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Old Yesterday, 09:53 AM
 
127 posts, read 71,353 times
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I'm 23. I have Social Anxiety/Anxiety. Everytime I go to the doctor for a checkup, my heart rate starts racing because I get nervous. When they take my vitals, they say my heart rate is very fast. My doctor orders me to do an Echo cardiogram and to get hooked up to a 24 hour holter monitor to make sure I have no heart problems.

I feel like doing these procedures are unnecessary because I know my heart is fine, I'm just nervous. My heart rate at home is completely normal. I'm getting tired of wasting my time and money on unnecessary procedures.

I plan on going to my doctor soon for a check up. I haven't had one since August 2019. I don't want my doctor to pull this on me again due to my nerves.

Can I deny doing a test my doctor orders and what is an alternative way for someone with White Coat Syndrome to prove that my heart rate at home is fine?
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Old Yesterday, 10:30 AM
 
9,972 posts, read 22,173,899 times
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Sure, you can refuse and he can refuse to be your doctor. It does happen. Doctors don’t order tests Willy nilly.. they’re for your own good, but it’s up to you


This is a very simple and common ‘test’ , and while it’s mildly annoying, you should only have to do it once... meaning, your doctor rules out heart issues and can now prescribe meds for your anxiety issues.
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Old Yesterday, 10:49 AM
 
3,099 posts, read 1,611,963 times
Reputation: 5876
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCT2019 View Post
I'm 23. I have Social Anxiety/Anxiety. Everytime I go to the doctor for a checkup, my heart rate starts racing because I get nervous. When they take my vitals, they say my heart rate is very fast. My doctor orders me to do an Echo cardiogram and to get hooked up to a 24 hour holter monitor to make sure I have no heart problems.

I feel like doing these procedures are unnecessary because I know my heart is fine, I'm just nervous. My heart rate at home is completely normal. I'm getting tired of wasting my time and money on unnecessary procedures.

I plan on going to my doctor soon for a check up. I haven't had one since August 2019. I don't want my doctor to pull this on me again due to my nerves.

Can I deny doing a test my doctor orders and what is an alternative way for someone with White Coat Syndrome to prove that my heart rate at home is fine?



Of course you can refuse. Its your body. But try this instead.



I always used to worry (I have GAD) each time I go to the doc that this will be the time my blood pressure is high, just like my dad's was when he was even younger. But since I've done yoga and controlled breathing for years, I just do my controlled breathing while I wait for them to take my BP and pulse. I've never had high BP or a worrisome pulse yet.
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
22,535 posts, read 10,593,593 times
Reputation: 14123
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCT2019 View Post
I'm 23. I have Social Anxiety/Anxiety. Everytime I go to the doctor for a checkup, my heart rate starts racing because I get nervous. When they take my vitals, they say my heart rate is very fast. My doctor orders me to do an Echo cardiogram and to get hooked up to a 24 hour holter monitor to make sure I have no heart problems.

I feel like doing these procedures are unnecessary because I know my heart is fine, I'm just nervous. My heart rate at home is completely normal. I'm getting tired of wasting my time and money on unnecessary procedures.

I plan on going to my doctor soon for a check up. I haven't had one since August 2019. I don't want my doctor to pull this on me again due to my nerves.

Can I deny doing a test my doctor orders and what is an alternative way for someone with White Coat Syndrome to prove that my heart rate at home is fine?
Of course you can refuse. Your doctor might in turn refuse to keep you as a patient.

A couple of notes -

1) There are standard protocols for diagnosing and treatment of various issues. Most MDs will abide by them, for insurance liability reasons if nothing else. So changing doctors might not help you.

2) You can buy a decent blood pressure cuff, and start recording your own vital signs at home. Ask your doctor if and under what conditions he would accept the data from such readings.
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Old Yesterday, 11:34 AM
Status: "Ready to go...anywhere" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: NJ
1,721 posts, read 659,212 times
Reputation: 5371
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
Of course you can refuse. Your doctor might in turn refuse to keep you as a patient.

A couple of notes -

1) There are standard protocols for diagnosing and treatment of various issues. Most MDs will abide by them, for insurance liability reasons if nothing else. So changing doctors might not help you.

2) You can buy a decent blood pressure cuff, and start recording your own vital signs at home. Ask your doctor if and under what conditions he would accept the data from such readings.
Youre right about number 1. And partially right about number 2. The test her doctor is ordering is not blood pressure and blood pressure isnt what they are looking for. They want a 24 hour hear study. It tracks all your heart beats for 24 hours and detects any changes and anomalies and abnormalities. Its actually a really good diagnostic tool for heart issues.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 AM
 
9,972 posts, read 22,173,899 times
Reputation: 13942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
Of course you can refuse. Its your body. But try this instead.



