My doctor ordered a full viral panel on Monday to see if I still have active mono, where my antibody levels are at, and to see if I have a couple of other viruses on top of EBV. While I’m glad that I’m getting these tests drawn, I’ve been dreading the blood draw all week. I tend to have issues with blood draws, as they are very triggering to me. Because of this, I decided to get my blood drawn yesterday, as it seemed like a good day for me to do it.
On my way to the clinic, I could tell that I was very panicked. I was worried about whether or not I’d be able to run the rest of my errands after being triggered by a blood draw. And, I was just plain afraid to get it done. Sometimes I panic during blood draws, and can even get so anxious that I pass out. Part of me thought that because of this I should wait on getting my blood drawn until I have someone with me. At the same, time, though, I wanted to show myself that I could do this on my own.
My Naturopath is the doctor that ordered the labs. She made the order out to be done at a particular clinic in town. When I got to this clinic, I noticed that there was quite the wait for walk in patients. I immediately worried that I might have to spend some time there, which brought on a lot of anxiety (I don’t like hospital or clinic’s waiting rooms). But, the receptionist told me that I should be taken care of right away.
While I was waiting, I began to panic. I’m not sure if this was because I was about to get a blood draw, or for some other reason. The wait, too, was longer than the receptionist told me that is was going to be. At around 25 minutes of waiting, I started to get very nervous and panicked. I asked the receptionist why the wait was so long and she told me that they were having to send my paperwork through to their main office in order to process it. I kept waiting, but soon could tell that I was either in a panic attack or about to have one. Plus, I got a funny feeling about being there. So, I just told one of the receptionists that I had to leave. She asked a few questions to clarify what was going on with my appointment/lab work and I told her that I don’t know, but that I have to go. Then I just got out of there as fast as I could.
I sat in my car for a few minutes afterward, and then hesitantly decided to drive home. Within about five minutes, most of my panic had passed. I picked up a few things on the way home and was relieved once I walked into the door of my house.
I’m glad that I was able to sense that I needed to leave the situation rather than try to tough it out. I don’t always do that very well. Also, I don’t usually come down from a panic attack that quickly either. The fact that I was able to recover so quickly tells me that I am making forward progress when it comes to recovering from PTSD and anxiety.
A couple of hours after I got home, a staff member from the clinic called me. It turns out that they are unable to run a few of the tests at that clinic that my doctor ordered, and because of this I will have to get the blood drawn at a different lab. I kind of pondered this and thought to myself, “What if I had continued to wait at that clinic? Would it have taken two hours for them to tell me that they can’t fulfill the order?” I actually feel like that would have happened.
All in all, then, it worked out. I’m glad that I listened to the feeling that something seemed off at that clinic, even if that off feeling produced feelings of panic. For a lot of years I wasn’t great at listening to my intuition. This started at some point in graduate school due to exhaustion and then grew over time. In the last few years, though, especially since leaving AA my intuition has been growing stronger again.
I treated myself to American Idol last night, which I have fallen behind on due to illness. I also ate some peanut butter banana bites, and got attention from my cats. It turns out that I can have a good day despite challenging parts of it. And, I’m glad that I didn’t spend a big chunk of my day yesterday waiting around in a doctor’s office!
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