No matter what condition or diagnosis you might have, you have no doubt been the recipient of some eyebrow-raising comments. There are those friends or family members who are truly well-meaning, but just don’t get it. There are those folks who say they get it, but have decided you’re a hypochondriac & respond to you accordingly. And then there are those “professionals” we blindly provide our co-pays to while counting on the correct diagnoses and treatments. Inevitably, we have been on the receiving end of some..let’s not mince words…Idiot and hurtful comments. I have decided to include some of the comments that I have received, as well as some of yours. Why? Because I think that it helps others on this journey to know that we all have these negative experiences. It’s a way to vent, but it’s also a way (should this blog ever develop a physician/family/friend following) to let others know that these types of hurtful comments can shut down a patient’s efforts to get proper treatment.
With that said… I will mention one of the highly recommended Rheumatologists that I had the misfortune of seeing. As I presented all of the current symptoms I was having (including severe joint pain, headaches, the sudden loss of secretions in every oriface I have, etc), I was met with obvious skepticism in his tone, facial expression and words. As this was a teaching hospital, I spent the majority of time with two students. The above mentioned physician only came in on the last few mins. of the appointment and announced without having conducted a physical exam, that I probably had Fibromyalgia. Hmm. Okay. I asked, ” does that explain the sudden loss of secretions everywhere and rash on my legs” ? His response was that sometimes patients have the ‘perception’ of dryness. Seriously? I came very close to saying, “Gee, you can actually see the dryness in my eyes, nose & mouth if you do a physical exam. My real perception was that I had not found the doctor that would be able to help me and he was, therefore, not worthy of my time or response. He then went on to suggest that I might want to see a counselor. Patient Notes: Doctor has severe and chronic case of superior, smug, God complex. Keep searching for the “right” doctor.