The first time I went to my ‘new’ doctor was almost two years ago. The first thing she prescribed me was anti-depressants because I was having panic attacks and the clinic doctor had given me Ativan to help cope in the short term. It was not a good point in my life. I found out she was accepting new patients, called, and she saw me in a few days. I can remember her asking me questions about my life. How was my relationship? I lied and told her it was fine. How was my job? I lied and said it was fine. She asked me how I felt emotionally and I told her I was scared. I was at least 20 pounds overweight, my skin was bad and my diet was horrible. The only exercise I ever got was walking to the car and back to go to work. It was a seriously low point in my life and it was the first time she’d ever met me.
She was really nice about it all. She didn’t try to make me feel like I was harming myself, she just listened and tried to figure out the best way to help me. She asked me to take blood tests and quietly told me some of the dangers of anti-depressants without scaring me. In a word, she was lovely. I was frightened of all the things she told me I needed to do, but her gentleness convinced me that the anti-depressants were a good option right now. She told me to consider them short-term, and we’d work on going off of them together.
Fast forward to today. I made an appointment to re-fill my birth control, nothing more. I haven’t seen in her about five months which is the longest I’ve stayed away since I started going to her two years ago. For awhile it was every month to refill the anti-depressants, every three for birth control, and every few months to check my iron because it had been dangerously low. I felt like I was seeing my doctor more often then I saw my mom! Now I’m finally on six month intervals so unless something happens there’s no reason to go in. When she walked in and saw me the first thing she said was ‘you look beautiful!’. It’s not that she was surprised, it was that she was happy to see me bright eyed, clear-skinned and smiling.
We talked briefly about life. She asked about my new job and how much I liked it. She asked if I was seeing anyone and how I felt emotionally. I told her about eating mostly vegan and she was very supporting, making sure I knew to take vitamin B12. We talked about protein and she was glad to hear all the different sources I was getting it. She checked my blood pressure and declared it perfect!
The reason I’m telling you all of this is because my doctors visits until now have all be about fixing my health. First it was panic attacks and then seriously low iron. After that we delved into general health and birth control, trying to manage my heavy and painful flow. This was really the first time I went in and absolutely nothing was wrong. At the moment, my health is really good and other than a quick chat and refill, I walked away with no tests or things I needed to pay attention too!
This was an amazing moment for me. It proves that all this work I’ve done over the best two years has been worth it. First getting out of a bad relationship, working on my health, starting a new life… it’s all come down to this; I am a perfectly healthy and happy human being!!!
It made me consider the first time I met my doctor. She walked in to a room where a young girl was struggling. How much I have looked too her? I was 26, depressed, unhealthy and lying to her. She must have seen straight through that. I was devastated that she wanted me to go on medication because I’d always considered it a type of failure. But she knew I needed it to get back on my feet. And she was right! I started feeling better, and because of that I was able to really look at what needed to be fixed. Once I got out of the relationship that was destroying me, I started taking care of myself. As soon as she realized I was doing better, we pulled back on the medication little by little until I didn’t need it anymore, and I haven’t needed it since!!
My doctor really took the time to evaluate me and find out the very best way to make me healthy. I was afraid of over-medication, but she wasn’t medicating just for the sake of medicating me. Even she saw it as a temporary fix. Her goal was to get me back to a person who could be happy without any help at all. I wish I could thank her adequately for how much she helped me, but nothing feels like enough.
Todays going to be a good day, I can feel it!