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  1. #1

    Default Help! Will I sound like a hypochondriac?

    Created an alter for this because I'm slightly embarrassed about some of the issues I've been having and also because I feel like I'm going to come across as a hypochondriac, but I promise I'm not crazy! Sorry this is long!

    I've been extremely busy lately (the past 7 months or so) between working a full time job (with overtime the past two months) and a 3/4 time job, in addition to finding out my grandfather was diagnosed with state 4 lung cancer last March and dealing with that (he passed away in September), so needless to say I haven't really had a chance to do something as simple as scheduling a dr's appt. in a long time! Things are finally starting to settle down now and I've actually found myself with a few mornings off and a few days off, so I scheduled an appointment with my family doctor for next Friday (I also finally got to schedule appointments with my eye doctor and dentist - my last true day off before Christmas day was Easter Sunday!) The main reason for scheduling this appointment was to get the flu shot, since everyone that works with me in my department has been sick since Christmas (either the flu, pneumonia, sinus infections, you name it they've had it) except me. This was the earliest appointment I could get with anyone, and since I haven't seen this doctor in the past year, I had to schedule a wellness visit in order to receive the flu shot.

    But, while I'm there I want to go ahead and bring up all the issues I've had over the past year and I'm afraid the doctor is going to think I'm crazy for bringing everything up at once! I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and while a lot of these issues are annoying I've been able to just deal with them on my own because I literally did not have time to do anything about it. So, here are the problems I'd like to bring up to the doctor:

    1. Flu shot (main reason for appt)

    2. Possible plantar fasciitis/heel spur - I've had pain in my right foot (the arch and the heel - hurts whether I walk on it or am sitting, whether I'm wearing shoes or not, whether it's first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, constant pain) since April. It was slight at the beginning of April, but it was made worse with all the walking I did at Rolex, and while it's been manageable this whole time I'd really like to just fix whatever the real issue is - I've had different people tell me they thought it could be either issue based on their own personal experiences with these issues

    3. Possible ingrown toenail on my right foot - this pain lasted for about 2 months straight and I haven't changed shoes or socks or done anything different, but thinking back it actually hasn't bothered me in the past two weeks or so, so should I even bring it up if whatever was wrong seems to be fine now?

    4. I sometimes have really weird sharp pains in my lower right abdomen (almost where my thigh meets my body) but I only notice this if I twist a certain way or if I'm sitting down and I cough. Sitting down and coughing can be excruciating unless I either apply pressure with my hand to the area or lean forward. This doesn't happen all the time, just every now and then, but it has been happening for almost a year, and I notice it the most when I'm sitting in the car.

    5. My sternum cracks - everyone says it can't since it's not a joint and that it's probably the ligaments over the sternum but I'm telling you if I twist a certain way it cracks. You can hear it and I can feel it, and there's a lot of pressure and pain before I crack it and it hurts really bad when I crack it, but about 5 minutes after that the pain goes away - is this even an issue or is this normal?

    6. I think I have some sort of heartburn/acid reflux/digestive problems going on. I went to the doctor Oct. 2012 for what they thought originally was a stomach ulcer but they ran tests that came back negative and they had me try Nexium. That made things better, and then I didn't take it for 2 weeks (to see if the problem came back) and everything was still fine, so they did not have me continue taking Nexium. Some of the same symptoms are back but I also have some new symptoms involving lack of appetite but feeling weak from not eating, and getting nauseous when eating more than just a little bit of anything.

    7. I have headaches every single morning. This has been going on since the week before Thanksgiving. The headaches are there regardless of what I've eaten/not eaten, how many hours of sleep I had the night before, the weather, and they are not caffeine related. OTC meds have not helped, so I've stopped taking them (I only tried a couple of days) and the headaches usually are gone within about 2 hours of me waking up.

