Well, I survived the surgery. And as expected, he didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. But then again, he wasn’t expecting to. He hinted a few times to me, over the past few appointments I’ve met with him, that this could all be caused by my anxiety. This always makes me so angry, not because it’s not a possibility, but because it seems like it is the default answer that everyone gives.
He gave me a copy of the letter he wrote to my family doctor after he initially met with me. In the letter, he commented on the fact that I have anxiety, that I am taking medication for it, and that I am seeing someone about it. he then goes on to say that I have a normal physical exam and that he believes that my pain is caused because my anxiety needs to be better controlled. He was willing to offer me aggressive investigations to “ease my mind.” He suggested that if everything comes back normal, I should work on better controlling my anxiety. You have no idea how angry and frustrated and hurt I was to read this.
I remember telling him about my anxiety during the first consultation. I saw this little “switch” go off in his head and the look in his eyes changed slightly, like he had already made up his mind about my pain before giving my assessment a fair shot. Interestingly, I noticed the same look in the eyes of all the other doctors whom I’ve seen regarding this problem. In fact, the only two people who don’t seem to think this is an anxiety problem are my family doctor and my psychiatrist… the two people who know me and my anxiety the best.
I hate telling people that I have anxiety and this is the reason why. I have dealt with anxiety for many many years and I know how my body responds ot anxiety and stress. I am currently doing more to deal with my anxiety than I ever have in the past, yet because I “suffer” from anxiety, all my bodily complaints are automatically caused by anxiety.
I was on the fence about having this surgery done in the first place. I really felt uneasy about having it done when there was a good chance that everything would be normal. I probably wouldn’t have had it done if I knew that my surgeon was doing it to “ease my mind” and not because he thought there might actually be a “real” cause for my pain.
I am a victim to the stigma of anxiety. I woke up this morning in a lot of pain from the surgery and it feels like I’ve woken up with a bad hangover and the guy who said he loved me last night, is now nowhere to be found.