I finally forced myself to go for a physical, stirrups included. Yee-haw. It was embarrassing when the receptionist announced I’d have to fill out new patient paperwork, since it’d been nearly 6 years since I’d last shown up. After a flu last month kicked off a party of hot flashes and inexplicable pains, I forced myself through the door of the clinic.
As they reviewed my information, I stood there stiffly, until I blurted “I’m having an anxiety attack.” My heart was pounding so hard I could barely focus on what the woman behind the desk was asking. Age? 48. When the nurse took my blood pressure, it was through the roof. She chuckled knowingly about “white coat syndrome”. All that damned meditative breathing did nothing.
The doctor was a woman about my age. I do what I usually do under stress, which is to start cracking jokes. I did…
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