I have White Coat Syndrome.
Doctors, hospitals, and anything containing the word “hemoglobin” terrify me.
It all started when I was 15, and had my blood drawn for the first time. They thought I might have mono. (If that’s The Kissing Disease, I was the exception. For some reason, boys didn’t seem to like my braces, glasses, and white tights combo.)
I was nervous, but insisted on going into the office alone. I was fine until the nurse said she needed to take an extra vial of blood, and handed me the one she’d just filled.
It was warm.
With my blood.
Like blood that should be inside of my body, with me blissfully unaware of its temperature.
A few minutes later, Babs (my mom) found me passed out on the bathroom floor. Since then, I haven’t been able to set foot inside a doctor’s office or hospital without some level of panic. If you were to take my blood pressure results during any of these visits in earnest, I should be dead.
Now that I’ve reached a point in life where retirement planning is starting to mean something, I’ve decided it’s time to face fears, if only so I can collect big in 29 years.
In the past month, I’ve gone to the dentist twice, the doctor’s once, and I even voluntarily had a small amount of blood drawn for a workplace annual health assessment. And I only cried a
tiny little moderate amount!
On Sunday, I’ve decided to up the ante: I’m donating blood. And I’m making Babs hold
the warm vial of blood my hand this time.
Have you ever gotten over a phobia?
P.S. – Things I learned from writing this post: Bloodletting is one word. THAT IS NOT OKAY.