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Impending Medical Exam Driving OCD off the charts


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Okay, I really need to talk about this, hope you all won't mind...

contains descriptions of OCD behavior so I guess I should put: :Trigger:

Guys, you may want to tune this one out- you've been warned. But if you have doctor's office phobias i'm sure all advice couldn't hurt.

I haven't been to a gyno in about seven years- because I am terrified of catching something at the office from the instruments/staff not being clean enough/washing hands, etc.

I have so many health problems already but I have never had an STI and I REALLY do NOT want to add that to my roster. In fact they are one of my health obsessions (though they have no reason to be, based on my lifestyle.)

This whole delaying the gyn visit was all not helped by the fact I've had so many other surgeries and stuff the past few years- it kept getting pushed back but that's partially also because I did NOT want to go.

But now I have to- am having issues I believe may seriously require surgery to end. My other docs are all in agreement on this- I HAVE to go.

I have an appointment at the university hospital on thursday- all my other specialists are there and this doctor (my first female gyn- happy about that) specializes in the problems i'm having.

I've had the appointment for five weeks (hard to get in) but now that it's just days away I feel my mania ramping up again despite the klonopin and I'm :Trigger: washing my hands until they bleed and also doing the 'ram the bar of soap under my fingernails scrubbing so hard' thing until i've torn them away from the nailbeds on several fingers. Youch. Also taking such long showers my skin is all dried out beyond belief.

My OCD with germs is so bad (and my family doesn't even know this) that I have to put paper on the seat to use the bathroom in my own home- even if I clean/wipe it with alcohol or bleach spray first. How the hell do I get through a pelvic exam?!?

Please think good thoughts for me.

Other than telling them straight up (I'm thinking of making a note on the new patient sheets they give you to fill out) that I'm a germophobe with OCD and anxiety awaiting a final label and newly dx'd BPD and I'm terrified of this whole thing, do you ladies have any advice to offer me on how to get through this? Cause I have to get through this.

thanks for any insights you might have to share.

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First of all, it is totally your OCD talking. The likelihood of you catching something from a OB/GYN's office is nil. And yeah, the nerves are piling up and so you're engaging in compulsions like crazy to deal with it.

One suggestion I have is to see if perhaps the OB/GYN will let you come in to the office prior to your appointment so you get used to the idea of going. Exposure, if you will. Shake hands, touch the instruments, etc. Hang out in the office until your anxiety decreases to a manageable level. Then leave. If you have to do this more than once, then do it. Explain that you have OCD with germ phobias and you need to let it sink in that you'll be doing a pelvic exam with equipment that has been used with other people. I'm sure the OB/GYN will work with you. You may end up with a copay or something, heh, but it will be more doable than just going in there on your appointment and trying to sit (or lay, rather) through it.

The only way to get past obsessions and compulsions is to expose yourself to what you fear. It's wretchedly uncomfortable to do this, but it's the only way to beat it. The OCD Workbook in the CrazyStore is very helpful, and it gives instruction on how to do exposures.

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Thank you so much for your advice. I would try that visiting in advance thing if it wasn't so hard to get in to see this doc (university docs are very hard to get to see around here) it'd be impossible- but I will definitely look into that workbook and keep telling myself it's the OCD talking...being that I am OCD it shouldn't be difficult to keep repeating it should it...

I do intend too to just be really up front with them about it and hopefully, they'll be compassionate...this doc gets rave reviews online so I'm hopeful about her bedside (or stirrupside, as it were) manner...

appreciate your taking the time to reply, much obliged.

lizzy

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You know, do you have a Planned Parenthood by you? They might be cool with letting you expose yourself to their exam rooms. Mine lets people come in and check things out before going through with an exam, plus they're open late. Perhaps that's an option?

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You know, do you have a Planned Parenthood by you? They might be cool with letting you expose yourself to their exam rooms. Mine lets people come in and check things out before going through with an exam, plus they're open late. Perhaps that's an option?

Thanks again Rowan- I'm not sure if there is one (I think there is) but with all my health issues and since I can't drive due to them it's difficult for me to get out of the house, even for therapy/pdoc :/ I swear I'm not trying to shoot down your ideas- they're fantastic and hopefully maybe might even help somebody else down the road if they see this thread.

As for me, I think what I most needed was just to be told "It's the OCD, remember that" and you so kindly did that. So thank you again. I have to just white knuckle it through this somehow-- and there's somebody I know I can text if I'm really freaking out when I get there who will calm me down, so I keep telling myself it's going to be okay. It's going to be okay....

thank you again! I know this isn't like a 'hug' type board, so I'll just say that I really am sincerely grateful that you heard me. Thank you.

lizzie

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Just an update in case anyone wondered what happened: the new doc seemed to have no sympathy for what I was going through- and wouldln't you know it, I had to get a sheet to cover up with (along with the gown) that came back from the laundry department stained. Seriously. Even the doctor was upset about it and said she'd be complaining as it never should have been sent back it should have been thrown out.

EEEWWW.

But I got through the exam. That wasn't so bad. Bad was that doc totally disagrees with treatment plan for my issues and so looks like I'm going to have to go through it all again with another doc for a second opinion.

