Facing phobias


Today I am facing several phobias. I purposefully put myself in the position of facing them. I did not think it would be a big deal until last night, at 3am. Then it hit me. I do not like to go places I am unfamiliar with. That is one phobia, but I can often overcome it with the anticipation of the event. A bigger phobia is driving. I do not mind driving on the east side of our city but going to the west side or downtown is not something I do. I do not like rush hour traffic. I am facing all of that this morning and I did it to myself. All week I have not thought too heavily about it. But this morning it has me in its grip. I am trying to tell myself it will be worth it.

I have friends who drive themselves all over the place. I have one friend who drives from Colorado every year all by herself. I think she is amazing. I would be terrified. I do not like long trips even if I am not driving. My husband and I plan any trips with the concept of how many bathrooms are in our path. He knows, especially if it is morning my longevity of being able to pass up a bathroom is pretty nil. It is one of the joys of getting older and being on a diuretic, which we both are on.

At 3am, it was like the terror welled up in me. What the heck am I afraid of? The biggest cause of fear: the unknown. I do not like a lot of traffic no matter what time it is as it makes me crazy. It is sensory overload to the highest. People are so selfish and rude, especially in their cars. I admit, I did not have a lot of patience when driving behind someone who is going ridiculously slow. Now, I try to see it that they need to drive where they are comfortable. I go slowly especially if the weather is bad. I see these idiots with their four wheel drive vehicles fly by me. What is worse are the ones with plows on their trucks. They know no mercy. But ice is ice and I have lost control of my car. There is the saying from Buffalo when a car goes into a spin…”here, grab my beer and hold on.” I white knuckle it when the weather is bad no matter who is driving. I keep thinking I would be happy if I did not have to drive. Too bad I am not rich and have a driver at my disposal. But then, I do like to drive around where I am comfortable and familiar. So it is the fear of the unknown. I would suck at being an explorer. I would be the one afraid of falling off the earth.

Why did I sign up for this event? I am going to a seminar on noxious people. That should explain it completely. There is a group of us going. This seminar is for health professionals and educators who deal with people who have behavioral issues. I will save more on this until after the seminar. I am fascinated with the topic.

But this post is about facing fears. Yesterday, my Lead Preceptor had co-visited with one of our new nurses. They went out to do a catheter on a bedridden patient in a not so nice neighborhood. When she came back, she was all upset and called me. Seems the patient they saw was lying on a bed that had bed bugs. Although she had not actually been on the bed, she was over the patient instructing the new nurse who was on the bed. She had me check her out because she felt a bite behind her ear and sure enough, there was a bite. She had me go through her hair and there was nothing. I was pretty sure it was a mosquito bite. She had gone into the ladies room and shaken out all her clothes. We scoured the floor and her desk area. Nothing. I did not realize how bad she was about bugs. I had a suspicion because one time she brought a cockroach with her into her car. She freaked out. But then she laughed because it was her mother-in-law’s car.  How the heck did she do over 20 years of home care nursing with a bug phobia? Of course, because of the relationship I have with her, I broke her stones the rest of the afternoon by sending her bug pictures. She’ll get me back.

I am not sure in putting yourself into a fearful situation is the way to cure yourself of a phobia or not. I have no choice at this point other than doing this. I have looked at maps and planned my route. I am picking up a nurse who wanted to go and I think that will help me, although she seemed relieved not to have to drive. I am giving us an extended amount of time to get there and park. Once I am there, it will be fine. I am looking forward to the day. It is a fun group who are going including “Bug Lady”.  At least it is not a blizzard.




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