I went to the doctor today. I really don’t like going to the doctor, but in this case I had some reasons that ended up being compelling enough to make me go. For one thing, I had gone off my medication for depression about a year ago after failing to find a psychiatrist to give me a new prescription when my previous one ran out. I actually did fine with the winter and all (I don’t seem to be prone to seasonal affective disorder like a lot of people in Alaska), but I was really not feeling that great overall. Well enough to do all the necessary things in my day-to-day life, but still generally anxious and unmotivated. With the new job, and the much better health insurance that comes with it, I decided to seek out a doctor to try to get a new prescription.
Also, I decided to look into doing something about the mild but persistent shortness of breath that I’ve been experiencing for a while now. This has been so mild that it hasn’t actually impacted my daily life at all, but it’s still been worrisome, and even more so since I began doing some internet medical research and seeing all the potentially awful things that shortness of breath is a symptom of. Stemming from that, I think, I began to worry about my heart. Over the past week or so, I began to experience what I interpreted as palpitations, although I’m now thinking that was probably mostly a result of my freaking out over the shortness of breath combined with my general level of anxiety. Also I happen to have a cold or something right now, which is exacerbating my feeling generally unwell.
So anyway, I looked up the providers supported by my insurance and made an appointment with one that has a nice online patient portal. I made the appointment for a general physical, figuring that I’d ask about this other stuff in conjunction with that. So I went in this morning and it went quite well. The doctor was very nice and friendly, which is important to me because I’m so nervous around doctors. He wrote me a new prescription for my antidepressant, and sent me for an EKG to check on the heart issue. The results were normal, which has made me think the issue was mostly in my head. As for the shortness of breath, since the EKG was fine he thinks it’s probably asthma and prescribed me an inhaler to try out to see if it helps. I did have some bloodwork done as well, and the results of that might indicate something else, but I think asthma is the most plausible answer at this point, and I’m very relieved that my heart is fine. Hopefully getting back on the antidepressants will calm me down a bit and keep me from worrying and obsessing so much about this stuff.