    8. I was on Seasonique when I was in college simply for the 4 periods/year convenience. I was not sexually active when I was originally given the prescription, and was told I didn't need a full gyno exam until I was, or until I turned 21 (whichever came first). Once I wasn't in school anymore, the prescription went from $20 for a 3 month supply to $150 for a 3 months supply, and I just stopped taking it. Needless to say, I'm 25 now, still not sexually active, but also embarrassed to say that I still haven't ever had a gyno exam. I want to go back on this pill for the period convenience again (and can now afford it again), but the earliest appointment I can get with the doctor I'd like is in April. The family doctor I have an appt. with next week has listed on her info on their website that she has an interest in women's health and the doctors office in general states that they provide services in women's health, so would it be ok to ask this doctor about going back on the pill at this appointment? Or would it be better to schedule a second appointment since I didn't request this when they asked me why I was scheduling it in the first place?

    9. Last but not least, also during the time I was in college I was also on an anti depressant called Pristiq which was actually treating anxiety issues moreso than depression. I've been off it probably for 5-6 years now, but I'm starting to feel like I did back then again, and I'm wondering if going back on it would help. I never talked to a therapist or anyone, just prescribed several different medications from student health (Wellbutrin and Paxil) before we tried Pristiq which seemed to work very well for me.

    Basically, to make a (really) long explanation short...am I going to sound like a crazy drug-wanting hypochondriac if I go into this appointment planning on asking the doctor about all these issues? I'm worried she's going to look at me like I've grown three heads if I whip out this list, but these are honest true problems that have been going on for awhile (I've even been keeping a 'health journal' of sorts for all these issues since I've known it would be awhile before I could schedule a drs appt.) I wouldn't mind coming back for a second appointment now that I have time to fit one in if they need me to do that to go over some of these things, but I don't want to automatically schedule multiple appointments (especially since it'd be much better for me if I can only pay one co-pay - mine are rather high!) if it doesn't seem too ridiculous to ask the doctor about everything all at once.

    Please let me know your opinions on this, and if you think I sound crazy for wanting to ask about 9 different issues at an appointment originally scheduled for just a flu shot!



  2. #2
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    Well...if I were your doctor, who was expecting you to show up for a flu shot, and you dropped 9 separate issues to be dealt with in that appointment slot, I'd be a bit irritated. You need to schedule a regular checkup appointment, and let the scheduler/nurse know that you have several issues you need to discuss. None of them are trivial, and should be heard, but don't sneak in on a 10 minute appointment.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


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  3. #3
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    No, I do not think your doctor will think you're a hypochondriac. However, if you're just scheduled for a flu shot, there probably isn't time to discuss all of this. This would seem to be the kind of list you discuss at an annual physical. Perhaps call the doctor's office and tell them you have a lot to discuss and see what they recommend?


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  4. #4
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    It's a full appointment, not just a 10 minute visit to get the flu shot. At this office, if you haven't been seen by them in over a year you have to have a full exam before they'll give you the shot. I was planning on calling ahead anyway and letting them know that I have more to discuss than just getting the shot to see if there will be time for that. When I made the appointment, I told them I wanted the flu shot and that I was having problems with my foot - (that was the issue that's been bothering me the most), and that I had a couple of other things I wanted to discuss with the doctor, but I just feel like I'll sound crazy for going in with so many issues at once since I didn't realize how many separate issues there were until I wrote it all out.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlterAlibi View Post
    It's a full appointment, not just a 10 minute visit to get the flu shot. At this office, if you haven't been seen by them in over a year you have to have a full exam before they'll give you the shot. I was planning on calling ahead anyway and letting them know that I have more to discuss than just getting the shot to see if there will be time for that. When I made the appointment, I told them I wanted the flu shot and that I was having problems with my foot - (that was the issue that's been bothering me the most), and that I had a couple of other things I wanted to discuss with the doctor, but I just feel like I'll sound crazy for going in with so many issues at once since I didn't realize how many separate issues there were until I wrote it all out.
    they won't think you are a hypochondriac until you show up every other week with a new ailment...or complain about ED problems and prostate troubles...(yes, DH's grandma was convinced she had that! Like he had every other disease they made a pill for....she lived to be 86....)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  6. #6
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    So, just off the bat - you can get a flu shot from a lot of places; you don't necessarily need a doctor's appointment for that.

