SurferJoe

Health anxiety flair up leads to derm appointment

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I've long struggled with HA. The worst being 10-12 years ago. I put in a lot of work/therapy around it and have made good progress, but it still flares up. It usually just takes something to catch in my mind and then I have to work through it before it takes hold.

I have a mole on my stomach that has been bothering me. There is nothing obviously wrong with it (though it is a little dark). I can't remember how long I've had it, but early 2020 it caught my attention. I had my doctor look at it during my yearly physical in March and he said it looked okay and that I should let him know if it changed.

It popped up a few times during the summer and fall. I didn't notice any change, but I noticed it again. I went as far as making an appointment with my doctor, but then cancelled once my anxiety backed off.

I had another moment of anxiety 2 weekends ago. I fought against the idea of making an appointment and then eventually did. I saw my doctor this morning. He looked at it again and while he didn't see anything that worried him, he recommended that I see a dermatologist to get a biopsy. I did discuss my health anxiety with him and I feel like part of his decision was so I could get it off of my mind.

I have an appointment for Monday and I'm trying to keep it under control. I was hoping I'd go in and he'd just dismiss it as nothing and send me on my way - a repeat of what happened during my physical in March. This did not happen. I keep telling myself that if he had seen something that worried him that he'd have told me and said go get it checked out right away. He did not do that. He just said I should go to a dermatologist to get it looked at (and also to get a full body checkup). I feel like he took into account my health anxiety as in get it looked at and removed and then you won't have to worry about it. He gave me a choice of waiting to see a dermatologist in his network (which would have taken a few months) or going to an outside his network dermatologist where I could get in sooner. He seemed to indicate that the choice was mine, but ultimately gave me a number for the place I could get in sooner.

I just don't know what to do. I don't want to worry too much. I don't think the mole has changed. I do think (I hope) that if he had seen something that was off that he would have told me. I do feel like this is the best course of action - get it looked at and removed. That said, I was hoping for some relief from today's appointment and I didn't get that - just a continuation of this current bout of anxiety.

 

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I know all too well that feeling you had this morning. You go in looking for reassurance, and don’t get it, but rather leave even more stressed out then when you went in.

That said, I agree with you; if he was truly concerned, he would give you no choice but to be seen ASAP. No Doctor worth his salt is going to sacrifice your health and their reputation and potential legal issues, just to make you feel better. Thus, he’d have been no nonsense with you. When you didn’t commit whether to go to the in or out of network derm, he figured why not be seen earlier? Less time for you to stress, and it’s not like the extra cost you’ll incur is anything he would be concerned with.

This will be stressful, since you have HA. We just can’t be calm if we have the chance to worry. It’s in our nature. Keep one thing in mind that sometimes helps me.  As HA sufferers, we over estimate the chances of a concerning outcome, AND we under estimate our ability to deal with a problem, should it actually occur.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a significant other who is understanding of your anxiety and can help soothe your fears, there’s nothing wrong with seeking their calming of your fears. 
 

Bob

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I had basal cell carcinoma on the right side of my nose around 12 years ago. I originally had a shiny spot and I thought it looked weird. I called my dermatologidt and he saw me the next week. He looked at it and grimaced a bit and I knew it may be bad news. He could never play poker as he would give his hand away. He took a biopsy and he called me and the biopsy was positive for basal cell carcinoma. He referred me to a Mohs surgeon. I went to the surgeon and he got me ready for the surgery in his office. He sat me in an elevated chair and hooked a blood presssure cuff and heart monitor on my left arm. He then took a needle out and stuck it in my nose to numb it. He then covered up part of my face and began the surgery when I was awake. He kept on asking me if I was OK and I said yes. He then began to remove the tumor. He thought he got it all and went back in and said the tumor was deeper then he thought so he had to go back in and dig deeper. He then got it all and sutured me up. He told me their was a 99% chance it would not come back and so far it has not. My dermatologist checks it once a year. 

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14 hours ago, Bobnnat said:

I know all too well that feeling you had this morning. You go in looking for reassurance, and don’t get it, but rather leave even more stressed out then when you went in.

That said, I agree with you; if he was truly concerned, he would give you no choice but to be seen ASAP. No Doctor worth his salt is going to sacrifice your health and their reputation and potential legal issues, just to make you feel better. Thus, he’d have been no nonsense with you. When you didn’t commit whether to go to the in or out of network derm, he figured why not be seen earlier? Less time for you to stress, and it’s not like the extra cost you’ll incur is anything he would be concerned with.