I always used to worry (I have GAD) each time I go to the doc that this will be the time my blood pressure is high, just like my dad's was when he was even younger. But since I've done yoga and controlled breathing for years, I just do my controlled breathing while I wait for them to take my BP and pulse. I've never had high BP or a worrisome pulse yet.
And, they will be understanding if you say up front..I need a minute to relax, I do have ‘white coat syndrome’ and keeping track of your bp as home, with documentation, is also a good idea
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Old Yesterday, 12:08 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
88,586 posts, read 82,698,634 times
Reputation: 93166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
And, they will be understanding if you say up front..I need a minute to relax,
This. OP, have you ever actually communicated with your doctor about this, to let him/her know, that you always get nervous and wound up before an annual exam? Does it not make sense to you, in view of the doc's assumption that the high heart rate could indicate a heart condition, that telling the doc it's due to nervousness would be a good idea? It's obviously important info the doc needs to have about you.

My BP tends to be high when I go in for a doctor's consult, after rushing through traffic, walking across a big parking lot, or whatever, so I ask the doc to take my vitals at the end of the session, or mid-session, rather than at the beginning, and that's never been a problem. They want to have accurate info on you, OP, so allowing them believe that the reading they've been getting is truly representative of your heart rate is to your own detriment. It's the patient's responsibility to inform the doctor of any conditions that may have a bearing on their health, or on the doc's assessment.

If speaking up doesn't work, then you're free to find a new doctor, and explain from the outset, that your heart rate soars prior to any exam or consult. Most would be sympathetic and cooperative.

But to answer the question in your thread title, if a test is truly frivolous, you can refuse by leaving at the end of the appointment, and not making the appointment with whichever testing department you've been given an order for. I had a doc insist I should get a pregnancy test as part of a background check for something else. I told him there's no chance I could be pregnant, but he insisted, which was off-putting. So he gave me the order, and I walked out the door, and never went back, nor did I proceed to pregnancy-test department. I sometimes wonder if some doctors are invested in supporting the medical-industrial complex, by ordering unnecessary tests. Or perhaps they're trained to gaslight their patients, and insist that doctor knows best, no matter what the circumstances.

But you haven't tried informing your doctor, why your vitals are coming out as they are, so you need to try that, first.
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Old Yesterday, 12:46 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
11,790 posts, read 8,572,178 times
Reputation: 17931
Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
Youre right about number 1. And partially right about number 2. The test her doctor is ordering is not blood pressure and blood pressure isnt what they are looking for. They want a 24 hour hear study. It tracks all your heart beats for 24 hours and detects any changes and anomalies and abnormalities. Its actually a really good diagnostic tool for heart issues.
Many blood pressure monitors also record the heart rate when a blood pressure is taken. If the OP's doctor agrees to accept at home blood pressure readings as an indication of the OP's pressure under non-stressful conditions, recordings of the heart rate along with the BP might give some indication of the HR under the same conditions.

You're right in that sporadic HR readings aren't a substitute for a continuous recording of heart rate/ rhythmic activity over a specified time, but they might give the doc a place to start to see if further testing is indicated.
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Old Yesterday, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
3,101 posts, read 1,205,468 times
Reputation: 7498
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCT2019 View Post
I'm 23. I have Social Anxiety/Anxiety. Everytime I go to the doctor for a checkup, my heart rate starts racing because I get nervous. When they take my vitals, they say my heart rate is very fast. My doctor orders me to do an Echo cardiogram and to get hooked up to a 24 hour holter monitor to make sure I have no heart problems.

I feel like doing these procedures are unnecessary because I know my heart is fine, I'm just nervous. My heart rate at home is completely normal. I'm getting tired of wasting my time and money on unnecessary procedures.

I plan on going to my doctor soon for a check up. I haven't had one since August 2019. I don't want my doctor to pull this on me again due to my nerves.

Can I deny doing a test my doctor orders and what is an alternative way for someone with White Coat Syndrome to prove that my heart rate at home is fine?

No, you get arrested if you don't follow your doctor's advice.


It's really no different than taking your car to the shop. If you think they're trying to sell you something you don't need, you can say 'no thanks' and leave. Of course that also absolves them of any responsibility if your car falls apart half a mile down the road as you drive away.
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Old Yesterday, 01:01 PM
 
2,979 posts, read 1,028,813 times
Reputation: 8591
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCT2019 View Post
I'm 23. I have Social Anxiety/Anxiety. Everytime I go to the doctor for a checkup, my heart rate starts racing because I get nervous. When they take my vitals, they say my heart rate is very fast. My doctor orders me to do an Echo cardiogram and to get hooked up to a 24 hour holter monitor to make sure I have no heart problems.

I feel like doing these procedures are unnecessary because I know my heart is fine, I'm just nervous. My heart rate at home is completely normal. I'm getting tired of wasting my time and money on unnecessary procedures.

I plan on going to my doctor soon for a check up. I haven't had one since August 2019. I don't want my doctor to pull this on me again due to my nerves.

Can I deny doing a test my doctor orders and what is an alternative way for someone with White Coat Syndrome to prove that my heart rate at home is fine?
How do you "know" your heart is fine? Maybe you could just provide your Doc with that proof, he'll look at it, and go "Okay". Or not.
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