrasound call quickly, which made me concerned / pleased that I really am in need of fast-tracking. But then the day of the ultrasound I got a call rescheduling. So I waited, the ultrasound rolled around, and I knew my OBGYN was away that week so I went about my business figuring I'd get a call. I haven't had a call, and it's been 3 weeks since the ultrasound. Not a call from my OBGYN to say there was a problem with the scan, and not a call from the fertility clinic to schedule my consult. Most of the day, I've sat with both numbers in front of me, to call, but I get filled with such anxiety at the thought of it all. Finally, 20 minutes before they close for the day, I got up the nerve. Please leave a message. I hung up. I guess I need even more courage to leave a message than I can muster in the span of one business day.

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