Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hi, My Name is Jessie, and I'm an Iatrophobe

"Iatrophobia" is the fear of doctors, but I'm convinced it's Latin for "big wuss." I know most people don't look forward to going to the doctor, but in my case, I get anxious--big time. I usually avoid going at all costs. For example:

1. In 1995 I had my leg pinned between my Honda CRX and a BMW. I couldn't walk for well over a day at all on that leg, but I absolutely would not go to the hospital.

Just walk it off.

2. When I was about 12 or so, my brother (who was about 5 at the time and didn't know better--or did he?) stabbed me in the back with a pencil. The lead broke off and lodged itself in there, about an inch from my spine. I don't even think I mentioned it to my parents until it started causing me problems.

It had scar tissue or something growing around it and pushing it outward, so my mom scheduled an appointment to have it removed. I remember sitting there in the doctor's office with her and the longer we waited to have it "cut out" the more nervous and sick I got. I was sweating and shaking and couldn't stand it--I asked her if we could leave. She made me promise if it didn't get better in a couple of weeks that we'd go back, so I promised. Thankfully it did get better, and to this day, there's a very small bump still there, but no more issues.

I think I willed it to get better.

My brother also shot me in the eye with a sucker dart. I think he had it in for me.

3. About four or five years ago, Dad and I were working on the old hog shed, trying to convert it to a shelter for the horses (before I had the good sense just to light a match and buy a new one for the same cost as trying to fix up the old one). We had a ladder there and were working on attaching supports on the roof. Dad climbed down off the ladder because I needed to move it to an area where I was working. When I moved it, the hammer he had been using (and forgot that he left up there) fell down on me, hitting me in the forehead with the claw end.

It sounds really bad, and it did smart, but the worst part was when I removed my hands from my face and looked up at my Dad--the awful look on his face scared me to death! He was absolutely pale. I don't think I've ever seen him look that way, so it scared me that something was really wrong. My hands were bloody, but head wounds bleed a lot, period, so that didn't scare me nearly as bad as the look on my dad's face!

I ended up going inside, making an icepack and laying down. And yes, I fell asleep. Exactly what people with a possible concussion shouldn't do, but I did. I can still feel a small dent in my head where it hit, but I'm just fine. (No quips, now.)

4. Then there's the multitude of horse-accidents: being thrown, attacked, drug, trampled, struck, bitten, and kicked.

Yeah, something like that (not really).

I have excessive scar tissue in my back from a rib being moved when a horse nailed me with her back feet, I've had my ear torn from a horse that reared up and hit me in the side of the head (lucky it was only my ear she got), I've gotten knocked out by a very large, untrained halter horse who bolted and ran straight over me, my hamstring tore when I tried to bale off a client's crazy horse, I've had my saddle slide off in a show and knock me into the railing, dragging me under the horse, and I've lost track of how many times I've flown so gracefully over jumps...and my horse didn't.

The thing is, I've been very lucky to have been riding horses my entire life (had my first fall as a toddler) and yet only had a few things happen. A few of these things probably should have sent me to at least outpatient care, but I'm a mule and I refuse to go.

I think the only way they'd get me in the ER is if they carried me in, unconscious.

5. Then my back issues, of course. So many people wanted me to get surgery, but this is the way I think about surgery: when you take a shovel and dig up the ground, you can put the dirt back in, but the ground is never the same. I don't want someone cutting on me when my body is trying to tell me that something is wrong and I need to take action for it to heal. Of course surgery is most definitely neccessary in some instances--I'm not knocking it. But in my case, I felt like I could get my body to heal in its own, without taking drastic measures.

At least that's the way I justified it. And I can find a way to justify anything.

I'm really probabably not a true iatrophobe, but I would rather just completely avoid the whole doctor/needle/hospital thing if at all possible, whenever possible. I have no idea why I'm such a wuss, except that perhaps because I've been blessed with such good health that my lack of exposure to medicine is what gives me anxiety over it.

It couldn't possibly be that I'm weird or have "issues." That couldn't be it at all *cough*.

Live long and prosper.



Sydney_bitless said...

I hate having anything done that I cannot see. Like when I had to have my hip stitched up when I fell off sauble falls. I just about bit my tongue off because I couldn't see what the nurse was doing. Same with shots I have to watch.

Triangle A said...

you are silly

Jessie McCandless said...

Oh Syndey, that's a bit strange LOL. I'm ok with shots now since I've had to give the horses so many. I figure I can be at least as good of a patient as I expect them to be LOL!

Nicole--yep, I am :) But I'll cover that in another post! Ha!