Advice on dealing with doctors, anyone? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on dealing with doctors, anyone?

For years I've been dealing with chronic pain, my back feels like there are blunt claws gouging into it. It makes it so I can't sleep a lot of nights. It affects me every single day, and reduces my quality of life. I don't know what's wrong, but each time I've been to a doctor it's been really hard. Because I have trouble talking and making eye contact, I figure that they get the assumption of "this woman is a liar."

They quickly will start cutting me off mid sentence, and saying things like "maybe you should just go buy a new bed rather than complaining here," or "I've had people in TWICE as much pain, who complain HALF as much as you!" or "I think you're just making this up for attention." Sometimes they raise their voices, and I get this terrible feeling of my stomach twisting into knots and my hands going cold, and I shut down and go silent.

I've gotten blood tests that came back normal, and after that, they started accusing me of having mental problems that make me think that I'm in pain- and I started to believe them, until I got a tooth abscess. It was HORRIBLY painful, like there had been a vice crushing my tooth- but I expected to be called a liar, so I didn't try to get any help for it until the infection set in (close to a year) and I got seriously ill.

When I went to the dentist, I was expecting them to accuse me of lying, but instead they were shocked and asked me, "how did you deal with that amount of pain for so long?!"

I don't understand how tooth pain is real, but the almost equivalent amount of pain I get in my back is fake?

After doing some research, the pain in my back, as well as many other symptoms (numbness, pins and needles, painful spasms, burning feeling in skin, ect.) I get sound like MS. I want to get an MRI to find out, because if I can get a diagnosis it could be life changing! I could get help, there would be ways to relieve the pain, I could sleep again, I could go to a doctor and they would believe me. I wouldn't have to feel like I'm on trial. I could do all sorts of things I've wanted to do, I could go out and try to get over my anxiety, too.

But the problem is, in order to get an MRI I need a doctor's recommendation. In order to do that, I have to talk on the phone with a doctor.

It terrifies me, the feeling of cold sweats and knots twisting in my stomach come back from just thinking about it.

I'm afraid that they'll start questioning me like I'm a criminal, asking me about my personal life and things not related to my symptoms and start judging me, telling me things like "you should go get a life" like other doctors have.

What is the best way to deal with this? How can I talk to people like this? They usually don't want to spend more than five to ten minutes talking to me.

I remember, even my Mom, who had been dying from stage IV metastatic breast cancer, was repeatedly accused of lying. Even after she was diagnosed, she was accused of lying about being in pain. To be honest, I hate these people, they took thousands of dollars from my family and offered no help in return. They treated my Mom like a liar, and they're doing the same thing to me.

I really don't want to talk on the phone with one of them, but I need to. I can't deal with this level of pain every day, I can only do one thing each day, and can't spend more than a couple of hours doing it because it feels like there's an invisible force trying to drag me to the ground.

It makes everything really hard, and I can't pursue my goals and favorite activities.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Freyja Hildisvini View Post
I can only do one thing each day, and can't spend more than a couple of hours doing it because it feels like there's an invisible force trying to drag me to the ground.

It makes everything really hard, and I can't pursue my goals and favorite activities.
If your doctor isn't willing to do the medical workup needed to establish a diagnosis it may be time to find another doctor within your insurance network.

A pain diary with dates, times, pain levels and descriptions could help solidify the evidence for them.

John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have insurance, and I've been to five different doctors already. One of them took over 4,000 dollars or repeated visits, to eventually tell me that he thought I was lying. The only hint to a diagnosis was "it's both inflammatory and in the nerves," because I responded well to corticosterioids and nerve blockers.

I've kept diaries, written down every symptom, even made a chart where I colored in each spot that was painful. I've followed up several times, kept coming back- but really, they never want to spend more than five minutes or so to talk to me. When they hear "I don't have insurance" they treat me like scum.

I really don't want to go around in circles like this with them, that's why I want to directly get tests done. But the thought of talking to a doctor again gets me really upset. My hands are shaking just from typing this right now.

I honestly just want to talk to someone who understands what I'm going through, get my morale up, maybe.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 10:00 PM
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You can't afford insurance? If you want tests done you should be able to. Sorry they are giving you the run around.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 12:07 AM
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You might have some sort of herniated or bulged disc or something. Sorry to hear doctors won't take you seriously. U.S healthcare really is dysfunctional, especially if doctors don't perceive they can make much money off of you. I always figure back issues, it is one of those things that doctors should be recommending you to a back specialist instead of blowing you off themselves.

The truth is strictly what the ones in power perceives it to be.

Enjoy any good things, even the little and menial ones, as you will never know what impending distresses could descend upon you in a moment.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 02:42 AM
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Can you find someone who'll advocate for you? Possibly calling and talking to a nurse might be easier? I know a lot of clinics have nurse and health hotlines you can call with general questions. If you do end up getting an MRI, insurance is a must because specialty doctor visits and tests are very expensive. Maybe you can check out the state health care options for your level of income. Or see if healthcare enrollment has opened up due to covid.

Whichever clinic you're going to doesn't seem like the best because a doctor should be unbiased and go off of results, not necessarily just what they hear from a patient, or think that they're hearing. They should be open to hearing what you're saying to rule out the options. Maybe they'll refer you to a neurologist that can help, esp w/ the tracking of symptoms you have so then you can get to the bottom of things. Be sure to mention the signs that point to MS rather than say, a back injury.. at the very least, they should be able to take xrays. And if nothing comes up but still back pain, then on to the next variable.
I can see how someone getting nervous can come across as panicked and they then start to doubt you, but I would try to remain calm and determined when reporting symptoms. Maybe talking them over with a trusted friend and signing a consent form to allow them go with you to an appointment is a good step. I've considered in the past, having a friend come with me to appointments and asked about it. All that was needed was to sign a consent form, but I decided not to follow through.. keep us updated.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-09-2020, 08:48 PM
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Doctors are **** listeners to begin with but tend to ignore women in pain even more so than men.

Have you tried to see if there are any patient advocacy offices/charities in your area who could help advocate on your behalf? For example around here there are mental health charities with peer support workers who can come with to your appointment if you have difficulty with anxiety or shutting down when you are in your doctors appointment. Hospitals here have patient advocate offices where they will advocate on patient's behalf with regards to situations like you describe in your post.

I'd also suggest finding female doctors if possible though doctors are **** listeners in general so that might not make any difference.

Maybe find a short story on youtube of a chronic pain patient(particularly a woman) who had their pain ignored which turned out to be something serious and their doctor admitted to ****ing up. Doctor's attention spans are very short, so I would search for one that's 3 minutes or less. Sometimes that might be a more effective strategy. Typically a doctor is more likely to listen to someone other than the person directly in front of them who is speaking.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 10:11 AM
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@Freyja .....i hope things improve for you need to get thsi looked in to......i get anxious myself about phone calls.....but i think you need to bite the bullet as regards this one......

also i read a book by an irish author.....her name is amanda hayes and she wrote a book called "A pain free life".......she had similar problems to you.....she was always going to doctors and specialists complaining about severe pain she was experiencing but the doctors found no underlying condition......they didnt beleive her......she was very frustrated like yourself......but she continued to experience pain......i forget how the book ended but i will tell you you need to look in to this more and dont be embarrassed by your situation.....just go for it........

also should google this following bit that i type now its "somatoform disorder"......i came across it recently and it may interest you.......i hope things improve for you soon!
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