I saw this video show up yesterday on YouTube, but I didn’t watch/read it until today – This REALLY Isn’t Okay – YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xEHeoarucY (around 12:32 minutes long).
As someone who has chronic pain and chronic illness, I can relate to much of what Jo said in the video. My chronic illnesses are all “invisible” – partial deafness, Bipolar Depression I, Rapid Cycling, Mixed Episodes, Migraines, A. S. – Ankylosing Spondylitis (A. S.) and Me, low back pain due to various injuries, and a few other medical conditions. My chronic pain issues these days are usually A. S. and low back pain related as my Migraines are now mostly painless ocular versions.
In particular, I can also relate to doctors not listening to patients. A friend who had Bipolar went to his Primary Care Physician (PCP) complaining of chest pains. The doctor said the pain was “all in his head” and ignored it. Three days later, my friend died of a heart attack, something that could have been caught if the doctor had ran an EKG or done other tests.
In my case, decades ago, my PCP sent me to the E. R. and said he (in other words, one of his staff) would call the E. R. I get to the E. R. and they ask why I am there. I tell them my PCP said my heart was racing and he was going to call the E. R. Turns out his staff was way behind on calling as it took almost an hour before they called. The E. R. staff thought I was making it up. In hindsight, I should have had them check my pulse as that was the easiest way to prove/disprove my statement.My resting pulse was twice what it should have been. My PCP thought it was one of the medicines I was on at the time. Turns out it was.
On the flip side, I have worked with many people who fake symptoms to get attention. For those who don’t know me, I avoid going to the doctor or E. R. unless I am needing something that I can’t get without a visit.
For the E. R., my last visit was on a Sunday, a day I don’t recommend going on, but I was in such chronic and severe pain that had been going on for days. I didn’t ask for or even mention pain meds as those tend to either not work, be addictive, or damage worthwhile organs (heart, kidney, liver). It was only after I mentioned front chest pain that they ramped up from being ignored to treating it like a possible heart attack. I specifically mentioned I thought the front chest pain was the result of the back chest pain, but the staff decided “better safe than sorry” and ran an EKG. The big benefit from this visit was a later medical appointment that showed the tendonitis and bursitis diagnosis was actually A. S. It only took four decades for them to get it right. Sadly, one simple test, done by a Physical Therapist a few months after the E. R. visit, proved it wasn’t either wrong diagnosis. That test should have been done a long time ago.
On chronic pain, I rarely talk about it as so far the only solutions are the pain meds I mentioned above. Surgery might help with the A. S. situation, but the surgeon said it was hit or miss as to if it would solve the pain issue based on where my A. S. was situated.