At the heart of most patients’ anxiety is the uncertainty about what the tests will show. It’s possible you’ll get the results you fear or news you don’t expect at all. The waiting can make you feel vulnerable and/or powerless, two feelings that can increase anxiety...
Make the wait easier by: (1) accepting the uncertainty; and (2) resisting the instinct to predict.
Do whatever helps you through your wait. You may need to try different approaches to find what works best for you. Keep in mind that you may prefer different approaches at different times.
One healthy approach is to focus on a triad of expectations:
• Expect any results;
• Expect the results to help in your care; and
• Expect to accept and deal with your test results in healthy ways.
Try...hoping for accurate news, however long that takes.
If you feel more relaxed after taking care of the “what if,” do it.
Please discuss with us when we expect to have your test results ready and the best way for us to share those results (e.g., office visit, phone call, or online posting). Then, while waiting…
- Draw boundaries around your imagination;
- Stay busy, channeling the extra energy of your anxiety into work and/or play; and
- Notify us of anything specific we might be able to do to decrease your stress.
Next: Why don't doctors shorten the wait?