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May 6, 2013 / Zoe

21 Weeks.

This week was hard. Blob was good, but mentally, everything else was just hard. My anxiety has been pretty bad. Super bad, actually. I had to make a really hard decision, between something I wanted to do, and my family wanted me to do, and doing what was best for my mental, and therefore physical health, as well as my uni work and finances. I chose my health, which means I won’t see a lot of my family until after the Blob arrives, which I feel horrendously guilty about. I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing what’s best for me, but I do.

I also had my first antenatal appointment at the hospital. It was horrible. An absolute nightmare for someone with social and generalised anxiety. We were there for 3 hours, in a loud and busy waiting room. I had my blood pressure taken, was weighed and peed in a cup, which took a total of about ten minutes. The other 2 hours and 50 minutes were spent waiting, and being told things I already know. The doctor I saw has also clearly not read the psych note in my file. Because I’m very aware of my anxiety and what my triggers are, I organised to see the psychologist at the hospital to have a note put in my file to let the doctors/midwives know how I need to be treated. I have past sexual trauma, so it’s basically simple things like, tell me where and why you’re going to touch me, ask my permission before you touch me (anywhere, not just ‘down there’), and just so they’re aware. I understand that doctors are busy, but when a patient is flagged as having an anxiety disorder and has a brief note regarding it, it would be nice if they read it! I know it’s a bit silly, because he’s a doctor, but I did feel violated when he touched me without telling or asking me. It triggered a lot of anxiety, and I ended up binge eating that night, something I haven’t done in months. I wish I had of said something to him at the time, but I completely froze and just sat there.

To complete this anxiety trifecta blog post, I have about half a semesters worth of uni work to do, and about 3 weeks to do it. Enough said.

In perfect timing for this post, today Beyond Blue launched a campaign to raise awareness about anxiety disorders. If you don’t have anxiety, or are not sure if you do, I really recommend watching the ad, it very accurately portrays what it’s like to live with anxiety and might help you understand what we go through. If you do have anxiety, don’t watch it! It very nearly gave me a panic attack.

Anxiety is more common than depression, but it doesn’t get as much attention even though it destroys lives. It nearly destroyed mine, and I’m determined to never go back to that place. Which is why I will get this uni work done, I will see my family when I see them, and next time a doctor touches me, I will ask them if they’re read my psych note.

Looking forward, Blob deserves a Mama who can do anything. Not one who binges and hides when something scary happens.

I really want to be that Mama.

 

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10 Comments

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  1. I’m late getting in on this, but belated interwebs hugs are better than none?
    I, too, suffer from anxiety and hospitals are one of my major triggers. People, noise, feeling trapped, being touched by strangers, etc etc. I so feel your stress/pain/anxiety. Maybe now that you’ve experienced the one visit, you’ll find yourself a bit more acclimatized to the situation, thereby relieving some of the built-up-stress? I hope so! And I do so very hope the next doctor reads your psych note! Goodness, it seems like such a basic thing for them to do. sigh.
    Sending you safe soothing thoughts, dear Zoe. And you’ll be the best mom to Blob, because you’re awesome. It’s as simple as that!

  2. Flamingo Dancer / May 18 2013 7:25 pm

    Maybe try some relaxation music on an ipod while waiting? daughter1 suffers from anxiety as well, and she has peaked since birth of baby but she has good family support so is working through it. She did suffer a major anxiety attack a day or two after the birth as she has a fear of needles and hospitals and when they gave her a certain pain medication it set off PTSD. You will be a great Mum because you care and want to be a good Mum. Hugs.

  3. ejorpin / May 7 2013 5:01 pm

    Oh man. People sometimes don’t realise how little actions, little slip ups, can have big ramifications. Careless…I agree, you should make the hospital aware of it if you feel up to it. It’s feedback that doc needs to hear. Hope you’re ploughing through the uni work!

    ps. Hooray for good blobs!

  4. Lesley Anne Wright / May 7 2013 12:03 pm

    Zoe, I am always available for punching out doctors (or anyone else who needs it) either literally or figuratively if you prefer the non-violent approach…

  5. fatcatfromvox / May 7 2013 2:18 am

    Ooof! I hope the next doc you meet is one of those amazing ones that just (almost magically, it seems) manages to say and do just the right things for you to feel so much better, instead of stressed. Can family come to you, if you are unable to get to them right now? Be gentle with yourself and the blob, everything will be allright. Breathe.

  6. Lily / May 6 2013 9:30 pm

    Wow! I am so sorry that the doc didn’t pay attention to your psych note. Sometimes I wonder why we do the pre-stuff if they are only going to ignore it or ask the very same questions, etc. I’m proud of you for making it through and for wanting to be healthier for your sweet baby. It is amazing what we can do when we are doing it for our children. I can push through just about everything when it comes to doing it for my daughter (she’s 25 and I still push through to make certain that I am there for her). Anxiety is so much more debilitating than depression (I know, I fight both). I think anxiety scares doctors and counselors because too often there is no discernible “reason” for it.

    I don’t know how uni works in Australia but I always recommend that you contact your prof’s if you are struggling with finishing on time. It is amazing sometimes how helpful they become. Most instructors want to help their students as much as possible and really appreciate students who are trying hard and keeping in touch.

    Lily-thinking thoughts

  7. Christine / May 6 2013 8:04 pm

    Please have faith. Once you see the baby you will be ok. Doctors are silly and you should complain or mention it next time, Make him aware because you may not be the first one he’s done this to. Be happy in your body. I sound a bit silly and i feel awkward commenting cos I’m usually a lurker . If y ky need a Friend please feel free to email me.

    • Zoe / May 6 2013 8:10 pm

      Thank you so much, and thank you for de-lurking! I will mention it if I see that doctor again, the thing with the hospital set-up is that you just see any doctor when they’re free, so I might never see him again!

      xox

      • sukiesoriginal / May 7 2013 3:58 pm

        Let’s hope not! Is there some way you can let the hospital know? They usually have patient satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) forms. Maybe he needs re-education…

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