You might be shaking your head in confusion at that title. However, I think it will make sense very quickly. I use the word “sick” to cover acute illnesses like bronchitis, the flu, even appendicitis or a broken leg. For that last one, I am referring to those of us who don’t have chronic conditions […]
I am not a medical health professional and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as medical advice. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 (where applicable) or contact proper emergency service personnel.
I try to avoid the E. R., especially on week-ends and after 10 P.M. when possible. It’s not always possible, but the last time I went (it was a Sunday in January 2017) they assumed my shoulder pain was bursitis or tendonitis until I mentioned front chest pain. They ramped it up from me being mostly ignored to possible heart attack even thought I said it was probably the pain radiating from the shoulder issue to the front. Sadly, it helped that several years ago another local hospital had ignored chest pain and the patient died of a heart issue while waiting in the E. R. Thankfully, the EKG ruled out heart involvement. And a follow-up visit to my regular doctor and being referred to Physical Therapy (P. T.) determined my condition was actually A. S. – Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and Me. It only took two plus decades for them to determine the correct diagnosis as even a ortho surgical specialist missed it several years earlier.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop at E. R. visits. A friend who had bipolar complained to his primary doctor of chest pains and it was written off as “all in his head” because of bipolar. Three days later, he died of a heart attack. Something that may have been prevented had the doctor ran some tests to rule out heart issues instead of assuming it was “all in his head.”
In case anyone think it’s only limited to those with mental health issues, it’s not. If you have a chronic health issue of any kind, a doctor or specialist may assume new symptoms or worsening existing symptoms are related to the chronic health issue. I find some doctors and other medical staff are better at asking probing questions than others. For example, with my A. S., it was my first visit to P. T. where he immediately recognized it wasn’t a shoulder issue even though it was presenting at shoulder pain since every basic shoulder test he did showed it wasn’t a shoulder issue. This led my doctor ordering an M. R. I. that led to the correct diagnosis. Again, had any of the dozen plus medical staff ran some simple shoulder exercises, they would have realized it wasn’t a shoulder issue. I had a new doctor who didn’t assume my depressive issue at the time was only related to bipolar. She ran a Vitamin D test and found my levels were very low which was contributing to the depressive issue.
On a similar note, some of my best diagnoses were from an doctor who wasn’t a specialist.He diagnosed several visual issues as being caused by other things. I hadn’t told him that I suffer migraines and when I mentioned one visual issue, he asked me if I suffered migraines. I said yes, and he said I now had ocular migraines which don’t cause pain.