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#24472 - 02/16/04 01:48 AM Have you ever...?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Recently many of the abused victims I talk with are reporting negative reactions to physical exams by their physicians.

TRIGGER**TRIGGER**TRIGGER**TRIGGER**TRIGGER**

When doing the "hernia exam" (drop your pants then cough, cough), these kids feel very "uncomfortable, scared, embarrassed, ashamed, 'like when my (perp) touched me', unsafe...etc". Have any persons on the board experienced similar responses during a regular physical exam?? Did you say anything to the examining physician? Did the physician know of your abuse history? This will help me understand how much of a problem is caused by this experience. Thanks!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#24473 - 02/16/04 03:07 AM Re: Have you ever...?
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
I am amongst those that are uncomfortable with doctors.

I recently changed doctors due to a bad experience with my doctor of over 20 years. I had been seeing him for many years on a regular basis until he sent me to that fondling nuerologist, after that my visits were far apart. I had never told him about the previous abuse, which continued through the first 5 years I was seeing him. A "hernia exam" had to be repeated, after the second one, I never went back and found a new doctor.

On the entrance questionaire/health history form I wrote "yes" to the question, 'Have you been sexually abused?'. The only thing he asked me regarding that is if I was in T. I was, but for a different reason, and I never went further into it than that, neither did he. That first visit had a redo of the "hernia exam". My anxiety level was very high at the time, both for having the exam and for having it three times in one month. He was very comforting and reassuring with me, giving me a level of comfort with a doctor I haven't felt in a long time, although 'the' exam still provides anxiety. I'm not looking forward to the full prostate/colorectal exam next year.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#24474 - 02/16/04 05:40 AM Re: Have you ever...?
Em Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 38
Loc: North East Ohio
Yes, I have felt very uncomfortable during that exam. Once it was given to me shortly after high school when I was admitted into a hospital because of suicidal thoughts. It was the worse time for that exam and I remember the doctor did not use gloves, which bothered me extremely. I felt trapped there and didn't say much about it. In the future if I have the exam, I intend to share with the doctor that I am not comfortable with that sort of exam, and to make it quick.

I think it's the feeling of vulnerbility that comes to the surface during that sort of thing. Other medical tests to certain levels have also made me feel very uncomfortable. I imagine many people with no history of S.A. would feel some level of displeasure and vulnerbility. But it probably lingers a little longer with people who have histories of abuse.


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#24475 - 02/16/04 07:28 AM Re: Have you ever...?
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
most certainly i am very uncomfortable with many medical checks as the result of my abuse. do i say anything? no, i still dont broadcast my abuse to those around me, though i havent been to the doctor since i really began dealing with my abuse. i have come to believe a lot of my fear of doctors stems from my abuse. in fact i believe a lot of my fear of being naked around others stems from it. i cannot tell you how hard it was to be an athelete when getting undressed around others was so traumatic for me. everything from taking a urine test, to getting rubbed down or public physical examines was hard. not to mention taking showers with others around. at the time, i didnt understand what was driving the fears, but now i am sure my abuse was it. i have also noticed since i have begun dealing with my abuse, that fear has relented to a large extent.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#24476 - 02/16/04 11:46 AM Re: Have you ever...?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks for your response and help in this! I can imagine the anxiety and turmoil!

Bill: I'm sorry for those unthinking doc's but am glad to hear you finally found a doc who has some compassion in this area and you were put more at ease.

EM: Boy do I agree that the upset and other reactions do linger for awhile after as well as before that exam.

Phoster: I'm so glad to hear that recovery is diminishing the trauma from this type of exam for you. Keep progressing!

Other guys - please continue to share your experiences. It is helpful for this issue to be known!! Thanks for your help!!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#24477 - 02/16/04 01:51 PM Re: Have you ever...?
survive75 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 304
Loc: Massachusetts
My most recent physical was probably three years ago, which should show how comfortable I am with doctor's visits. And I liked my doctor!

