Yes, again. I spent 5 long years being told I’m a drug seeker. My illnesses are psychosomatic. I am making myself sick. Munchausen’s Syndrome. Finally, I received several diagnoses that explained everything. Five very long years.

Last week I fell ill from a common virus. In less than 15 minutes, a doctor completely wiped out everything I went though. Invalidated said diagnosis. Put it in my medical record that I’m only after drugs. That the only illness I have is psychiatric.

Unless you’ve lived it, I doubt you can understand how crushing this is. People with chronic illness not only have to fight their illnesses, they have to fight for their medical care. Every doctor thinks they know the answers. They invalidate each other, confusing patients and creating chaos in their wake of emergency room diagnoses.

One of the doctors this past week told me a diagnosis from one doctor was not sufficient. Seriously. The diagnosis came after 6 months of testing at the Mayo clinic. And somehow this doctor practicing in a town of 400,000 (whose resume is limited to a single city) knows more than 14 docs who have access to thousands of patients with rare disorders.

I doubt that the doctors have any idea how much damage they have wrought upon me. I doubt they even gave it a second thought when they wrote those notes. Just another piece of meat passing through. Another set of notes. No matter that I have more volumes of medical records than my friends combined. Just ignore everything that has already been diagnosed because YOU know better.

Now I begin the process anew. I don’t really have the emotional energy to do this, but if I don’t, when I need emergency care again I can guarantee I won’t be treated appropriately.

Remember, words matter. Once you’ve said it, you can’t take it back. Think about the implications of your words. Consider how much damage you can cause with your words. Choose wisely.

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