Story: Trust your gut and demand proper treatment

Woman pictured, not the woman in story.

Woman pictured, not the woman in story.

I too have been told by a doctor that I was malingering when in fact I wasn't. I have never had a cavity or even a broken bone. I take great care of myself and I have never used drugs or smoked. I have had less than five alcoholic drinks in my entire life. My personal and professional background is excellent with no criminal background. I have always been a hard worker and extremely reliable as a mother, wife and employee.

So when I woke up one morning at the age of 32 with the most horrible headache of my life I knew something was wrong with me. I had to make 4 trips to the emergency room in 3 days but no one would help me. They all told me I was having a migraine and an anxiety attack, even when I woke up without any feeling in my right arm. I had been calm and cooperative up until this point but I was in so much pain and I began to fear for my life due to worsening symptoms. When I finally began to cry out of fear and frustration, they sent someone in to do a psychological evaluation. I demanded they do an MRI and the doctor slammed his hand down and said that might insurance might not pay for it!!!!! Can you believe it? Money was his only concern.

I did happen to have wonderful insurance but that should not have been his only concern. The doctors were so disrespectful of me that my own husband didn't believe me either because of their treatment of me or mistreatment. Finally after the CT scan and an MRI the doctor came in to tell me that there were white lesions in my brain and that I had MS!!!!! He didn't apologize or anything for not wanting to even do his duty to try to figure out what was really wrong with me. He scheduled a neurologist appointment for the next week but I started having severe vomiting and seizures before then so I went to my family physician in desperation.

He thought I had a pinched nerve and that was causing the paralysis in my right arm. He scheduled an essay of my spine but I couldn't stand without vomiting at the appointment. That doctor ordered an MRI with color contrast which finally confirmed the blood clot(cvt) and I was admitted the next day to the intensive care unit at CMC in Charlotte NC where is was finally given an IV of heparin. It took almost two weeks of pain and not taking NO for an answer from all of these physicians before I finally got the help I needed. I was 31 when this all happened. My son was 4 years old and I knew I had to be my own patient advocate so that I would live to be around for him. 12 years later, I am completely healed physically but the experience left me with PSTD and an inability to trust others because of how I was I was grossly ignored and not taken seriously.

I avoid going to the doctor and sometimes the whole scenario will play over and over in my mind, bringing back the whole ugly experience. My advice is to please trust yourself and don't give up if you feel that you are not being listened to. It is really scary to think that we are told to turn to professionals when we need medical attention and they belittle you, are condescending and accuse you of being crazy or drug seeking. I had no explanation for my blood clot and I will never know what caused it. I do know that if I or my family ever need medical attention, I trust my gut and demand proper treatment. It has served me well.

My son was taken to the doctor because he showed signs of strep throat. I was working when my husband called me from the appointment to tell me that the doctor said our son looked fine and not sick after doing a minimal exam by looking at his throat. I told my husband not to leave that office until they performed a strep test. Sure enough my husband called me back to say that I was right and the test confined strep. I am not a doctor but I am a human being who knows myself and my family. My only wish is that doctors took the time to know us as well and treat us like human beings because that is not just their job but their duty. Thank you for reading my story and I hope it helps anyone else out there who has suffered a similar experience. You are not alone.

Ed note: This story was shared in a comment but I felt it was important enough that it needed to be shared properly.