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  1. #1

    Medical Help At Home?

    I've had panic attacks off and on for ~ 3 years, but agoraphobia took me by surprise last September. I was home sick for a week, and then my truck wouldn't start. It took a week to fix it. So 2 weeks at home, and I was suddenly deathly afraid of leaving. I've made various lifestyle changes and have seen small improvements, but I still haven't been able to leave home. I've found a psychologist who is willing to do phone consultations, but how does an agoraphobic go about getting medical attention?

    I want to get some testing done, specifically hormone levels. I've been tracking symptoms, and there seems to be a monthly pattern. If I can't get testing done, I at least want a consultation with a functional medicine doctor who can draw conclusions from symptoms.

    I'm irritated and keep hitting dead ends. My general physician says she can prescribe 2 doses of valium to get me to and from her office, so that she can prescribe an anxiety med at her office. I'm at the point that I'm willing to try medication, but one dose of valium (after never taking anything like that) is not going to cut it to get me out of the house, 30 minutes down the road, and into a doctor's office. I feel like that's something I need to work up to, and she can only offer a one-shot deal. Just the stress of that idea drives me crazy. The doctor also said they don't do hormone testing on a woman who still has a regular period. Um, hormones can be skewed while I still have my period, so I don't get that. Anyway, even if the dose of valium worked, this isn't the doctor that I want to stick with.

    I emailed a few functional medicine doctors. Most never responded, but the ones that did said I have to come in for my first visit. They can't recommend home visits or home health care without seeing me in the office first. That seems backwards. If I could get to the doctor, I wouldn't need a home visit, so thanks.

    What do other agoraphobics or disabled people do?? How am I supposed to get medical help? The panic attacks originally came out of nowhere -- no negative thoughts, no worrying -- so I do believe there is a physical aspect there. Surely, there's a way to find a doctor who will do phone or Skype consultations, if not home visits.

  2. #2
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    I would try to go out of the house with a family member or good friend. Melatonin, Benadryl or L-Theanine may relax you enough so you can leave for a bit, if someone else drives.

  3. #3
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    I agree. Instead of your goal being to get a doctor to come to you, your goal should be to get yourself to a doctor. I think if you took one Valium and had a trusted person with you, you could get to that doctor's office. If not, start taking baby steps each day to increase your steps out of the house. Tonight I was terrified to do something and it turned out to actually be fun. It's fear that keeps us down. Don't let the fear win.

  4. #4
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    I am in Canada and no doctor will come to your place. My best friend how a 30 years old son who will not leave the house, Still she takes him somehow to doctor.......... there is not choice, I agree all this effort will go to waste, tunnel it in good direction. We do have a member she does not come here a lot but i keep in touch with her. Find Frankies thread about agarophobia in social anxiety subforum. She shared her story and her recovery. Step by step
    ''If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  5. #5
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    The only way that I know of a physician will come to you if you are ill is if you pay for a concierge internal medicine physician.
    Last edited by Kirk; 10-31-2016 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks Kirk -- a concierge physician isn't something I'm familiar with. Dahila, I'm going to look for Frankie's posts right after this. I haven't looked much through the social anxiety subforum yet.

    I suppose I didn't really expect an answer, but after getting off the phone with my physician's nurse, I was frustrated. She basically said "we can't help you, I don't know who can, and I'm not willing to spend any time finding out." I emailed another doctor to see if they do phone consultations, and instead of answering my question, the clerk told me how much an office visit costs. I know I'm not the only one who can't currently get to the doctor for that initial visit, so I was frustrated the most by the gaping hole in the medical profession that allows these people to fall through the cracks. I find it ironic that if I could get to a doctor, I wouldn't need a doctor, or at least not need one for what I'm currently facing.

    I am taking steps to get out of the house -- things that help me let go of the fear and things that help my body get healthier. It's a slow process.

    Update: Dahila, I've had no luck finding the thread you mentioned. Any idea how far back I need to look?
    Last edited by BlessedBackyard; 11-01-2016 at 04:49 AM.

  7. #7
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    BB I can not find it either but there is a few other threads, look at the ones with a lot of replies. I am sorry , It is a slow process but you will recover, your determination will be awarded. I keep you in my thoughts, it is such awful thing to deal with it, You do not have to ask why I know it. I was there, and i had overcome it, In my case meditation twice a day 15 minutes gave my such calm mind that I could do anything. Maybe it is worth to try ?
    You only need a doc when you want to go on meds. Therapy would be good, however it never worked for me, What worked for me was internet and meeting people who deal with the same problems. For so many years I was ashamed to tell anyone about my anxiety. I am old and it was not accepted. We still have a stigma on mental diseases.
    Meeting people with the same problems took care of my loneliness. We have many good members who can advice and help you. What you have to do ; just ask for it
    ''If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  8. #8
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    Here's what I would do. I would go as far as you can comfortably in your front yard. Each day just take one step further than you did the previous day. YOU CAN DO IT!

    I know that one day I told my therapist I could not go to the gym. I was too scared. He said, "Yes you can." That gave me confidence and I did and it worked out fine.

  9. #9
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    Misread the initial post. OP could try googling "online general practitioner". It seems like there are a few that will do video chat online. It won't let me post a link but (www)amwell(.com) is one.
    Last edited by dontcarewhatusernameis; 11-01-2016 at 09:01 PM. Reason: misread post

  10. #10
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    Do you drive?

    When my anxiety is bad it comes in the form of agoraphobia and this year I had a few episodes where I needed to get to doctors but I was so panicky I felt like I couldn't drive. So one time I got my mother to take me and another time I caught a taxi. Well both were SUCH a hassle (my mum is 75 and driving is this huge drama for her) that it made me realise driving myself there was easier, no matter how anxious I felt!

    Agoraphobia is like any other phobia really and the best way to deal with it is to expose yourself to whatever it is that scares you. I read a book a while ago called The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (who wrote The Lovely Bones). The mother in that had such bad agoraphobia that whenever she had to leave the house (for doctor's appointments) she'd have to be wrapped in towels and blankets before even getting in the car! The book is written from the perspective of her daughter and it took such a huge toll on her and her father that he ended up killing himself and she ended up killing her mother.

    I've never been that bad but it's one of those things where I can understand how it happens if you don't face it. When I'm at my worst I wait until it's dark and I do little drives to the convenience store and buy something there. Then I might go to the supermarket and gradually I get more relaxed about going out. I also find it helps to have something on me like Valium, which reassures me that if I start to feel panicky I can take one and it'll take the edge off.

    All the best,
    Gypsy x
    Everyone's chasing
    That holy feeling
    And if we don't stay lit we'll blow out
    Blow out

    P!nk, Beautiful Trauma

    https://gypsylee.simdif.com (anxiety and stuff)

 

 

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