Off The Couch

couch

I took a break from writing for a bit because I was worried dwelling on my medical issues would make me go a little crazy-that I would get obsessive or depressed if I focused writing time on them. Well, I was wrong. I forgot that getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper helps me sort through things and then, more importantly, LET THEM GO.

 

I don’t feel well. I feel like throwing up multiple times a day and try my hardest not to throw up, so that my blood sugar doesn’t drop even more than it usually does. I get dizzy out of nowhere and am scared to drive when that happens. My eyesight gets blurry and I can’t read until it clears up. My energy levels are exceedingly low: the other day I couldn’t even manage to pick up my walking pace when I was getting pelted by a cold rainstorm. Most of my days are filled with a very easy task then twice as long resting. Or, I’ve been up in the middle of the night and because of low blood sugar, or dizziness, or nausea have been unable to go back to sleep. Those days are filled with sleep, and nothing more.

It can be depressing. I want my life back. I want the simple things of my life back, like driving to the store to shop without being worried I’ll need to call someone to pick me up if I get sick. I want to get absorbed in a project and miss my feeding time by a half an hour without having my body crash out. I want to be able to problem solve this-I am an excellent detective, normally, and am able through research, soul-searching and data-plotting to figure out the root cause of issues. I want to be able to read when I want. I want to eat a cookie. I want to do something with myself besides passively absorbing food and TV on the couch.

It can make me anxious. I am fairly cautious by nature. I try to be very conscientious about taking care of myself on time, or researching and examining my habits to tweak them for the better. I have become worried that I might pass out somewhere, so that has been the driving force of my decisions for the last few months. As the dizziness increased, so did this fear over the last few weeks. My mission lately has been trying to avoid that.

I won’t get answers until I see an endocrinologist in January, if even then. I feel depressed and anxious that I won’t be able to get my life back until late January at the earliest and there is a possibility that this state is my permanent new normal. The doctor might not be able to tell me much of anything.

Borne of that feeling, I pleaded with their office (after another sleepless night) to see me sooner. The nurse gave me hope for a moment and said I might be able to squeak in an early morning or late afternoon time slot, but that if I really felt that bad I should go to urgent care and have them send paperwork over. I harbored the illusion that if I was a good patient and did what was asked of me, maybe I would be able to see the specialist. That obstacles might be cleared.

I hesitated for a morning, realizing that the urgent care people would not be able to do any tests that would show anything illuminating to the endocrinologist. Then I felt very, very ill again. So ill that I thought, “This might be it, this might finally be the night I spend in the ER with an IV in my arm and triage nurses not knowing what to do with me.” I decided to go after getting the boys from school, packing medications in my purse that I might need in the morning if it came to that.

We went. Everything I did or said, or had done for the last few months or the last few years, got turned around as a way to prove that I was just a crazy hypochondriac. The doctor, this horrible man I wanted to punch in the face, had no intention of listening. He told me with a smirk that I didn’t look sick. He told me that my fibromyalgia is a disease of exclusion only (I told him we had checked out almost everything else) and that it was close to being considered a psychiatric disorder, not a “real” one. He seemed cruelly amused that I took so many supplements, that I self-diagnosed a dairy intolerance. He told me that I needed a doctor to diagnose my hypoglycemia, implying that I was imagining this problem (I did have a doctor diagnose it). When I showed him my records of my blood sugar, the physical proof I had collected to ensure that I would not have a doctor think I was just imagining problems because I was a bored housewife, he chastised me for testing too often, for being far too preoccupied. That I was causing myself an anxiety disorder. I started crying, because I had not come to a doctor to be picked apart, and disbelieved and almost outright mocked. That fueled the fire, because then the discussion became all about how to alleviate depression and anxiety. He smirked when my blood pressure and temp were normal. He made sure I knew where the closest psychiatric ward was, because that’s who could actually help me. He asked if I was suicidal, and condescendingly reassured me that I had “plenty to live for.” I hate this man. I don’t use hate lightly, but I hate this man.

This horrendous waste of my time got me no closer to seeing a real specialist. It made me nervous all over again to talk to any new health professional and exponentially increased my fear of being taken seriously or ever finding out what is actually wrong. The only good to come from it was that I realized, in getting so furiously angry, my symptoms felt a little better. The adrenaline boost from having to physically restrain myself from hurting him, to argue passionately for myself against him, felt better than the passivity I had been using to conserve my energy. I’m using that information about myself today to crawl away from my recent coping methods, since it hasn’t served me well anyways even though I thought it would.

And it helped me clarify for myself that of course I have been anxious, and depressed. He wasn’t wrong to see that in me. But I have every right to feel that way, and that I have a physiological problem that has been life-limiting. I do not have a psychosomatic disorder that is causing physical ailments. And you know what even if I did, screw him. Whatever the cause of my feeling so sick, I did feel incredibly sick and he was cruel to me when I came to him for help.

How big of an asshole is someone is who uses normal emotional responses against a person? How big a dick can a person be to use emotional pain as a reason to dismiss a person’s credibility? How much of a douchebag is someone who decides another person has nothing worthwhile to say, especially when he is in a position of authority over them?

At least, after last night I got my anger back, and a way to get up off the couch.

2 thoughts on “Off The Couch

  1. Kristin,

    I hope you’ve gotten useful medical information since this post. And I hope you haven’t given up on doctors as a result of the mistreatment by the one at Urgent Care (have you given the provider feedback? Patient experience is a very hot topic and drives administrative decisions these days).

    You deserve to be supported always, and now especially! I’m local, and I’m out of school (for the most part). I’d love to help out in any way!

    1. I very much appreciate that! I didn’t report that doctor because at the time I was having trouble just staying upright! I have since seen an endocrinologist who ruled out some issues (but who didn’t do much to follow up with me when tests still came back as “normal”. So, I’ve had to figure some stuff that helps on my own, gone to another doctor to change a prescription and I think I’ve gotten it partially solved-thank goodness! Thanks so much!

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