It only matters what works for you.

White coat syndrome

I’m very excited that I’m feeling so much better that I’m ready to deal with something I’ve been putting off so long I’m not quite sure how long I’ve been putting it off.

If you don’t know, white coat syndrome is when anxiety related to doctors visits causes it’s own symptoms, specifically a dramatic jump in blood pressure, and sometimes other things. This affects women dramatically more than men, and I have a lot of trouble with it, due to a long history of bad experiences. It’s very easy to get caught up in a mental round of accusations and justifications and expectations and wind yourself up like a very shrill top.

My leg hurts. My fibula won’t stay where it’s supposed to and it pops and slides and hurts if I go up stairs, and it jams and hurts more if I stand on it too long, which is only a few minutes. I don’t really know what’s wrong, but it obviously isn’t going to heal by itself, so it’s time to see a doctor.

A new doctor. Which is very scary.

I’ve done what I can to find someone who will work with me in spite of my weight. I checked internet reviews and found someone with high compassion scores. Then I called the office and asked to talk to one of the nurses.

“I have a problem with my leg, so it’s time to see a specialist, but I’m enormously fat, and some doctors are more…compassionate… about that, than others.”

Because saying “At least one of your bosses is likely to be a fat-bigoted jerk” is not the way to win friends or influence people.

I got 2 names from the nurse and the receptionist told me I could see one of them this afternoon. I almost put it off until next week, just to put it off some more. But I didn’t. So I’m sitting here waiting for my appointment.


Thinking about what he’s likely to ask, and how I want to phrase what I’ll need to say. How do you explain to a fit, white male that your first response to pain or illness is to try to solve it yourself because your experience with doctors has been so…unsatisfactory? Because it’s not like I don’t know that being fat is hard on my joints. Or everything else. This isn’t news. But since I’ve been fat since I was born and every minute of every day since then, that probably isn’t the immediate cause of this problem. But even if it is, I just need to know what the problem is, so I can know if there’s a solution.

I believe that our expectations can contribute to our reality, but how do you balance positive expectations against a life time of experience?

So now I think I’ll get in some meditation and stop rehearsing myself into stratospheric blood pressure and a bad attitude.



Comments on: "White coat syndrome" (3)

  1. I’m proud of you for facing your “white coat syndrome” head-on. Let me know how it turns out, and I do so hope you like the doctor.

    • I did like the doctor, he was very kind and professional. I posted about the experience.

      • Yes, just found it. I’m so pleased. It’s of the utmost importance to feel listened to by your doctor. I had a blast on Thursday. We were so busy, and it was so long, but I enjoyed every moment with you.

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