To the Doctors Who Expect Us to 'Just Live With It'

I have been poked and prodded when it isn’t necessary. I have had spinal taps and been told to stand up after. I’ve been told my vomiting is in my head. I’ve been told I just have anxiety. I’ve been told that I needed brain surgery, then told by the surgeon that I didn’t. I’ve been abandoned by doctors. I’ve had to do an office job and transfer my records to doctors myself. But by far the worst medical negligence I’ve experienced is going over a month without an actual meal, losing over 20 pounds, and being told, “I don’t know what to do, sorry.”

My gastroparesis has gotten worse over time to the point where I don’t eat anymore. I haven’t had a meal in one to two months. And I haven’t had a meal the majority of my life without vomiting. I was given Reglan and it stopped working within a month. I’ve cut out foods and tried everything I possibly could and it hasn’t worked.

I passed out three times this month due to malnutrition. I go to my doctor and tell him I haven’t been eating and he says, “Well, it’s probably in your head because Reglan should’ve worked.” I’ve tried to eat and failed, so it’s not in my head. I haven’t been eating at all because I know I will just puke. I get the shakes if exert too much physical activity. If I don’t drink one to two Gatorades a day I get woozy. I ask my doctor, “What can I do for nourishment if I can’t eat?” He says, “Eat protein.” I said I throw up protein, and he says, “Well then I don’t know, just live with it.”

Here’s my problem with “just live with it” — I can’t even live with it. My body is decaying and consuming itself and can’t absorb an amount necessary for survival and you want me to live with it. Live with losing pound after pound. Getting weaker and weaker, slowly dying. So I’m sorry, doctor, it isn’t possible to live with.

Chronic illness already takes away many aspects of our beings. And you want us to just live with it? Medical negligence has been a huge problem with not only me but many others.

So doctors, please just put yourself in our shoes. Can you live not eating, passing out on a daily basis, having body parts go numb, getting piercing migraines, having the shakes if you go on a walk, not being able to work because you know you will fall over, walking unsteady on a daily basis because your joints are too loose, and not being able to carry something lightweight without your heart going into overdrive? Can you live with that? I’m pretty positive your answer would be no, so please don’t expect us to and please put your degree to use.

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