Thursday, May 30, 2013

Docs Say the Darndest Things

I have some incredible doctors in Alabama and in other states. However, I have gone through my fare share of narrow-minded doctors. For years I would go to a doctor and leave in tears (most of the time able to wait until I got into the car before I lost it). Now I have realized that no one knows my body like I do, regardless of medical experience, and not to listen to doctors who let their biases get in the way of medicine. And it is not just Western medicine...I have experienced the same nonsense with some non-traditional practitioners, too. Moral of the story? Please do not let what one doctor says make you upset. Doctors are not perfect and you are in charge of your own health...if what a doctor tells you offends you, find another doctor. Always get a second opinion. And third, fourth, fifth, and sixth when needed. Never give up.

Doctor: "I would say that is just a beer gut. Cut back on the drinking." (regarding extreme stomach distention)
Actuality: Fluid was escaping into my abdomen because of abdominal muscle separation due to three abdominal surgeries (plus I do not drink)

Doctor: "Listen to me. I am a woman. You are a woman. Women get cramps. You have to get over it just like the rest of us. You need to learn to tough things out."
Actuality: Endometriosis, Interstitial Cystitis, Vestibulitis, Complex Ovarian Cysts, Pelvic Congestion, Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction, Appendix Stones (and three abdominal laproscopies)

Doctor(s): "Most college students gain weight. Try working out a little more."
Actuality: Hypothyroidism

Doctor(s): "I do not think you should get tested for Lyme. Lyme doctors take advantage of people who are chronically ill and desperate for a cure. They get a lot of money out of you"; "Lyme Disease does not exist in Alabama"; "Getting tested is not a good idea. It usually produces a false positive then people convince themselves they are sick and act that way their entire life"; "Have you even been in the woods before?!?"
Actuality: I have Lyme disease and several co-infections, including Babesia (and when I am in a healthy state my two favorite things to do are hiking and climbing)

Acupuncturist: "The reason you are sick is because you are poisoning your body with medicine. You need to stop taking your medicine immediately."
Actuality: I did not stop taking my medicine, that would have been irresponsible and a lot of my medicine would need to be titrated off to avoid intense adverse effects.

Acupuncturist: "Your body is rebelling against you. You are sick because you stifled your femininity by entering the masculine roll of playing sports growing up and in high school. Your female reproductive system is refusing to work properly because of the masculine-based decisions you made."
Actuality: I will not even get into this one but she put back the feminist movement a hundred years


Other Family Members with Lyme:

Doctor: "It is most likely just gas pain." (regarding diffuse stomach pains)
Actuality: A Lyme co-infection that causes diffuse stomach pains

Doctor: "Just start taking Folic Acid and you will be fine" (regarding sleeping over 12 hours every day and still feeling exhausted)
Actuality: The major side-effect of the medication she was on was extreme fatigue...which went away once she stopped taking the medicine that particular doctor prescribed

Doctor: "Has your dad been hunting in the Northeast a lot? Because you cannot get Lyme down here. We are not going to test you." (regarding getting tested after our father's diagnosis)
Actuality: She has chronic Lyme Disease and several co-infections


These are just a few of many, many examples that I have witnessed within my own family. I will add more later. Do you have some crazy comments from doctors that you would like to share? Send me a message on facebook by clicking here and I will add it to the post.

Other people's Experiences:

-When Sean was a little baby I had many questions about vaccinations. This one vaccine was all over the news and I had some questions about it. After all, a crazy doctor had scared us parents after publishing an article regarding a link to this vaccine and autism. I made it very clear to the doc that I am for vaccines but had issues with this particular one. After only 3 minutes of "discussions" he turned to me in a stern voice and said, "I have over 300 patients in my practice, do you think you are a better parent or love your child more than the others do?". He then went off on me as to what kind of a parent I was. I was in so much shock that I couldn't defend myself. We left that clinic and found a new pediatrician who came up with a great vaccination schedule for us. (This example is not about Lyme but shows how doctors can bully patients into believing something...luckily he couldn't bully this patient!) 

-We were told that, because our 7 year old son was probably just 'faking' all of his horrible symptoms, "we'd be laughing about the whole thing as we got 10 minutes down the road". It's been close to 3 years now and we're still not laughing...