Friday, September 16, 2011
The brave doctors that risk treating us are ridiculed and scoffed at by their colleagues
Posted by Marzi:
All over the world there are stories of people who suffer with this illness, but because we do not fit in the neat little boxes designed to make doctors feel smart and safe, we are treated like hypochondriacs.
Imagine having HIV before anyone knew what it was. Imagine feeling this rotten wrong thing wrapping tendrils round your system. Imagine going to the hospital, telling them your diagnosis and watching their body language change and their tone lower to condescension. You know it’s biological, you know it is not psychosomatic, you know there is something rotten inside you, but they just look at you dismissively and talk quietly with the nurse about discharging you with some paracetamol.
As you become more outraged at their treatment of you, you are so ill, so tired, in so much pain, you cry and raise your voice in frustration. They nod to you and steal glances with each other, you are only reinforcing their belief it’s all in your head. Can you imagine living like that? Needing help and treatment, yet unable to seek it for fear you will be intentionally misinterpreted and maligned?
That is what it is to have our diagnosis. That is why we say we would rather have Cancer or HIV or other politically incorrect things. Not because we don’t understand the gravity of those illnesses, having experienced what we have we would never doubt nor underestimate the suffering of others. No it is because those illnesses have treatment, awareness, options, research, support, and statistics on survival or death. People look at me incredulously when I say I would rather have most any other life threatening illness. But if you were to walk in my shoes, you would understand.
There is no certainty, but I can fight against that; there is no treatment, but I can pray for one, but to have people treat you like a hypochondriac while you suffer so much quietly against all hope… that is too much. I would rather know the likelihood of my death, than to have to fight not only this insidious illness, but with the very people who have been entrusted with the job of treating me, and yet instead they shake their heads and dismiss my suffering because I refuse to fit into their neat little boxes. And the irony of all ironies, those few brave doctors that risk treating us, specialising in the treatment of our illness, face the same treatment metered out to us by their colleagues. They too are ridiculed and scoffed at. The rare doctor that can think laterally and ... Read more>>