What’s the term for “fear of meeting a new doctor”?
There are a million things I could be doing around this house while I’m waiting to take him. Laundry to get folded, dishes to get rinsed, phone calls to make, paperwork to fill out …
But what am I doing?
Going over the binder full of DJ’s medical tests, re-reading the note with all my questions, writing this, and in general, freaking out so much that I’m jittery and my stomach is tight.
I fear that first meeting with a doctor so much. Any doctor. DJ’s seen so many doctors over the last five years. Emergency room doctors, dermatologists, pediatricians, allergists, family care doctors, urgent care doctors, filling in for the normal pediatrician doctors. We need something from them, otherwise we wouldn’t be there. They hold my son’s health and comfort in hands.
They have so much control. And unfortunately, we’ve run into a few that have let that power go to their heads. A pediatrician who refused to refer DJ’s care to an allergist, convinced she could treat his allergic disease herself. Another pediatrician that tried to diagnosis him with cystic fibrosis after his second lung infection in three months, completely disregarding that he has asthma and extremely reactive lungs (That means that if the smallest thing irritates his lungs they become inflamed. He’s actually had a special test for that.).
I really should write down the details sometime. Do a week of blog posts about the worst doctors we’ve come across in the last five years.
But in the meantime, every time we get ready to meet a new doctor, I worry. I’m dependent on the judgement of someone who I’ll have less than five minutes to make an impression on.
So I prepare. I’ve got a binder with all of DJ’s medical tests. They’re neatly arranged. All his allergy tests and blood work are in chronological order. There’s a separate page with the results of his methacholine challenge (that’s the test to irritate his lungs). A separate page with the disc of his chest x-rays.
I’m over-prepared too. There’s a section with pictures of DJ’s skin during the horrible eczema flares from when he was an infant. I can barely look at those pictures where his skin is oozing and crusted. It makes my skin itch just to think about it. Seriously, just writing that sentence makes the skin on my neck itch. But I’ve found that scary, awful pictures of my son’s skin make a big impression on a doctor who’s super busy, seeing a new patient every fifteen minutes, and I’m here with a five year old who can’t communicate the severity of his symptoms, asking for the moon.
And many times I don’t need it. I meet a friendly doctor who’s more than capable to handling DJ’s needs. I get all worked up and then I meet a smiling doctor who grants my every wish and has a great conversation with me about the latest in non-steroidal prescription skin treatments for atopic dermatitis.
But those times when it’s gone wrong. And those moments when my baby has needed help that we couldn’t get him. They stay with me. I relive them in these minutes while I wait to see if DJ’s needs will be fulfilled or if I’ll have to fight to get what he deserves.
Every minute drags. I feel every second pounding away in my heart. I have such a fear of that unknown doctor we’ll meet so soon.