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How To Get Doctors To Listen To You?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 amberlink09

 
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

Hey guys,

I'm going to see a new doctor tomorrow and I'm SO tired of doctors not listening to me I just can't take it anymore. I've already been diagnosed Celiac, so that's not the problem, but I've had a host of issues since then and no one ever seems to give me answers. I think that since I'm 21 doctors just blow me off thinking it couldn't be anything serious, I have no idea. Tomorrow, I'm going to a doctor who has good reviews and is a friend of a friend, so I'm hoping she will listen to me, but I need advice on how to really make her listen to me. I've been diagnosed Celiac for three years, here's my symptoms since:

Continued stomach problems
Bloating
Acid reflux
*have all become slightly better with the Paleo diet, but not resolved

Constantly sick with colds/bronchitis/etc. almost every other week
Headaches
Two kidney infections
Fatigue
In the last month I've had 2 nerve problems that my doctors just dismiss as damage.. even though there's no reason for it

I just want someone to take me seriously. I work really hard, I'm going to school, working part-time, and trying to get into law school, and it's really tough to keep up with everything when you're constantly sick. I'm tired of being treated symptom by symptom, and I need someone to try to figure out if everything is somehow interrelated. I feel like my immune system doesn't work, and the nerve problems I've been having really scare me. I figured you guys know a thing or two about dealing with doctors who think you're crazy though!
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#2 Mateto

 
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:44 PM

Sometimes I feel bad for doctors. I genuinely believe they must be busy with all those patients.

But would it kill them to at least PRETEND to be concerned? When you go in to see the new doctor, go in happy and tell him your symptoms. If the reaction you get is of no help, you could calmly but assertively say
"Listen, please. I'm sick. I've had ______(list symptoms) for so long, and I'm already diagnosed coeliac and I'm still having trouble. Now, I've been patiently dealing with other doctors who have been of no help to me, never taking me seriously, looking at me as if I were mad. I am not going to waste my time talking to you here, if you're not going to help me"

Sometimes you just have to be firm. I know how it feels to have trouble with doctors, but there ARE some good doctors out there even though they're in the minority of minorities. Hopefully, this'll be one of those! :)
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Gluten-free since St George's Day this year :)

#3 Juliebove

 
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:44 PM

Sometimes they just won't listen. I had a list of things wrong with me. I had one Dr. tell me there was just too much wrong with me and I had to pick the one issue that was the most important. Now... How am I supposed to know that? I just knew that I had symptoms. I didn't know which ones were caused by something serious. And frankly it took a good many years to get things diagnosed. I had to move from CA to NY. I think most of the Drs. I saw in CA were pretty useless. They failed to diagnose things and misdiagnosed things. And I was left on a thyroid medicine I didn't need. It made me hyperthyroid and those symptoms were the same ones I was complaining of.

In NY some other things were diagnosed. Thankfully! But I was still kept hyperthyroid. The Dr. even said he knew that I was but he was afraid if he took me off the med I would become hypothyroid.

Then I moved to WA and am now off of that thyroid med. I feel MUCH better.

The only things I could suggest that you do is try to impress upon the Dr. how badly these things are affecting your life. Such as... I can't go to school. I can't work. I can't function. Stuff like that. And hope that they believe you!
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#4 Mateto

 
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:53 PM

I had a list of things wrong with me. I had one Dr. tell me there was just too much wrong with me and I had to pick the one issue that was the most important. Now... How am I supposed to know that? I just knew that I had symptoms. I didn't know which ones were caused by something serious.

What one was the most important? You had to tell him?

I thought doctors were supposed to tell US what is the most important/concerning.
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Gluten-free since St George's Day this year :)

#5 Juliebove

 
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:20 PM

What one was the most important? You had to tell him?

I thought doctors were supposed to tell US what is the most important/concerning.


Exactly! I didn't know what was the most important. I complained of pain. I didn't know that the pain was caused by a high dose of a thyroid med that I didn't need. Or the venous insufficiency that was misdiagnosed as psoriasis. Or the neuropathy in my feet and legs that I had been told I didn't have. Because the Dr. didn't do the appropriate test.
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#6 amberlink09

 
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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:35 AM

Thanks for the advice guys! Surprisingly my appointment actually went really well. My doctor ordered some tests to figure out what is causing my neuropathies, which is so nice because I was really getting tired of that being dismissed as normal. My leg has been numb for 4 days now, which definitely doesn't seem right to me. I also thought I had had allergies for the last month or so, but she checked me out and told me I was actually sick (before I mentioned any symptoms) and got me some medicines. And for my constant sickness she referred me to an immunologist, which I didn't even know existed, so I'm happy for that. I think 2 things made the difference- first, I knew her brother in law, which I'm sure helped my case, and second, she had a private practice, rather than one with 20 other doctors, and I think that being able to run things on her own schedule gave her more time to listen to me. I understand that doctors are overloaded and they have a ton of patients, but at the same time, I'm paying them an extremely generous amount of money for their five minutes, so I deserve to be listened to.
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