This will be stressful, since you have HA. We just can’t be calm if we have the chance to worry. It’s in our nature. Keep one thing in mind that sometimes helps me.  As HA sufferers, we over estimate the chances of a concerning outcome, AND we under estimate our ability to deal with a problem, should it actually occur.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a significant other who is understanding of your anxiety and can help soothe your fears, there’s nothing wrong with seeking their calming of your fears. 
 

Bob

I do - and she helped put me at ease when I got home last night. It really does help.

I feel better about it, but as we all know the anxiety is going to bubble beneath (and sometimes through) the surface until I get this dealt with. 

There was a period where I was at the dermatologist on a regular basis. I'd find something that freaked me out, I'd go in, they'd biopsy it. This is essentially what I'm doing this time. I have something that is troubling me, so I'm getting it dealt with.

I do feel that my doctor would have been more forceful had he seen something that truly concerned him. I think I kept the appointment because I was expecting a certain outcome to ease my anxiety. In a sense, I was using the doctor visit as a tool. When it didn't go that way it was upsetting. That said, I can understand why it went the way it did. I'm having the same issue looked at twice in less than a year and both times I talked about how anxious it was making me. I told him several times that I don't think it has changed, but it's making me anxious. Recommending that I just get it dealt with was the right choice - if all goes well then I can put it out of my mind.

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I have had an ugly growth on my right forearm for years. It sort of looks like a mole on steroids. It is the size of a pencil eraser and it is slightly raised. When I first saw it, I thought it was bad news. The dermatologist looked at it for around 2 seconds and blew it off as nothing. 

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We all worry. We are anxious about money, our relationships, work, our health, our family's health, and pretty much anything else we care about that we can't absolutely control. We think about overwhelming tasks when we wake up and fall asleep thinking about what calamity tomorrow could bring. Sometimes it's hard to tell what's more exhausting — the things we worry about or the worry itself. One technique for gaining control over your anxiety is to notice when you experience it. Is it when you're around certain people? At a certain time of day or at night? What are the thought patterns? Are you reading the news, watching television, scrolling through social media sites? Asking these kinds of questions can help identify triggers that set off your anxiety. This is what helped me alot with my anxiety  https://mangoclinic.com/anxiety-management-guide-2020/ . Hope it helps you. 

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2 hours ago, jessica james said:

We all worry. We are anxious about money, our relationships, work, our health, our family's health, and pretty much anything else we care about that we can't absolutely control. We think about overwhelming tasks when we wake up and fall asleep thinking about what calamity tomorrow could bring. Sometimes it's hard to tell what's more exhausting — the things we worry about or the worry itself. One technique for gaining control over your anxiety is to notice when you experience it. Is it when you're around certain people? At a certain time of day or at night? What are the thought patterns? Are you reading the news, watching television, scrolling through social media sites? Asking these kinds of questions can help identify triggers that set off your anxiety. This is what helped me alot with my anxiety  https://mangoclinic.com/anxiety-management-guide-2020/ . Hope it helps you. 


Just. Go. Away.  Why are you trolling on an anxiety website? That’s not the way to promote your obvious financial or other interests, not on the backs of those that come here because they’re suffering.

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We need to try and be civil here.  We have enough anxiety triggers these days.

I am not sure why there needs to be a persistent link advertisement when pertinent information can be cited.

 

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Sounds like the doc didn't decide for me. I got a call from the scheduling office with a referral to see a derm in their provider network. The wait is at least a month if not longer. I'm sticking with the appointment I made for Monday, but I feel like if he had seen something that looked bad - waiting a month or 2 for an appointment would not be on the table. It would be get in ASAP.

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I went to my appointment and the dermatologist didn't see anything wrong with it. She did give me the option of having it removed and I took her up on it. I have to wait a week or so for results, but I'm not too worried (for now). Glad I went in. Glad I had it removed. Hope to get good news and then can put it out of my mind.

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I hope all is well, and you know results by now.
 

I’m struggling hardcore over a mole I have had for ages. I caught sight of it and it has set me off. It is dark and has a bit of odd shape. My old derm said we just need to watch it. New derm didn’t see anything wrong with it. I just can’t stop fixating on it. 

I know the hyper focus is the crux of the issue for so many of us. I’m sorry you are struggling, but thankful I’m not alone. 

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