Medical PTSD and ME
From very early on, I was a pretty sick kid, until I was diagnosed with anxiety. From then on in my medical journey, almost everything has always come back to being explained as anxiety or just a symptom of anxiety. Most of my symptoms haven't even been explored because of this and it makes it hard for me to feel heard and believed. I also don't feel comforted by the words of a doctor who doesn't order any tests to see if it could be anything else.
I once asked my doctor, back in Florida, if there was anything else the symptoms could be other than anxiety and all she said was, "we can't test for anxiety." I don't feel like that was what I was asking but I left it at that. I stopped going to that practice after multiple bad experiences... During my time there, I had an infection ignored until it got so bad they finally put me on antibiotics after the second visit, I was called a drug addict and threatened to take off my .5mg of Xanax I had been on for years for my panic attacks (and subsequently was banned from them). Why did they think I was an addict? I simply asked to refill my order... the doctor said they'd run tests first to make sure I wasn't abusing them... .5mg.. that's such a low dose and I wasn't asking to renew my prescription early or anything. I sometimes even refilled late if I didn't need them as much that month... To be fair though, I now haven't had any Xanax for a couple of years and I still have panic attacks but I've learned to manage without them by living less of a life. Sometimes I wish I had something I could take when I experience them, but I always make it through. Maybe they were a bit of a crutch. That's just not the way to learn you're using them wrong if that's the case. I may have needed to be better educated, but not accused of being an addict.
Thinking back, I remember being practically scolded as a kid for being sick and needing to go to the doctor. Doctors are expensive and my brother and I both had medical issues. I think my mom was just at her wits' end with the bills and my dad would just say "you're fine" and that I was overexaggerating... and I probably was as a kid. Especially seeing as my dad was a medic in the military, if I wasn't missing a limb, I was probably fine. As a kid, I just didn't have the life experience to not be scared when I'd get dizzy or sick. I now know I can get dizzy every day and push through the work week. I now know I can fall... hit my head on multiple occasions.. and be told by EMTs to just sleep it off (literally happened recently). Part of me is angry that I've had to go through those experiences practically ignored... and another part of me sees how resilient the human body really is. I guess I can see why doctors don't think much is a big deal. I just wish I didn't find these not-so-big deals terrifying.
Recently, and I mean this week, I had my medical PTSD triggered. I fainted this past Saturday and hit my head. I was so scared because this just keeps happening and I feel like I have no answers. I just want to know what I can do differently, whether it be medication or a better diet, to keep them from happening again. I'm already working on a better diet and had been when it happened... I do understand, now anyway, that it could be something so simple. And yet, until talking to some girlfriends of mine and then getting a nutritionist, I didn't know this. One of my doctors should have explored my diet sooner, in my opinion.
A couple of months ago... I took my partner in to see our doctor and I went with him into the appointment. It was almost a night and day difference in how I've been treated, it felt like. He went in due to "being tired" and having a harder time getting and keeping... you know, a boner. So, the doctor went over all kinds of things it could be, asked about his diet and mood and etc. Not only did he get a full blood panel workup (he had several vials of blood taken), but our doctor explained what he could eat for a better diet to give him more energy and he put him on depression medication.. all in one visit. I was so surprised.
So, I thought that when I called my doctor to tell him about another fainting spell and discuss with him what my nutritionist had relayed to me, he would know what tests to order. Instead, he said "I need to know exactly which tests to order... I can't just go ordering a bunch of tests, you're insurance won't cover it." I cried. PTSD overload. Fear turned into anger and I said to my doctor "you need to step up your game, you should know what kind of tests to order." His response was "you have to be more polite." I just broke down and cried uncontrollably at this point. He then huffed and said "fine" he would put in an order for all of the tests. By then, I was too triggered to go get them done.
I didn't sleep for 48 hours, I had flashbacks to being in the hospital and became irrationally afraid after lack of sleep of being hospitalized again. That was my PTSD hitting a crisis point.
Thankfully, after talking to my psychiatrist as well as getting some other stressors off of my plate, I was finally able to sleep and my mood and PTSD recalibrated themselves. It didn't help that one of my cats was and is sick and I had to take her to the vet and then I didn't have a good couple's therapy appointment all in the same 48 hour period.
I'm so so tired.