Overcoming the Fear of Medical Help - A True Story
By Dr. Nutan Pakhare
We tend to neglect our health for a variety of reasons, including fear, stigma, and financial constraints. As Meena’s story illustrates, delaying or avoiding medical help can have serious consequences. The 32-year-old woman suffered from heavy menstrual bleeding for several months without seeking help due to a fear of doctors and hospitals. After seeking medical attention, she was diagnosed with a severe uterine fibroid requiring immediate surgery. Meena’s story is a reminder of the importance of seeking medical help promptly and overcoming our fears. Fortunately, her surgery was successful.
Lessons from Meena’s Story
In Meena’s case, some key lessons can be learned that can help others take preventative measures. Identifying and addressing our fears and anxieties regarding medical care is the first step. Fear of doctors, hospitals, or the unknown can prevent us from seeking timely treatment, resulting in worsening health outcomes. By acknowledging our fears and seeking help from a trusted healthcare professional, we can overcome these barriers. Additionally, building a relationship with a primary care provider can help us make more informed decisions about our health. Regular visits to a primary care provider can result in early detection of health problems and more accurate diagnoses, allowing for earlier and more effective interventions. This can ultimately result in better health outcomes.
Secondly, it is crucial to prioritize our health and seek regular check-ups, especially for conditions that run in our families or have early warning signs. Meena’s family had a history of uterine fibroids, which she was unaware of. Her heavy bleeding was a warning sign that a doctor should see her. By scheduling regular check-ups and being proactive about our health, we can detect and treat health conditions early, improving our chances of recovery and preventing complications.
Thirdly, it is essential to trust and communicate with our healthcare providers. Meena’s fear of doctors and hospitals was rooted in a lack of trust and communication, which prevented her from seeking help earlier. However, by finding a healthcare provider she trusted and communicating openly about her fears and concerns, Meena received the necessary care and support. Building trust and open communication with our healthcare providers is essential for receiving quality care and making informed health decisions.
To prevent similar incidents, here are some preventative measures individuals can take:
- Prioritize your health by scheduling regular check-ups and screenings.
- Educate yourself about your family’s medical history and potential health risks.
- Recognize and address your fears and anxieties related to medical help.
- Find a healthcare provider you trust and communicate openly with them about your concerns.
- Seek help immediately if you experience unusual or persistent symptoms.
Meena’s story testifies to the importance of seeking timely medical help and overcoming our fears and anxieties. By prioritizing our health, being proactive, and trusting our healthcare providers, we can ensure our well-being. Remember, our health is an investment, not an expense, and we must take care of it to lead a fulfilling life. As Osunsakin Adewale, a Nigerian writer, once wrote: “Health is wealth but being wealthy does not mean one is healthy.”
Please Note: The names used in the blog are fictitious and the story is based on the real-life story of one of my patients. Also, the blog information is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.