paperwork anxiety

written by alison

I burst into tears the other day, because of paperwork.

You see, I booked an appointment with a doctor who loves working with women who are dealing with chronic pain caused by stress (clearly my new subheading) and that meant I needed to fill out her paperwork. NBD, right?

Over 2 weeks went by before I even downloaded the 4 PDFs I had to complete. Yup, the anxiety was so bad I didn’t even want to give the documents space on my computer. Once I downloaded them, another 9 days went by. Not “because, holidays” like I wanted everyone to think, but “because, avoidance”.

And then I sat down to finally fill out the paperwork — starting with the waiver to accept treatment. Sign and date here, sweet. Document 1 of 4 done!

Next up? Release of records. You’d think the single page doc would be a breeze too, but nope. I started to sweat over what types of records to release, how to submit the ROR to my current clinic, etc. After some borderline hyperventilating, I set that piece aside so that I could stop by the clinic and ask for their input.

Next up was some slightly hippie stuff about my current issues and my attitude toward them. This PDF was my jam until the second to last question — “how committed are you to getting better?” WTF?!

Wait, how committed am I? If she tells me to quit diet coke and facebook, will I? What if she says I can’t own a business anymore?

(You’ve seen the classic anxiety signs by now, right? Fearing the worst case scenario, taking it 100% to heart and personally, etc.)

I want you to be laughing along, really I do. But I also want to share that I printed that PDF out 3 times because I changed my answer to that question a total of 2 times before finally emailing it back.

But that’s not what caused the tear factory, surprisingly. That was all thanks to document 4 — medical history. The second I got to the section asking about my current medication list, I wanted to legit get a sharpie out and write “my anxiety says I don’t have to fill this out”.

My brain doesn’t like not having answers and remembering medicine dosages and names is something I simply don’t have the capacity for. (But if you ask me to sing along to “Jump Around”, I’ve got you covered.) So the moment that I had to admit I didn’t know the answer to something that seemed like an important thing to know, I lost my cool.

Eventually I calmed down, brought in some help and got the paperwork done — after another 8 days had gone by.

I want to be healthy again. I don’t want this never-ending headache to continue. But I also want my mom to forever fill out my medical forms. Is that too much to ask?

It’s hard not to love paperwork, as a Type A perfectionist. Normally spreadsheets and printouts are my favorite hobbies. But now and then, my anxiety gives my nerdiness a swift kick so it can take over. And then I’m left avoiding, crying and feeling like an idiot.

There is some sunshine and rainbows to this story. Thanks to my bestie, we figured out I can put some data in the Health app on my iPhone. Then I saved a print out of my medication history to evernote (secured by a password) so that I never have to panic if I’m asked how much norgesic I’m taking. I encourage you to do the same if medical paperwork puts you in a tizzy like it did for me.

PS – I’m really excited to have this consultation on Friday. Feel free to ping me if you want to hear how it went.