The night before I cannot sleep. My eyes, slammed shut and scrunched up tight, pop open every quarter of an hour and I continue to curse at the glowing red numbers on the clock and will them to stop marching forward. But forward they roll, bringing me closer to the unknown.
I have all of my papers in order, but that doesn’t stop me from jumping up to check that they are all in order, their heft only heightening my anxiety because the many pages contains everything that has brought me to this point.
It’s simple really. A non-starter for many people. A trip to a new doctor is just another entry in the day planner, a necessity in the monotonous details of life. But for me, and many others that suffer from rare disease and chronic illness, it’s a source of tension. Another medical professional that may help, but is just as likely to not understand my condition or to tell me that I am too young/too healthy looking/too whatever to be this sick.
And then there are those who cannot see me as a whole person, instead focusing on the narrow spectrum of their chosen specialty, and if I don’t fit it, “good luck, but we can’t help you.”
I understand it but it never stops it from hurting, the years of “sorry, please try again” piling up to create a wall of fear that rises every time I meet a new doctor.
Okay, soI definitely have a terrible case of N-DAS: New Doctor Anxiety Syndrome. I know N-DAS will likely not be appearing in the next DSM, but it is real and right now I’m in the throes of it.
Kindness is so often taken for granted. But I continue to hope, grabbing as many spoons as I can handle as I walk into the blazing florescent lights and wait for what’s to come.