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.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Wavebreakmedia.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

woman wearing a blank id badge around her neck

When Someone Suggested My Illness Has Become Part of My Identity

Do you ever get triggered? I mean, really upset about what someone else has said? So much so that you can’t think straight? It happened to me the other day. I was having a conversation with I woman I was networking with, and when the topic of my book and chronic health issues came up, she said to me: [...]
illustration of woman curled up with birds around her

Allowing Myself to Have Moments of Feeling Like Chronic Pain Is Too Much

Sometimes I get so tired of feeling horrible. I always have multiple things going wrong with my body at once. When one improves, another one steps up to the plate. It’s defeating. Overwhelming. Exhausting. Sometimes I want to start screaming, “It’s so unfair! Why me? What have I done to deserve this?!” And then, in a weak, [...]
27 tips for the nights when your chronic illness makes it hard to sleep

27 Tips for the Nights When Your Chronic Illness Makes It Hard to Sleep

When you live with chronic pain or illness, sleeping can become an issue. Getting eight hours of restful sleep each night isn’t always possible if you’re tossing and turning with “painsomnia,” muscle tension or other uncomfortable symptoms. And for many, nighttime is when depression and anxiety can creep in and cause your mind to race [...]
woman's face with double exposure of clouds covering her eyes

The Aspects of My Illness You Don't See

It can be so easy to judge people based on what they allow you to see. So many people have a public face or persona but behind closed doors, things can be very different. This can be true even more so if you have a chronic illness. I’ll greet you at work with a cheery [...]