I was waiting to update my Blog until I finished my PTSD article, however something has been bothering me for a while now, especially after a particular bad experience of my own, and I just felt I had to write about it.
How People With Illnesses Feel About Doctors.
People with illnesses or chronic pain that can’t be explained will recognize what I’m talking about; we’ve all been through this.
Basically, I want to talk about how people like us feel when doctors dismiss us or call us crazy because they can’t figure out exactly what’s wrong with us.
I know part of what’s wrong with me; I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility type and Fibromyalgia three years ago. However, as of late, my pain and symptoms have gotten a lot worse, and suddenly doctors I’ve never seen in my life want to fight my Fibro diagnoses and say it isn’t there, or that it’s in my head. I was forced to go to a psychiatrist as part of a ‘process’, and after asking me a few question about my illness and my past, which I told was filled with bullying, he determined that I’m psychotic, my pain is in my head and I am of low intelligence.
Where was the intensive examination process someone usually undergoes before being classed as ‘psychotic’? I was simply asked a few questions by an assistant who looked like she was too young to be out of school. Where was the IQ test to determine my level of intelligence? In school, I was always classed in the higher part of my class level, with the ‘smarter’ kids, which is not to say I’m classing myself as someone of high intelligence and smarter than everyone else, but I sure as hell have never been classed as someone with very low intelligence. Where did he get the right to put that in my file? I can and will disprove his accusations towards both my psyche and intelligence, and will see justice done, but meanwhile, I’m left feeling like I was battered by a baseball bat and stomped down into the ground.
Doctors think if they see us once for a few minutes and ask us a few questions, that they know everything there is to know about us. Even if we have been diagnosed with a real illness, they still dismiss us because they didn’t know that illness even existed or because there’s no physical evidence upon you to show that you are ill.
And not to mention the hell we go through to even get a diagnoses to start with. Some of us have to fight for years or decades to find someone who will believe us when we say we’re in pain, and who will look further than the obvious to find what is wrong with us. Meanwhile, we are insulted and beaten time and time again by soulless humans who call themselves doctors. Doctors who go through the motions and seemingly feel no compassion whatsoever towards people like us. I wonder what they would feel if they had to go through what we go through day after day? I bet they wouldn’t feel so good about themselves anymore, realizing they put us through the same they are now experiencing.
People with invisible illnesses, chronic pain, they get labeled as insane, drug addicts or liars by so many doctors simply because it’s something they can’t see, something they can’t fight against. Instead of just telling us they don’t know what’s wrong or they don’t know how to treat our disease, they beat us down, telling us it’s in our head, we’re making things out to be worse than they are for attention, or we’re just out to seek drugs. They don’t give a damn about our feelings or what they put us through, all they care about is not ‘losing face’. They don’t want to come across as ‘stupid’ or unknowledgeable, so they spout of crap of knowing all about it, while really they don’t know a damn thing, or they dismiss us, making us feel as if there’s something wrong with us, as if we really are ‘crazy’.
Doctors think they can say and do whatever they want and get away with it. They think they’re gods, invincible. They don’t know how moronic that train of thought is, and how, sooner or later, they, or someone they love, will end up where we are.
Initially, I spent 11 years searching for answers, trying to figure out what was wrong with my body – because, no matter what anyone else said, I know my own body and I knew that what I was feeling was real and not in my head. At first, they seemed to pay attention, doing a few tests to find out what was wrong, but when they couldn’t find anything specific, that’s when the true hell began. I was called a lying attention seeker, I was an addict seeking drugs or it was all in my head and I needed to be committed so they could ‘fix’ me. I wonder what some of those doctors would think now, if I went back to them and showed them my EDS diagnoses. I could say; ‘Here you go, that’s what’s always been wrong with you. And because you didn’t know, you condemned me to a decade of misery and pain. I hope you feel proud of yourselves.’ I wonder what they’d say if that would happen.
And you’d think being diagnosed would be the beginning of a better time, but you don’t imagine that there will still be doctors who don’t believe you. Doctors who think the disease doesn’t even exist, simply because they have no knowledge about it. Doctors who don’t care, even if they believe in the diagnoses, because there’s no ‘known treatment’, so why bother trying to find a way to help you then?
Do doctors even realize that their treatment of people has led to suicide? People who could have been helped, people who wanted to be helped, but gave up because no one would listen. It’s sad to think about. I know there’s been times that I nearly gave up because of something a doctor said or did to me. They say words can’t hurt, but they do, and when you’re a chronic pain patient, and you deal with all that stress, the pain only increases, which only increases the despair you feel each time a door is slammed shut in your face.
Doctors call themselves healers. They take an oath that they’ll help anyone no matter what – what a lie that oath has become! I’ve met very little doctors who still do as their oath says. Nowadays, a lot of doctors are just in it for the money, not because they want to help people. In my experience, most doctors don’t want to help, they want your money and they don’t want to be bothered with your problems, unless your problems can get their name in medical journals.
Even when you find a doctor who tries to help you, sometimes tries for years, eventually even they seem to loose interest and start to dismiss you, which I feel is beginning to happen to me. I call my GP and before he would’ve tried to come and help me, and now he says: ‘Well, that’s just your disease, there’s nothing I can do.’ When I used to call my main specialist, I would always get to speak to her, now the secretary refuses to patch me through to her. If I go to the ER, they tell me to go see a specialist and send me home, refusing to help me, even when I’m crying because I’m in such tremendous pain.
Where does this vicious cycle end? When will chronic pain patients get the attention they deserve? When they have the money to buy it? I know if I were rich and famous, I’d get a lot more attention and much better care than I do now. Why is it so hard for regular people to get that help we need and deserve?
How many more people need to die before they realize that chronic pain conditions are serious and deadly? How many? A hundred? A thousand? A million? The way they treat us is not right, it goes against the Hippocratic Oath, it goes against every natural law there is! Is it too much to ask for compassion from those so-called ‘healers’? Will they ever listen to us, or will we continue to fight this endless fight for centuries to come?
I hope someday soon, something will change. Things cannot continue as they have, too many innocents suffer and die for it…