Worst part was the ultrasound. They didn't tell me that they were going to want to do a T.V. one (with the internal scope) I only had one of those once years ago and I was injured by the doctor doing it (had to have cryo on my cervix because of his incompetence) so that was more than I could take.

I explained this to the tech- I didn't get upset with her or anything just tried to calmly explain that I could not tolerate that part of the test due to my serious OCD and being I'm adjusting to new meds for my new bipolar diagnosis- and she belittled me, seriously.

It was so humiliating, after I got finished I wanted to cry but I couldn't (i seriously think the mood stabilizers are making it harder for me to cry even when I feel I need to)

Bad day, Thursday. Going back for test results next week (there is definitely something not right in there- they know that much) and taking my spouse with me so he can be there to run interference if the doc starts to yell at me (or otherwise berate me) for refusing the T.V. part of the test.

If they'd told me in advance it was their standard (I told EVERYBODY I had OCD and germphobia- did they not think that test might bother me?!?) I'd have told them at the outset. As it stood I felt demeaned, bewildered, and disrespected.

But I drew the line and didn't have the test- if I'd let them push me into it, I'd have felt violated, and I'll choose the other feelings over that one any day.

my hands look like they've been burned- so much soap, so much washing- cracking all over :(

I hate freaking OCD.

Thanks for letting me vent.

thelizardqueen

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I am so sorry that your experience was bad, you felt belittled. It must have just been awful when they told you that a vag ultrasound was needed. I hope you can find a gentle, female ob gyn, and become comfortable with her. Someone kind and understanding.

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Ugh, I'm so sorry that happened. That just sounds so awful.

Like all doctors, there are bad OB/GYN's. They're not all like that. Most are actually quite sensitive. And why didn't they just get you a new sheet? Where I go sheets are disposable.

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Ugh, I'm so sorry that happened. That just sounds so awful.

Like all doctors, there are bad OB/GYN's. They're not all like that. Most are actually quite sensitive. And why didn't they just get you a new sheet? Where I go sheets are disposable.

They did give me a new sheet, rowen, it was like a bed sheet, they wash/reuse them. Not the pad thingie that goes under you, those are most definitely disposable and they assured me that had just been put into place...

Thank you for your kind words (again) and hi Ladybug, thanks for your support too. I was so surprised by this doc's 'mack-truck' like bedside manner because she was female. My male gynos have been, over all, much more sympathetic in general, this was my first time seeing a female so it was a shock that she was just so quick to jump to conclusions and all.

But like with any doctor, you kind of just have to keep looking around I guess if you don't like the one you get- and my new tdoc told me on Friday not to dispair- that I will definitely find one that will do what needs to be done.

Just waiting now for test results. Not feeling great either- I think sometimes these doctors forget that while they're off doing all of their stuff that we patients- individual human beings- are in pain (physically and emotionally) waiting on these tests.

thanks again for listening.

lizzieq

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Update...so, the test results came back...

completely normal.

W.T.F. ?

I can't believe it. My ovaries have never looked normal on an ultrasound in my life- now even though she said she thought she felt a mass and i've been in awful pain and all, there's nothing in the snapshots? Seriously?

She wants me to go to a gastroenterologist. Like hell. I know they found very minor issues in that arena on a CT scan a year ago while looking for something else and there is no way I'm letting anybody start poking around in there.

I am so sick of doctors. 15 surgeries in the past two years. I am just DONE. No. More.

no more new ones right now, it's just too much to think about.

anyway, that's that for the gyno for now anyway. oh, and she said she'd tie my tubes as I wanted (OCD fear of pregnancy magnified by real fear of how my past pregnancies/miscarriages went and never wanting to do that again) but medicare won't pay for it.

I feel a post in the healthcare bitching forum coming on. . .

thanks again for listening.

LQ

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I know this is too late to help with the original issue, but next time you need a pelvic exam, they do sell disposable speculum online. Then at least you wouldn't have to think about theirs touching you.

Also, they have a non-surgical tubal ligation procedure called Essure. Much cheaper than traditional tubal ligation so maybe Medicare will pay for that??

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Chipmunk, you're a doll! Thank you so much- the only reason I didn't COMPLETELY freak out (sorry to yell there but believe me it was appropriate) in the ER when I had to have a repeat exam a week ago was because they used a disposable one on me- I didn't know you could buy them yourself though! I am definitely, definitely going to look into that.

Now if only there was such a thing for a TV ultrasound, I'd really be set. . .

and your advice isn't too late, i'm still struggling with all this. Ended up in the hospital overnight a week ago because my pain was so bad and blood count dropping. they were talking about transfusion for awhile but I got out of it- am going to have to go for another opinion about the hysterectomy (ER docs all concluded I'm a 'good candidate' but warned I'll have to go outside the healthcare system i'm in now to find someone to do it because their docs in each department stick together :( if one says no go (or in this case, says ablation) they all will.

so thanks for the continued support/advice here. am still battling all this and still grateful for all this wonderful help.

wish i could buy you a coffee!

thanks again

lizzie

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