“I don’t know why while I take prednisone my joints feel much better and as soon as I am off prednisone, I have such intense pain.” I shared that with my then GP. His response was to ignore my comment and focus only on what he wanted to go over.
That is called Medical Gaslighting. It is when a doctor downplays a patient’s concerns, ignores them, or tries to convince a patient it is imaginary or due to something else.
Anyone who has lived with chronic illness has probably experienced this at least once.
“I don’t want an autoimmune illness. I am not a hypochondriac, but these things run in my family. My older brother has M.S., my older sister has Psoriatic Arthritis, asthma runs in my family, I have relatives with Type 1 diabetes.” I told my current GP that a few years ago. After I told him that, he began to take me seriously.
An excellent book for anyone about dealing with doctors was written by a doctor whose blog I follow. Phoebe Chi is a doctor and her blog is phoebemd.com. Her book is Being Empowered,,,, for a healthy heart. Just the first chapter on being an empowered patient makes the book so worthwhile to buy and read.
After reading her book, I changed how I approach doctor appointments. I kept a symptom log including how often, when, triggers etc. I also began asking more questions during appointments. I became an informed and empowered patient.
Since 2017, I have seen 2 different rheumatologists, a gastroenterologist, two different dermatologists, two different orthopedic specialists, two different physical therapists, spent half a day being x-rayed, seen an ophthalmologist, had so many blood tests and more. In only 3 years, I have been diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc is my neck, and Sjogrens. That is on top of the Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid and asthma I already knew I had.
I share all of that just to let you know that I KNOW the frustration of dealing with many doctors.
What has helped me?
1- I pray before I go to a doctor. I invite Jesus into the process. This helps me to focus and also asks the Great Physician to come along with me.
2- I keep a journal of symptoms such as when I have a low grade fever and for how long, rashes, pain, etc.
3- I let each specialist know that various autoimmune problems run in my family.
4- I ask questions.
5- I read information from reputable sources such as Web MD, Mayo Clinic website etc.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.