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Letter to Dr
Aug 29, 2005
When one has Health Anxiety - chances are they contact their Dr more than usual. Because of this and because I know my chart has been labeled "anxiety patient" I was concerned that my Dr may not take my concerns seriously. So I wrote her a letter. Do you think this was weird to do? Here is the letter:

Dear Dr XXX

I am writing this letter for a couple different reasons. First of all, I know you are a very busy person and wanted to be able to convey my thoughts to you at your convenience. Also, when I am speaking to you directly, I tend to forget everything I want to say. This way I can easily map out my thoughts without getting flustered or forgetful.

Secondly, I want you to know that I have immensely appreciated your kind, thorough, respectful care in these past years. I have been to many physicians and none have treated me the way you have. You are personable and have never treated me as a bother. This has meant a lot to me.

I know that I am not the easiest person to deal with, medically speaking. I am a nervous type especially when it comes to health issues. I fear that my chart is flagged as a hypochondriac and that I have become the girl who cried wolf. Believe me, that is the last thing I want. I feel I am an intelligent person with a need to be taken seriously. There are reasons for the way I react. First being the young death of my father. He died at the age of 46 and had health problems his entire life. He parents also died quite young. This has been something that has been quite hard to deal with. Also, there was the misdiagnosis of the SVT for so many years. I had a number of ER visits when my heart was going crazy and I was consistently patted on the head and given a xanax and sent out the door. For over 8 years this happened. I knew something wasn’t physically right. But I was made to feel crazy. Of course I developed severe anxiety, who wouldn’t. Finally the SVT was treated and my life improved ten fold. Unfortunately the anxiety hasn’t completely disappeared. I have a hard time accepting the word of physicians now and feel I am never being taken seriously. Please know that this isn’t directed at you, but at the medical profession in general.

And now I stand here again a bit confused. I feel symptoms that aren’t quite right. Do I go with my gut? Or blame anxiety? Vickie and the ER told me that my ‘tests’ are normal. I am not sure what tests were even done. I feel fatigued all the time. Could be medication, I am aware. I get aches in various localized places in my body. They do not last long and are not in any way severe. I usually don’t even take Tylenol. It’s just something different. One of the places I get this ache is in my chest. Not like heart attack pain, but still makes me worry about my heart. So I am told I am fine. I guess I just have to believe it. But sometimes it is hard to ignore. As a public, we are constantly inundated with information. From magazine articles, to talk shows, news programs, and even commercials we are warned about so many health issues. During one TV program it is possible to see 3 different commercials warning you about everything from DVT, heart attack, and cancer. They all say the same thing, “If you feel any of these symptoms, call your Dr. or 911 immediately.” So I think, “well, chest pain, nausea, dizziness…I feel that…so should I call…should I worry?” What are we suppose to think? Articles tell you that you are your best judge when it comes to your health. But I have been made to doubt my own judgment.

What I truly believe may sound strange. I really think that there is something in my brain, such as a neurotransmitter or some kind of receptor (obviously I know little about this stuff) that is super sensitive to pain, stimuli, and chemicals. I feel that the anxiety, the SVT, and these newer symptoms are all possibly linked to this one problem. I think that I am very sensitive to adrenaline. I think that was a big reason for the anxiety and SVT. For so many years I have simply been physically sensitive. I can feel things that people normally cannot feel or notice. I swear, if my BP drops by one point, I feel it. Temperature raises, I feel it. So since I feel these things so clearly, I react in kind of a panic way. I think this may also be why childbirth was such a horrendous experience and the epidurals did not work. At one point I actually felt like I left my body because the pain was so terrible. As bad as it was, of course it was worth it. Cassidy is everything to me. And that is one more reason I need to make sure I am always going to be here for her.

I may sound like a complete crazy person to you. I guess I am taking that risk. I just wanted you to know where I am coming from. I want you to know that I am not a nut. Not everything is in my head. And that I am doing everything I possibly can to fix the issues that ARE in my head. I am going to therapy and taking a new anxiety medication, Klonopin. I am exercising, eating well, taking vitamins. I do not smoke, drink (with the exception of a couple glasses of wine a month), and do not consume any caffeine. I am behaviorally doing everything I can to gain the best mental and physical well-being.

I know that doctors get a sense of a patient that may be hard to change. Once labeled a weirdo, probably always a weirdo. But I thought I would do my best to convince you otherwise. Your opinion is not only important to me, but I feel it is important to my health as well.

I also wanted to let you know that when I was talking to my psychiatrist, Dr. XXX, I mentioned you were my general physician. This man is quite skeptical about the medical field in general and he made that very clear. But he had nothing but praise to say about you. He said that you are one of the best practioners in the area. I agreed whole heartedly.

Take care and thank you so much for your time!


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