Like a lot of people, I really don't like going to the doctor. Some people don't like it because they hate being poked and prodded and/or they're afraid the doctor is going to share scary news with them. I'm really lucky because I have good genes and am generally in good health. I don't get sick very often (probably because I don't have kids to bring home germs yet), and when I do, it's usually just a mild cold. So I don't see much point in going to the doctor just so they can send me home with unnecessary meds and an otherwise clean bill of health.
However, last week I got blindsided by a bug that kept me out of work for 2 days (also unheard of for me- JD said "I don't think you've taken a sick day since I've known you!") and left me feeling so awful I didn't even want to get out of bed. At first it seemed like a really intense cold, but my in-laws told me they'd all had a really nasty upper respiratory infection and I might want to get it checked out. That combined with really bad chest congestion (I'd never really experienced anything like it before) made me decide that it may be some kind of bacterial thing and it might be worth seeing a doctor.
The last time I went to this doctor's office was nearly 3 years ago when JD convinced me I was overdue for a checkup. I had an appointment with one of the nurse practitioners, who sat with me for quite a while asking about my family history, my own medical history, answering questions and going over all the concerns I had. She was fantastic. She was judgement-free and seemed generally interested in me, my health, and my concerns.
This time, I saw one of the other nurse practitioners. He was not so fantastic. He reminded me why I hate doctors a lot of the time. He came in and went over my symptoms, then proceeded to ask if I've ever had any problems with allergies. It wasn't so much that he asked. Of course I want my doctor to be thorough and consider every possibility. But he got that look in his eye. The "here comes another hypochondriac" look. Because hypochondriacs are a particular pet peeve of mine, and because it takes a lot for me to go to the doctor in the first place, I'm especially sensitive to doctors who seem to think I am one.
I told him I hadn't (I mean, the pollen around here is awful- there's inevitably a yellow coating on everything from mid March through mid April, so I didn't think the occasional sneeze counted).
Then, he started pressing on my sinuses, having me flip my head upside-down, and doing various things that might trigger some kind of sinus pressure or pain. "Do you feel any pain? Are you feeling any pressure?" he kept asking.
"Nope," I replied, silently screaming, I know my own body! I know when I'm sick and when I have allergies! This came on too suddenly to be allergies!
Once he was satisfied that it was not, in fact, allergies, he listened to my lungs and told me there were no signs of infection. He asked me to call back if I wasn't better by Friday. It almost looked like he had a look of amusement on his face. (To his credit, he didn't write me an unnecessary prescription. I hate when doctors give you a prescription for a virus, since it won't do anything anyway.)
I left feeling worse than when I'd gone in. Partially because I'd had to drag myself out of bed and had been up and around for an hour, but also partially because I felt like he had judged me in some way. It's one of those things that I should have been able to brush off. One of those things that someone else might not have noticed. But I noticed, and that's why I hate going to the doctor.