I am so nervous about my rheumatologistís appointment this Thursday that I cannot even begin to describe it. The saying, ďparalyzed with fearĒ comes to mind. For years, I have been worried about scleroderma, and although Iíve seen my family doc about my concerns, Iíve never made the leap to see a rheumatologist. Iím used to my family doc telling me that my concerns are unfounded. I have absolutely no idea what to expect, though, when I see this specialist. The uncertainty is eating away at me. I realize this is a rare disease, and the form I am worried about is all the more rare. But I do have some actual diagnosed conditions that can be related to scleroderma, so thatís really making this feel very real to me. Maybe this doctor will be the one who validates my worries.
There are just so many unknowns circling in my head. Will she review my medical history and tests and assure me that I donít have what I fear? Or will she be concerned enough to order more tests? What if she examines my blood vessels under a microscope and tells me there is damage consistent with scleroderma? I know there is no point to creating these different scenarios in my head, but I just canít help but feel anxious about how things will go. Iím really worried about being told something that will make me fall apart. I have a young child and another on the way. I need to be OK for them. Iím scared out of my wits.
How do I make it through the next several days waiting for and anticipating my appointment? I canít help but worry that this could be the beginning of me learning something awful. Of course my ultimate hope would be to learn that my fears truly are unfounded, but I just canít get my hopes up. Many people think I am worrying over nothing, but I donít feel that way.
I am sure many of you have been where I am --- waiting for an appointment with a doctor whom you worry will confirm or add fuel to your worst fears. I am in the thick of it now and not sure how to make it through.