We join our heroine in a doctor’s exam room…
Doctor: Your blood pressure seems to be slightly elevated. It is still well within normal limits but for you it is elevated.
Patient: Perhaps waiting an hour for my scheduled appointment and thinking of all the things I could be doing with my time might have contributed. Or maybe watching a toddler terrorist named Savannah tear up the waiting room while her mommy did pretty much nothing…oh wait, she did change Savannah’s poopy diaper in the waiting room. That was wonderful!
Doctor: I can see why your blood pressure might be a little bit elevated.
Patient: (rolls her eyes)
Doctor: (as he completes his physical exam) So are there any questions?
Patient: Well yes. I’m having a very hard time with menopausal symptoms.
Doctor: (smiling benevolently in a Mitt Romney-esque, creepy way) I hear it can be difficult. When was your last period?
Patient: Fourteen months ago.
Doctor: Well I guess we can declare that you have officially entered into menopause. (again with the smile)
Patient: Yes. The problem is my symptoms have increased exponentially. It is hard to function at times because the hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, and others are becoming so much more difficult to cope with. I’ve tried over the counter treatments but the symptoms seem so much more worse the last couple of months. I read that this can continue for years after menopause and I am wondering what, if anything can I do to help alleviate some of this.
Doctor: Yes, it is true. All of those and more can last for years. Unfortunately with your family history hormone replacement therapy is contraindicated. I know it’s hard but hang in there. (more benevolent smiling)
Patient: Gee, it sure is great being a girl!
Doctor: (laughs) Speaking of your family history, it is time to schedule your mammogram.
Doctor: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Patient: Yes. Panic attacks.
Doctor: Panic attacks? What are you panicking about?
Patient: I’m not sure. They are totally irrational but overwhelming. I know there is no valid reason for the feelings when they happen but they overtake me. I can’t breathe. My heart races uncontrollably. It has gotten to the point I can’t go places with my family.
Doctor: Why not?
Patient: I don’t know! I told you it is completely irrational but it is happening. I’ve tried various coping techniques…relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, distraction, self hypnosis…they just aren’t helping. It’s getting progressively worse and it is affecting my family. Is there something I can do…something I can take to relieve the overwhelming anxiety?
Doctor: No. I don’t want to prescribe anything that would impair you or could be addictive.
(says the doctor who prescribes Vicodin like m&m’s because I have a stash of Vicodin to prove it)
Doctor: Perhaps you should try hypnosis.
Patient: Because self-hypnosis hasn’t worked?
Doctor: Yes. Hypnosis will fix your anxieties.
Patient: Where can I find a person that can do this?
Doctor: I don’t know. Maybe check the yellow pages. Well, I guess I will see you in about eight weeks to go over the results of your mammogram. Okay?
Patient: Thank you, Dr. A$$dale, but no. You’re fired!