    *However*, you _do_ need the appt for at least two reasons: the GERD (acid-reflux) issues, and the anxiety - not that a GP can really fix those, but they can get you referrals to folks who can. The heel pain also sounds like something that's fixable.

    My first thought about the headaches would be stress (or that you're sleeping oddly due to some of the other pain) - maybe tension in your neck muscles? Since it goes away, I tend to think it's not dire.

    You'll need to book a 2nd appt for the gyn stuff, and at your age (even though not active) really ought to have a pelvic exam. I'm old-school about taking medicine for "convenience", but I really don't know about Seasonique - you'll want to research what it does and how that might affect you in the future to decide whether it's worth the consequences. Chat with the doctor about that when the time comes, too.

    You're not a hypochodriac, you're merely someone who hasn't accessed health care in a while. Stuff builds up. Keep the appointment, but be prepared to make another one (or two) fairly soon. The sooner you get your issues addressed, the healthier you'll be in the long term.


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  7. #7
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    I do know you can get a flu shot from other places, but since I had the other things going on as well I decided to just do it all at once. I'll probably just skip the gyn stuff this time (unless she has time to do it - this office does do full pelvic exams) since I really would prefer to go to the other doctor for that, I just didn't want to have to wait three months.

    Thanks for the advice guys. I really appreciate the reassurance!



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlterAlibi View Post
    I do know you can get a flu shot from other places, but since I had the other things going on as well I decided to just do it all at once. I'll probably just skip the gyn stuff this time (unless she has time to do it - this office does do full pelvic exams) since I really would prefer to go to the other doctor for that, I just didn't want to have to wait three months.

    Thanks for the advice guys. I really appreciate the reassurance!
    Get used to making the GYN appointments early. Mine has a waiting list, 3-6 month long. (reminds me I better get a calling...)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    I think the anxiety dx alone explains a lot of your anxiety over your visit. I would write down everything you want to talk about, the stuff you listed.

    Not sure why the sternum can't crack. Any place you have two bones that meet you can get cracking. I have back and ribs and pelvis crack all the time.

    To me it just sounds like you have been very busy and stressed, but finally have enough physical stuff going on that you need a doctor.

    Good luck!



  10. #10
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    5. My sternum cracks - everyone says it can't since it's not a joint and that it's probably the ligaments over the sternum but I'm telling you if I twist a certain way it cracks. You can hear it and I can feel it, and there's a lot of pressure and pain before I crack it and it hurts really bad when I crack it, but about 5 minutes after that the pain goes away - is this even an issue or is this normal?

    Mine cracks too- and feels the same. I think it;s normal, but i have really oddly loose joints all over
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  11. #11
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    Definitely mention everything, and let the dr decide the best way to prioritize.

    I have had so many (what seemed like) miscellaneous health issues, that made me worry the drs would think it is was all in my head, so I would prioritize them, and not mention them all. My GERD was the least of my concerns, so I never mentioned it....bad decision as adding that piece to the puzzle is what led in part to my eventual diagnosis, and I had let it get more serious than I should have.

    Moral to my story is let the dr decide what is or isn't important, but be fair to them by giving them the complete picture, even if just in bullet point form.


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  12. #12
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    What everyone else said, but make sure you have a full blood panel done to check things like thyroid and other hormones. High thyroid can cause anxiety, for example.

    I don't think you are a hypochondriac. I do think you need to take your list or you will forget something.

    The only thing which sounds trivial to me is the toenail. Since you said the ingrown toenail problem is resolved, it seems like a non-issue.



