The Anxiety of Medical Tasks
It is so difficult for me to make phone calls about anything medically related. It overwhelms me when I know most of the time it takes less than five minutes and isn’t a big deal at all.
I hate calling to make doctors’ appointments, dealing with insurance companies, scheduling tests/procedures and it usually takes me far too long to even call my physicians when I am having an issue. On the flip side, it makes me feel amazingly productive after I accomplish these seemingly simple tasks.
I know what is easy for some may be incredibly challenging for others and the more I talk with other inflammatory bowel disease patients, the more I take comfort in the fact that many of the things I mentioned above seem to be at least somewhat unnerving for others. Not that I want other people to be bogged down by this kind of stuff but still! You know what I mean.
Anxious when these tasks aren't taken care of
In addition to feeling productive after I take care of necessary things related to my health, I also do feel hopeful that I am moving forward with getting the care I need. I do well with plans and I hate having things hanging over my head. That, in and of itself, causes me anxiety which creeps into my sleep, ability to focus or keep my mind from doing anything else really.
Medical stressors and worries
Here are a few simple tips I have found to try to overcome some of these needless worries that only hinder my health:
- Make a list. I know it sounds simple and you have probably heard this many, many times but it helps! I feel a huge sense of satisfaction when I cross something off the list that was once difficult for me to accomplish. Plus, I know it will be one less thing that could possibly prevent me from feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or antsy when it is time for bed. Get a notebook, some cool pens, stickers, markers, or whatever to make you want to write down your goals for the day.
- Be realistic! This one always gets me. I know sometimes we have days when we are super motivated and others when we can barely get off the couch. If you are someone who likes to make the most of the good days, I am totally with you! However, keep your list to no more than three-five things, depending how emotional or time consuming they are. That way, you will end the day feeling accomplished instead of like a failure for not being able to check off the 15 things you put on your to-do-list for that day.
- Reward yourself after accomplishing a task. It doesn’t matter what it is (within reason) but give yourself an incentive to try and reach your goals. This will not only allow you to feel more productive, benefit your health journey, but also allow your body and mind some time for just you. Whatever that means for you as an individual.
- Break the day up into minutes, hours, half days, etc. If it is too much for you to accomplish all of your goals back to back then be sure to give yourself a break. But remember to go back to what you want to accomplish. Keep the end goal in mind.
- Set a reminder on your phone if you have to. And think how good you will feel after you completed what you set out to do for the day.
What type of IBD have you been diagnosed with?