The Exhaustion of Fighting With Doctors for a Diagnosis
This is a tough topic for me. But the tough ones are always the ones most worth sharing, aren’t they? The ones that can show us we aren’t alone. So, I will delve in as best I can.
As far as I’m concerned, I have been emotionally scarred and physically scarred by the medical system. Don’t get me wrong, there are great, amazing doctors and nurses, and wow…I am so thankful for that! They make it so I don’t give up. So I didn’t give up. They make this fight a little bit easier.
I feel that many of us who are legitimately sick and have been chronically ill for a long time can recall multiple experiences of when they were treated with disrespect, mocked, brushed off, openly insulted, called a drug-seeker or any other number of inappropriate things. Yet, somehow, this is acceptable in the medical field.
Patients are often presumed healthy until they “prove” otherwise. Because they are presumed healthy, they have to jump through hoops just to get a test done or get a referral to a specialist. It’s a never-ending fight to be treated with dignity, caring and respect.
This has damaged me. I openly admit they have successfully beaten me down many times. Exhausted me. Made it an easier option to give up than to try to continue to find answers and get better. Somehow, I never gave up, but sometimes I’m not sure how I survived.
This is wrong. In any other field, the person you hire to fix a problem could not treat you this way and keep their customers. Imagine hiring an architect. They tell you that you are wrong. You don’t need a house. You need a bicycle. You don’t want that burden of a house. Why are you so determined? Stop fighting me on this. I know better than you! I’m the architect! Here, I’ll build you a bicycle and you will see I’m right.
You would fire that architect in an instant. But with doctors, it’s not that easy. You need to plod along. Plead. Prove. Do all this work to try to find out what’s wrong with you during a time when you are too sick to be doing this exhausting work.
Even once you know what’s wrong and you have the “golden proof ticket,” those battles have embedded their way into your soul. You doubt your symptoms. It’s become ingrained in how you think to doubt yourself and your body. You feel guilty going to get help. You feel like you’re wasting your doctor’s time.
It stays with you. You can mend the wounds and fight through, but your heart never forgets the exhaustion and the pain it took to get you to where you are.
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Thinkstock photo via Wavebreakmedia.