I’m sure there’s a scientific name for this (there is – latrophobia) but I’m going with Doctorphobia for the lulz. Lots of people seem to squirm at the idea of going to see the doctor. Mostly men, as the stereotype goes, although I’m not sure how accurate it is as my female best friend also gets it. I’ve always been sensible about modern medicine and amused by people thus afflicted by The Fear, but I’m getting horribly suspicious that I am, in fact, becoming afflicted by The Fear.
I’m terrified of the doctor right now. But I think I know why.
Not being a Doctorphobe for long I can only speculate about why people avoid seeking medical advice. From what I can gather, broadly speaking it’s either a very male, “she’ll be right” kind of stoicism (or stubbornness), or a very deep concern that if you see the Dr, they will be able to confirm that there is something really wrong, something too hard to face. I’ve seen both. But I think my fear is the opposite of the latter. I’m scared that I’ll go to the Dr and find out that there’s nothing wrong with me.
What seems to be wrong with me is just vague enough to fuel this fear. I’m tired all the time. I go to bed at night and can’t fall asleep, but then I’ll nod off during the day almost instantaneously. I come dangerously close to falling asleep at the wheel on a regular basis, to the point where I literally can’t keep my eyes open when driving and have to pull over ten minutes into a trip. I’ve always had an extremely mild form of vertigo, but lately it has worsened and frequently comes on when I’m playing sport or exercising. I’m pretty sure I passed out playing football two days ago. I have no aerobic fitness, no energy, and I never feel wide awake.
So basically I’m scared that I will get tested to buggery and then the doctor will have to tell me the medically professional equivalent of “Umm, get more sleep at night..?” and “Yeah you’re trying to play sport while massively unfit, no wonder you passed out. Hit the gym asshole.” I’m scared that there’s nothing significant causing this. I’m scared that I’ve just annihilated my sleep cycle. I’m scared that I’m too unfit to get through a game of football. And I’m scared that I will therefore have to upend my entire lifestyle in order to fix it.
Then again, if there’s something significantly wrong with me, that will probably involve upending my entire life anyway. So in the end I come back to the same point I made in the beginning: I don’t understand fear of the doctor, rationally speaking. It’s irrational. But while I may not understand it, I am sure as hell feeling it.
Excuse me, I’m about to nod off into my keyboard.