Apples Won’t Keep The Fear Away…

apple docI hope that you are enjoying your evening, Modern Philosophers, because I’m not.

I am a bundle of nerves, pacing the floors of The House on the Hill, anxious about my date with doom in the morning.

You see, tomorrow is my annual trip to the doctor.

I’m not so much afraid of doctors as I am afraid of the news they can spring on me and forever change my life.  It all goes back to when I was 19.  I was a Sophomore at NYU, I had just met my first serious girlfriend, who would go on to become my first (and hopefully only) ex-wife, and I was on my own with the family far away in Virginia, where they were no longer a constant cause of stress.

It was just after dinner when the call came.  Dad had gone to the doctor for a routine check up, and they broke the news that he had cancer.  They also put an expiration date on his time on Earth.  Just like that, my Dad went from having his life ahead of him to knowing that death was waiting only months away.

Scary DoctorI know it wasn’t a rational decision on my part, but that was when I decided to stop going to the doctor.  I had made up my mind that all doctors were the Boogeyman.

I convinced myself that if I didn’t go to the doctor, no one could tell me I was sick and that death was on the horizon.  By dodging the diagnosis, I was going to save myself the grief.

Of course none of that makes any sense, but you try telling that to a teenager who was about to lose the person he cared the most about in the world.

I was so young when my Mom died that I don’t have a single memory of her.  And now I was going to be an orphan while still a teenager.  What had the doctors done to save my Mom?  Why couldn’t they save my Dad?

It just made sense.  Avoid the doctor, and I would avoid death.

It was a very long time until I started going back to the doctor.  It was probably the kidney stone attack I had about 5 years ago.  Then I met The Girl Who Could Always Get Me To Think Reasonably.  She wasn’t the biggest fan of the doctor, either, but we supported each other and made sure we got to our appointments without going insane.

chold coweringBut now, The Girl Who Is My Rock is not here to settle me.  Ironically, she’s off studying to become a doctor.  This is my first physical in a few years without her around to calm me.  She did give me a pep talk via text this morning, and will most likely call or text in the morning to make sure my toga isn’t all in a bunch before my appointment.

I feel like a frightened little boy who knows the big, bad monster is coming for him, but can’t find a place to hide.

I know the doctor isn’t the monster.  I actually picked a young, pretty PCP because I figured I would feel more comfortable.  I’d always had scary old men for doctors, and if I have to suffer through this, the source of my anxiety might as well be easy on the eyes.

What I really fear are the test results that could tell me that my family’s horrible genetics had finally caught up with me.  I don’t want to be nervous, I want to be reasonable, but I always flashback to Dad and what happened with him.

Doc lollipopTruth be told, I’d love to look forward to my physical.  It’s time away from the office, the insurance covers the cost of the visit, and there’s always the chance I’ll get a lollipop.  However, my mind just doesn’t work that way.  The only way to get bad news about my health is by going to the doctor, therefore, if I don’t go, bad news is avoided.

I blame the nuns for teaching me to think logically…

So what about you, Modern Philosophers?  Do you fear the doctor?  Do you think I’m being completely irrational?  Would you want to know that something was wrong with you, or would you prefer to remain oblivious and just live your life like normal?

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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32 Responses to Apples Won’t Keep The Fear Away…

  1. Hell, the lollipop is worth the visit. 🙂

  2. SouthernGal says:

    Seems completely normal to me. I have suffered illnesses in which I should have gone to the doctor but I was too afraid of the results. But eventually, you are begging to get to a doctor to get relief for whatever ailment you have.

  3. Karen Witkowski says:

    You are not irrational. I applaud you for facing your fear! Personally, I would want to know…then I have the power to choose how to live my life, maybe do something that I would not have otherwise done. And I could spend time with the people who mean the most to me…and avoid those who don’t.

  4. momshieb says:

    Just keep thinking about the moment when you walk OUT of the office, knowing that everything is fine, and its all behind you!

    • Austin says:

      I’m already planning to walk across the street to Dunkin Donuts so I can grab breakfast as I have to fast for my labs and will be starving…

  5. yogiwannabi says:

    Hmmmm I feel your pain and I understand. I found out my kidneys weren’t working when I was 20 in January. By march I had a catheter put in and by May I started dialysis. 26 months later I received a transplant. I have to go see the dr every 6 months and I dread bad news every time I go. You’ll be fine tho. I look forward to the post about being relieved it was just a routine visit 🙂

  6. mudlips says:

    I don’t fear doctors, I just don’t trust them all. Oh, sorry, that probably doesn’t help. Or maybe it does, see, I believe that doctors are human. They can be wrong. So, while you get their advice, you also have to keep in mind that they are just practicing and don’t have all of the answers. If you want to find all of the answers, I believe it’s your responsibility to get them. So, really, you’re in charge of what happens. In a way I find that takes the sting out of the visit. Good health!

  7. I’d want to know. But I actually work more with alternative medicine pros who can actually help me. 😉 Without them I doubt I’d have got on top of the adrenal fatigue. Regular MDs know nothing about it. … Good luck! You’ll be fine. 😉

    • Austin says:

      Thanks for the pep talk. I’m just a little baby when it comes to this yearly visit. By this time tomorrow, I should just be at my normal levels of neurosis… 🙂

  8. Lexa S. says:

    it’s kind of normal by me… I get so nervous at the doctors’ office that my blood pressure jumps up and so they always become very concerned about one more thing that could be wrong with me :D))

    • Austin says:

      Exactly! Same with me. Of course my blood pressure is going to be high. And you told me I have to fast, so I’m starving, too. It makes sense I’m going to be all jumpy!.

  9. floridaborne says:

    I’m wondering if it’s a male thing. Do you have any idea how many men say, “If I don’t go to the doctor, I won’t be sick.” ???? You’re going for a routine physical. You run and by your own admission you are in physical great shape. The only advice I’d give is for you to look at the names of medications on the writing pads and the information on medication strewn around the office. If the doctor tries to give you one of these medications, you might consider getting a second opinion or looking up information about it on the internet first. If you don’t like what the doctor says, get a second opinion. I’ve had to do that before when my gut told me the doctor was wrong. I was glad I did.

  10. ksbeth says:

    good luck with the doc – i think if it was me, i’d want to know, so that i could say and do things that are important to me. i happen to have a horrendous fear of the dentist, due to some things that happened as a child. i now have the kindest, most patient, gentle and tolerant dentist in the world. my file must have a giant !!!!FEAR!!! written on it somewhere because they really go out of their way for me, and it makes a world of difference.

  11. Drops of Ink says:

    I only fear the gyno.. something about those stirrups..

  12. sharonduerst says:

    I’m sorry for your too early loss of your parents! Mine passed in their later 60s. I want more time here than that! I’m doing everything I can to be healthy. Some things we may not be able to change, but I’m giving it a good try! Good luck for good health for you and yours!

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