  13. #13
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    Re morning headaches- Do you pull covers over your head in the morning to block sun, or because you are cold? If so, breathing the air with carbon dioxide and less oxygen can cause morning headaches.
    Hillary Clinton - proven liar, cheat, traitor and defender of rapists! Anyone but Hillary 2016! https://www.facebook.com/AntiHillary2016



  14. #14
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    No Not hypochondriac. Yes, call ahead to warn of the many symptoms and needing more time. Yes, find separate gyno to do that: You're beyond overdue.

    What I'd suggest strongly also is a CBC. I wonder what your liver values might reveal..



  15. #15
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    Don't worry, that's what your doctor is there for. If you made separate appointments, over the course of some weeks, for each of these issues, they might wonder, but part of an annual checkup is to give you an opportunity to discuss any issues that might not be emergent enough to require a sick visit.



  16. #16
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    OP, you have a lot of odd symptoms, and I have to ask...do you live in a Lyme endemic area? Your symptoms were my symptoms for years. They continued to get worse until I had overwhelming exhaustion and neurological problems.

    It started with headaches and heel pain and moved on from there. Once I was fully treated (and I'll say I'm about 90%) almost all the symptoms disappeared.
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  17. #17
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    Code:
    4. I sometimes have really weird sharp pains in my lower right abdomen (almost where my thigh meets my body) but I only notice this if I twist a certain way or if I'm sitting down and I cough. Sitting down and coughing can be excruciating unless I either apply pressure with my hand to the area or lean forward. This doesn't happen all the time, just every now and then, but it has been happening for almost a year, and I notice it the most when I'm sitting in the car
    while this might be ovarian related (cyst), it can also be a signal for Gall Bladder issues. I had a Copus Lutium cyst and it presented as pain when seated and reaching ( desk at work)

    you have signs of both ovarian and upper bowel issues.

    go to the drug store / pharmacy for the flu shot ( you need it now) then a GP for a good overall check-up Any good GP should be able to assess for ovarian issues. They should be able to palpate and PAP. They can refer you on to GYN if need be . Some of your issues ( headache, ovarian cyst) could be hormone. If you are on artificial hormones ( or any Rx) you should be getting yearly exams including breast palpation ( and doing self exam monthly)



  18. #18
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    Usually GP's can prescribe up to 3 months of BC (my first BC actually came from my dermatologist!) so if you have an appt in April, you should be able to get on it now, and then follow up with your OBGYN.
    Of course, if you haven't been to one in a few years (or ever), you may want to hold off, as they might be more familiar with the wiiiiiide range of BC

    And don't worry, I've been to the doc and thought they would think I was a hypochondriac- turns out everything I thought I had I did! (Which maybe isn't actually *good*...)



  19. #19
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    Personally, I've never had a doctor who would be able to address all of those concerns in one visit. They simply don't have enough time. I guess that's not the best answer, but I try to prioritize to about 3-4 concerns in a visit.

    If I had your list, my priorities would be:
    1) headaches
    2) foot pain
    3) abdominal pain
    4) GERD
    as well as referrals to a therapist & Ob/Gyn (sometimes a referral can get you in more quickly).
    Personally, I think that therapy should occur when any anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications are prescribed. And if you never saw a therapist last time, then it seems to make sense that it would be a good idea now since it's becoming a chronic issue.



  20. #20
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    While I'm not a physician, I can give you some ideas about each of your points.

    1) I guess it's not too late for a flu shot but I like to get them more in Sept/Oct
    2/3) He will probably send you to a podiatrist
    4) Hoopoe addressed this
    5) I agree with above, I think it's a variation of normal
    6)You need a GI doc and an EGD
    7) No ideas on this
    8) Kinda shocked anyone would put you on BCP and not do a gyno.
    9) While your GP may put you on a pshych med, they often defer to a psychiatrist on this.

    No, you are not crazy at all. This is a normal laundry list!



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