Less than a year ago I was continuing my lifelong habit of avoiding doctors. This was due to a few different factors – such as having little or no health coverage over the years – but mostly it was because of my irrational fear of anything doctor-related, especially needles.
Eight months – and an HIV/AIDS diagnosis – later, life has changed considerably. I no longer have the luxury of avoiding doctors at all costs. In fact, if it wasn’t for doctor visits, I wouldn’t have much of a social life at all.
- 10 days ago: Emergency appointment with my doctor due to shingles.
- Yesterday: Visit to Dermatologist to check out a suspicious patch of skin on my back.
- Today: Regular monthly appointment with my doctor for blood work. He will also be assessing my blood pressure (which has been high), and determining whether or not I need medication to lower it.
- 2 weeks from now: Follow-up visit to Dermatologist
- 1 month from now: Regular doctor visit.
None of these are a walk in the park for me – but at least I’m getting used to the idea of being in a doctor’s office without wanting to burst out the door and run for my life.
However, there is ONE appointment – in almost exactly one month – that I’m dreading. On May 23rd I’m finally going to see a dentist.
This is extremely embarrassing to admit, but it’s been 20 years since I sat in a dentist’s chair. Some of this avoidance was due to my previously-discussed phobias, but mostly it was because I haven’t had dental coverage since moving to NYC in the early 90’s.
Luckily (??), the program that pays for my expensive HIV-related medications – NY ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program), will also pay for dental care at certain clinics. And the
, NYC’s only health
care center dedicated to the LGBT/HIV communities, has such a program. Callen-Lorde
I’ll be honest – my teeth are in bad shape. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to pull them all and give me fake choppers. And THAT news, my darling Bunnies, could very well cause me to burst out the doors of the clinic and run for my life…