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Doctor dread delays diagnosis

It happens to everyone. It ruins the week. It produces more anxiety than one will admit to. And rescheduling is not an option.

The appointment with a familiar doctor takes a sudden change and results with a substituted unfamiliar doctor or dentist of a different gender.

The fear and shame that often accompanies these appointments is enough to cause some to want to place a paper bag over their heads and disappear from existence. For many, the scrutiny of an unfamiliar person is unnerving.

?When I lived in Modesto, I had a familiar doctor, but then we moved here and I ended up getting a female one,? Tyler Duerr, ?10, said. ?I still have nightmares about my sentiments prior to the appointment, just simply because of the awkwardness. I don?t like doctor?s appointments in general and having an unfamiliar female physician just makes it worse.?

For many guys the most dreaded part of the appointment comes with the words ?turn your head and cough.?

?One time I ended up having a female doctor for a sports physical?, Tyler Revis, ?10, said. ?It was really awkward and I felt violated.?

Those unable to reschedule often attempt to find an excuse to get out of the predicament. Evading an appointment may not prove too difficult, but as students grow older, avoiding a few uncomfortable hours in a medical office becomes less practical.

?When I was little I hid in the closet whenever a doctor?s appointment came around, hoping I wouldn?t have to go because I was terrified of needles,? Mike Wilson, ?11, said. ?Going to an appointment really used to freak me out, but now that I am older it doesn?t bug me as much anymore.?

Aside from the potentially awkward moments during physician visits, many dread trips to the doctor or dentist because of the pain associated with the visit. While some fear needles, others despise the dentist drills.

?I really hate the horrible whirring sound of the drill they use in the dentist office,? Zach Camden, ?11, said. ?Seeing smoke come out of my mouth kind of freaks me out and it smells disgusting.?

Like Wilson, the fear of needles gives sophomore Olyvia Franklin the desire to run.

?I really hate going to the doctor,? Olyvia Franklin, ?10, said. ?I haven?t been to the doctor since I was 10 years old. I don?t even know why, but it just kind of creeps me out. The thought of getting a whole bunch of shots just doesn?t sound fun either.?

Some students often go to appointments with a positive attitude. However, as soon as the words ?This will only hurt a little? leave the doctor?s mouth, the mood changes.

?Normally when I go to the doctor I think it?s going to be fine,? Tyler Combs, ?10, said. ?Then the doctor says the dreaded phrase, ?You?re only going to feel a slight pinch? and I know the rest of the appointment is going to stink.?

While few look forward to doctor and dentist appointments of all kinds, the better quality of life ensured by routine checkups and physicals far outweighs the temporary discomfort or awkwardness.

For more stories check out Claire Kister’s podcast, Dreading the doctor.

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    Maddie YeeMar 12, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Even though the sophomores beat the juniors, I am so proud of my sister, Jenna Yee! She did so well on defense and ofense. Making touchdowns and pulling MY flags off….

    And I do have to say, I love her socks! (I picked them out myself).

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