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To the Doctor Who Finally Saw Me as More Than a Case File

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In the viewpoint of most doctors I’ve seen, I’m somewhat of a weird case. My medical file, although thick, doesn’t really make a lot of sense when you put it all together – a few doctors have flat-out told me this. This is why, out of the eight doctors I’ve seen, I’ve gotten a lot of mixed results, but all of them have ended up leading down a similar path: a dead end road, with no treatment plan or diagnosis in sight.

Four years and eight doctors later, I’ve become used to the routine. I can almost predict the questions that are going to be asked, and I can rattle off my symptoms better than anyone. I’ve even become accustomed to the typical response I get from most doctors: “I really don’t know what to tell you.” As sad as it is, I’ve gotten used to being let down by doctors.

Most of them just look at my case, and when they can’t figure it out, they just give up. I’ve been given up on seven times. Every time this happens, a part of me wants to look at them and remind them that I’m not just a case file. I’m a human being, who is hurting physically and emotionally, who is calling out for help. It’s been extremely frustrating, and a lot of the time it feels like nobody is listening to me.

I figured I would try one more doctor, and thank goodness I did. This doctor asked the same questions and he read the same file, but the difference is that he didn’t just brush me off. He looked at the entire picture, not just the obvious signs, and made some vital decisions that will likely impact my life forever. For the first time in a long time, I felt like a doctor actually saw me – he saw the pain and the fear and the bitter exhaustion from the heavy weight of it all, and he chose to fight for me.

To doctor number eight, thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for searching for answers even when they won’t be easy to find. Thank you for being persistent about helping me and getting me a treatment plan that works. Thank you for pursuing the right diagnosis and for doing what needs to be done to get there. Thank you for caring, and for being the first one to listen in a long time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

All of the roadblocks and the frustration and unhelpful doctors up until now are worth it because I finally found someone who listened. When I have to push through the pain, it’s encouraging to know that I finally know the cause of it. I’m thankful that there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. The road may be rough from here, but at least now I know where I’m going.

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Thinkstock photo via monkeybusinessimages.

Originally published: April 21, 2017
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