Story: "I need to protect myself from the people who should help me"

I woke up last summer with particularly bad palpitations and a fast heart. I was also dizzy and feeling that I may pass out. I phoned the GP and they made me an appointment later that day. As the morning went on I realised I was too ill to get there. Moving at all made my heart pound and the room spin. It shouldn’t need saying but it probably does that at this point I was a picture of calm and serenity. Far from being in a panic, I was breathing really slowly and deeply to try to slow my heart.

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Story: “You're Just Looking for Attention”

Everybody has that one word that triggers them. A word that brings up so many emotions at once, it's like a kick to the gut. For me, that word is “attention”. I loathe that word because it’s been used as a weapon against me. It was also used as an excuse to dismiss me as a human being, and a way for others to absolve themselves of any responsibility regarding my need for special care.

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Story: "You’re depressed and that’s causing the congestion."

For the past year, I have had the following symptoms: congestion, cough, headaches, occasional dizziness, my eyesight is starting to worsen, I sometimes lose track of conversations, and I can’t smell a thing. I am a 36-year-old who was previously in good health, so this isn’t consistent with my history. I didn’t trust any of the doctors where my family lived previously, so I just dealt with it. I thought it might be allergies. It’s odd to make curry and have no idea what the house smells like, but I learned to adjust.

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Story: "Why am I tired all the time?"

Me, to GP: "Why am I tired all the time?"
Doctors #1-5: "Go to bed earlier."
Doctors # 6-8: "We've done blood tests, can't find anything. Get more sleep."
Doctor # 9: "Pull yourself together."
Doctors #10-13: "Go to bed earlier."
Doctors #14: "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I'll refer you to counselling."
Doctor #15 (after relocation): "CFS doesn't exist. I'm not going to offer you any treatment for your tiredness." 

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