Yesterday I had my New Patient Appointment at our new doctor’s. I am the last of the three of us to have my NP Appointment although I have gone with EJ and JJ to their appointments at their requests. I think the doctor is very compassionate and I like her a lot.
However, I felt like my appointment was a disaster.
First of all, I haven’t been sleeping well, I have too much on my plate, and I’m tired and over-stressed. Yesterday I felt near tears before I even got to the doctor’s office, and I ended up crying all through the visit. My tears were simply a release from stress but they embarrassed me and made me feel unable to adequately communicate.
The first thing the doctor said was, “So how does it feel to finally have a doctor visit about you?”
Ok, so here’s the thing about people with my INFJ personality type: We think all the time–a flood of thoughts pouring in so it’s like sipping from a fire hose. We think very deeply and complexly and we see everyone’s perspective instead of just our own. So if someone asks me a question about what I think or feel, I have to slow down, sort through the huge library of thoughts, feelings, and perspectives, and consider the question and the answer. In addition, we INFJs tend to think in metaphors and images rather than words. So it takes time to sort through everything and translate the metaphors and images into words. Most people want immediate answers and don’t give me time to think.
So the doctor kept asking, “So how does it feel to finally have a doctor visit about you?” without giving me any time to think. I really wanted her to just be quiet and let me sort through my thoughts for a bit. Some of my thoughts were:
What do I feel?
Why exactly is she asking?
Oh, my goodness, does she think I’m the type of person who can’t ever stand up for myself? She does!
Grrrr. I’m so tired of people thinking I’m a mouse, or a wimp, or weak, or can’t stand up for myself just because I’m a quiet introvert, I’m empathetic, I don’t always feel I have to fight every battle, I don’t always argue with others’ opinions, and so on. I am stronger than I appear and I have courageously fought more battles than most people are aware of. I have resisted wrong even when I have stood alone. I only fight the battles that are important to me. Grrrr.
In answer to the doctor’s question, I wanted to answer (but didn’t because she didn’t give me time to think it out) that going to the doctor simply feels a lot like another item on my To Do List, and my To Do List is too long and I’m exhausted. And, for the record, I go to the doctor when I need to, I stand up for myself when it’s important to me, and I help others when I can. I am not a wimp.
Then the doctor said she’d like me to have a blood test to check for this and that, and she wants me to have a physical, and she wants me to have a mammogram to “take care of the girls”–which, by the way, I’ve always thought was a stupid expression.
Still crying (grrrr), I started to tell the doctor that I am so empathetic that I used to faint whenever I went to the doctors but I actually went to a counselor to help me learn how to not and so….She said “So did you forget those techniques when your son had cancer?” And I wanted to say that, No, I hadn’t fainted in YEARS and was stunned when I fainted when I learned that JJ had cancer, and that having a son with cancer totally reactivated my too-strong empathy. I think it’s called “P-T-S-D.” Still, it didn’t prevent me from being with my son and giving him support during his treatment. But instead the doctor said that she could give me a pill to take before I came for the physical in order to relax me. I tried to tell her that I didn’t need a pill, I have never needed a pill to go to the doctor, I have plenty of courage and endurance. She told me that I needed my courage for other things, I didn’t need to use my courage for the physical, I could let her give me something to help me. GRRRRR. “Hello? Are you LISTENING TO ME?”
What I wanted to say was that too many problems over too many years–and especially JJ’s cancer battle–has completely exhausted me, EJ, and JJ. Going to the doctor adds to my stress, and I simply wanted a New Patient Appointment so that if I get sick or injured, I have a doctor in place that I can go to. I don’t want to add any more stressful things such as a blood test, a physical, and a mammogram to my already full plate. I wanted to tell her that I wanted to reduce some of my overwhelm before I schedule any other thing. But I didn’t get the words out.
EJ said he thought the doctor was compassionate and that she didn’t think I was a wimp, but I felt frustrated, depressed, and angry for the rest of the day because I had cried like an idiot and I didn’t feel like I was understood. I felt my rebellion kick in:
I may or may not get a blood test right now.
I refuse to call to schedule a mammogram.
I might (or might not) wait a bit and then cancel the stupid physical, which is scheduled for mid-October.
If or when I have a physical, I will not take a stupid pill to relax me before I go.
I won’t do anything that I don’t want to do.