Hi. Thanks for this wonderful community.
My situation could be described as a conundrum, I guess. I have panic attacks. One of my biggest worries is having a serious illness, like heart disease. Ironically, I am also terribly afraid of doctors. The thought of going to a doctor makes me terribly anxious.
Recently, I mustered the courage to have a physical for the first time in a few years. The physical was basically unremarkable, with one exception: the resting ECG. When I'm in the doctor's office, my pulse rate is easly 130+, where, at home, it ranges from 64 to mid-70s. So not surpringly my ECG shows sinus tachycardia. My internist was a little freaked out at first. When I explained that I was anxious, he seemed pacified and proceeded with the rest of the exam. But then he referred me to a cardiologist for a stress test, "just to be safe." (BTW, I had exactly the same experience with my last physical (another doc), which resulted in an echo and MRI. Both of which were perfectly normal.)
Of course, the idea of going to a cardiologist is petrifying to me. It's irrational, I know. But I'm scared to death the same thing - or worse, a full blown panic attack - is going to ensue. Any advice on how to get myself through this? I want to do the responsible thing. Heart disease is prominent in my family. But I'm almost paralyzed by the anxiety.