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A doctor and a nervous patient

White Coat Syndrome

White coat syndrome. Anyone fighting a health issue can relate to the term white coat syndrome. I use this term in a humorous context. But I also understand some people fighting serious health issues can have a fear of doctors in white lab coats. This blog is not to make fun or light of that but rather share my personal experience with it every time I go to doctor.

A nervous feeling at every appointment

Dealing with my hep C and aftercare has been going on now for 13 years. I wish I could say it gets easier but for me, but I still get that sweaty nervousness about me. I am always the one setting off the alarm on the blood pressure machine when they take my vitals. Causing it to “do it all over again”. I am used to the nurses looking at me saying “your pressure is very high, are you aware of this?”

YES, I am fully aware that each and every time I step foot into my doctor’s office I get that feeling in my stomach of pure nerves. I know my doctor very well, in fact, he is/was the only one I fully trusted with my liver health. For me, I get nervous because I am in this place for only one reason – because I am labeled “sick”.  It makes me nervous because for 37 years I lived like any other person. No health issues to worry about and then BAM like a lightning bolt from the sky, I was hit with a life-threatening disease – and let me say with NO symptoms leading me to believe I was sick either.

Fearing bad news

So, to come into this office (which takes wonderful care of me) still makes me nervous. Every so often I am swept off to another department for further tests and another diagnosis handed to me. I know it is not frequent but it does feel like every time I am in the office more news is given about my health. And with this news more tests, more pokes with needles, more scans, more ultrasounds. My list is growing as I write this. It is scary.

I do get retested right before I leave to ensure my blood pressure is not REALLY that high, it is always confirmed to be at a normal range again. Those who treat me regularly laugh it off saying “Kim, you should be used to this by now”.

Words should be true, however, who could get used to more health issues just happening to pop up? Not this lady for sure!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.