Doctor Appointments And Anxiety: When My Body Insists On Its Own Way

I continue to be surprised by how my body betrays me in this post-child loss world.

A simple, relatively painless procedure brought me to my knees and there was nothing I could do about it.

I had a last minute appointment with a new specialist the other day because my rheumatologist wanted a dermatology consult.

So I hauled myself downtown (first time since all this pandemic stuff started!), parked, temperature checked and entered the brave new world of mostly empty waiting rooms populated by masked people looking at their phones.

New Britain Herald - Bristol Hospital deploys social distancing ...

Once I was called back into the room, the medical assistant took my vitals and I waited for the doctor. As I waited, I realized that this would be the first time I was seen by a health professional who didn’t know I had buried a child. But at six years into this journey, I dismissed it as inconsequential to the day’s business.

The exam went well and confirmed some suspicions. Just when I thought things were over the room suddenly morphed from “exam” to prepping for a “procedure”. They needed to take a small biopsy to rule out or rule in the diagnosis.

Now, I’ve had all kinds of uncomfortable and downright painful things done to me. I’m no whiner (although I do not like anyone to give me a play-by-play). I sit still, grit my teeth and put up with whatever comes my way.

But as I watched the nurses prep the tray I realized I was getting anxious. I applied all my little tricks-the 5-4-3-2-1 sensory tool, deep breathing, touching each finger to my thumb-and thought I was victorious.

When the doctor injected the lidocaine it really did feel just like tiny bee stings.

And then suddenly, unexpectedly and uncontrollably my world began to spin, my breath became ragged and I knew for certain I was headed toward passing out.

It was so embarrassing.

I apologized over and over and over.

But they were great.

The doctor said it was a vagal nerve response and I had no control over it. My body was reacting to stimuli and no amount of willpower could make it stop.

Overview of the Vasovagal Reflex

She finished up, the nurse brought me some cold water and I sat in the room for fifteen or twenty minutes to recover. I tried at one point to get up and realized I wasn’t quite ready.

I drove home but felt drained for the rest of the afternoon.

I don’t know why doctor’s offices seem to provoke my grief. Dominic didn’t enter Heaven from a hospital room.

But for some reason, they do.

And while I am so much more in control of when and how I let the grief roll down my cheeks NOW than I was even a year ago, there are times when my body acts against my will.

When that happens, I need to remember it isn’t a choice.

Every day I am holding in so very much. Choosing to spare the world from my inner turmoil and moments of weakness.

Sometimes willpower just isn’t enough.

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

4 thoughts on “Doctor Appointments And Anxiety: When My Body Insists On Its Own Way”

  1. I can go with how you feel about this Melaine. My general practitioner retired a couple of years ago and the practice has been taken over. I don’t know any of the doctors and they do not know our family story.
    I am due for some annual blood tests and have been putting it off because some of my symptoms can be due to anxiety that over takes me some days. I will have to book as the are about a month over due.

    The altered state of play for accessing the doctor during the pandemic is not helping is it?

    It’s done now and you survived Melanie. Sending my love across the ocean ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So real!! I have lost my middle son May 2009 and I thought I was literally going in sane. I had to retire from my corporate job and ended up having mental and health issues. Got better but then I lost my baby girl July 2019. My body just went for a trip. I had no control over the terrible pain and crying and impatience etc. I know I’m a child of God and I have been set free by Jesus Christ and if it had not been for that hope in Christ I dont know what would be my life right now. I still have my oldest son even going through issues that’s got him down now but pray that he will return to God and step on the devil head to get his life back in order. So I can say you are helping me and some other people. Love you and all who read this with the love of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so very sorry for your multiplied pain and loss! Grief takes a toll on a body and there’s not much we can do about it except to seek appropriate medical help. May the Lord continue to give you strength for each new day and may you hear Him whisper, “Courage, My child” to your heart. ❤


  3. Melanie, you continue to be so transparent in this walk. I thank you. In my case my son DID have much medical intervention before he entered heaven. I’m normally okay, but sometimes at the weirdest times something will reach into my mind and trigger a buried memory.

    I appreciate that you are so vulnerable so that the rest of us can see that it’s okay to be, and be assured it’s normal when one is grieving. Thanks.


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