I definately panic in that situation to the point where I started to have shallow breathing and my doctor asked me point blank if I had been abused. I nodded yes and she got the rest of the exam over with fairly quickly. She didn't say anything after that, but I was glad that she was aware enough as a doctor that she knew what my panic was indicating.

I don't know if my experience helps you out or not.

-Sean

_________________________
-Sean

"Even though I know/I donít want to know/Yeah I guess I know/I just hate how it sounds"

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#24478 - 02/16/04 09:05 PM Re: Have you ever...?
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Guys my doctor knows all about me and I am totally comfortable with him. Today I had a complete physical which included a prostate check. He was very kind and I have to say that it did not bother me at all because I trust him completely.

The only thing that bothers me is I now have to wait for the friggin blood work

I decided that it was best for me to tell him everything.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#24479 - 02/17/04 09:30 AM Re: Have you ever...?
FlyWM Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Michigan
Boy do I have a hard time with doctors. Hernia exams are terrible, but seeing the doctor at all freaks me out, I am one of those people that can't stand being touched at all, or having people too close, I even have a hard time being touched on the leg by my 3 year old nephew. BUt it is something we all must endure, so I do my best, and haven't gone into a full blown panic attack as of yet, and hopefully I can keep it enough under control that I don't have a full out panic attack.

This just shows how damaging SA can be, something everyone must go through and it is difficult for us. I am sure it can be difficult for "normal people" but for survivors of SA it is just that much worse. Trust is another big thing for it, you need to trust your doctor totally, which we all know trust can be a very very hard thing for survivors. I don't know if this has helped at all, but I hope it can help you with some insight.

scott

_________________________
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible in not a declaration, it's a dare.

--Adidas

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#24480 - 02/17/04 11:24 PM Re: Have you ever...?
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hey Sean, Mike, Scot - YES! YES! YES! You are all being extremely helpful!! It was a theory that survivors would have difficulty with touch and especially with this 'intimate' of an exam. It is very important that I hear how you respond to doctors and how some doctors do or don't handle the situation well OR don't even acknowledge there can be a problem.

Some colleagues (psychiatrists and therapists) have discussed this issue and we are getting ready to approach the AMA about sensatizing doctors about the issue.

Please keep sharing guys. What you say help focus and broaden the focus of this issue!!
Thanks for your much appreciated help!!

BTW: I am not quoting, using names or any of that whatsoever...just noting the scope and ways physicians need to be aware. Thanks again!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#24481 - 02/18/04 05:18 AM Re: Have you ever...?
Angry_youth_86_Keith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 103
Loc: Olympia, Washington
When I played sports in 6th and 7th Grade I had to get phsyicals. I used to have a fear of them due to the fact that after my acting out as a younger child and being caught by my parents sexualy acting out with kids my age. i was always told another person should not be seeing/touching/near my genitals or in plain sight of me while naked unles we were married. So it was very awkward. Honestly beings I do not know my sexual orientation at this time. and then I had just began to have a curiousity about guys I was more worried about becoming excited
*whcih made me so nervous I probably couldn't have become excited for anything* but the fact that someone was seeing me with out cloths on bothered me less then the fact that I was afraid I could become excited. Though I do rember a slight confused feeling the first time I had a phsyical beings I was told how bad it was what i did when i actd out *sexualy* so when i was younger *b4 the middle school phsyicals* i had some simular tests done and i was confused about if this was ok apposed to what I had been caught doing with neihbor kids.

EDIT: I did not tell my dr's that gave me my sports exams of my abuse. or that I felt weird because I thought I might enjoy it. I did have tests done when I was much younger by a family dr due to my sexual acting out with kids they we woried I might have caught something so I had those tests done b4 my sports exams that DR did know of the abuse/acting out.

_________________________
"Ignoring mortality, we worship mediocrity"- Greg Graffin

"Live fast, die young, leave a great looking corpse"-Ronny Van Zant

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