Monday, May 9, 2011

The "doctor", the "diagnosis", and the despair.

It all started this morning
when the doctor,
the internist, returned my phone call.

My friend had recommended him as an expert diagnostician.

I said I'd like to make an appointment with him.
My symptoms were low-grade fever,
malaise, and the neck pain,
for a few months.

He responded,
quite curtly,
with "the temps you are telling me are not considered fevers".
and "take Acamol [Tylenol] to feel better".

I told him, "ok, maybe you don't consider them fevers,
but I feel sick."
"Something is not right with me, and I need help figuring out what."
he asked about my blood tests.
"The two I've had are normal", I responded.

He told me basically just to go to my cupat cholim [HMO] doctor,
that I don't need him,
and to take Acamol every day if needed.

(by the way-- Acamol doesn't help at all).

He was sharp, curt, and unwilling to try to help.

OK, so you say, I don't want a doctor like that, anyway, right?

But then, Robert, who heard the conversation,
said that I didn't describe myself properly.
Perhaps what I have aren't fevers,
but the fact that something is wrong,
and I sleep lots,
and I feel sick,
that's what I should describe.

I got upset.
Upset at him,
upset at being sick.

Really, really upset.
arguing with Robert.
Infantile-banging-doors upset.

Upset that this doctor didn't take me seriously.
Then I started wondering if it is all in my mind...

That is a bad place to go.

I got so upset I couldn't even see straight because of crying.

Robert called back this doctor.
I gave him permission.
He wanted to try again to explain how things are with me,
with hopes that perhaps this highly recommended doctor may help
His very loved wife.

The doctor, who doesn't know my medical history at all,
threw a diagnosis into the air,
over the phone with Robert.

"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"

Excuse me, but who the heck is he to diagnose me without knowing me?

"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"

Those words wreak havoc in me.
They mean to me "there is nothing that will help"
They mean "here is a modern catch-all phrase for people who feel tired and unwell a lot".

It feels hopeless.
I now believe that there is nothing anyone can do, or is interested in doing, to help me.

I feel like I just got pushed away
from Gd.
Or that perhaps I pushed Gd away.

I am upset.
I feel hopeless and alone.

Life, to me, looks like "this is it" forever.
Suck it up. This is your lot.

I have four kids to take care of.
And I want more than anything in the world
to be their full-time mom.

And I am so tired.
And I feel so... unwell.


  1. It happens too often that the best doctors in terms of knowledge and skill are the worst in terms of bedside manner. I hope thi sguy is as good a doctor as he is difficult to deal with. And that you have a chance to really find that out.

    Hang in there...

  2. Empathy is the best key to understanding a patient, obviously, this guy needs to cultivate that. However, I also think that if you are going to speak with any new doctors at all, they do need to hear your medical history. It is entirely relevant to any symptoms you may be having.
    What happened to the chief doctor who was going to manage your whole case? Is he still approachable?
    LOL, XXXXOOOOO to you and the Mishpacha,
    Dev in NJ

  3. what an experience! as above stated, some doctors do not have bedside manners. hashem should send you the right shaliach to help you . hugs and kisses.

  4. Perhaps you were able to vent feelings that had been building up for some time, with this call to a physician being the trigger.

    Although physicians may act without sufficient sensitivity, perhaps this physician would have reacted entirely differently if he had known of any of the ordeals that you've been through. Perhaps he was also under particular stress just then, and may even be regretting his behavior.


  5. Sarah: Gd is stronger than you, and He will not be pushed away. Know that He is with you and will stay with you through it all. How many of His children cried and railed at Him through the centuries? He never deserted them, and you are not deserted. I hope that you can feel His presence soon and find some relief and peace. {{{{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}}}}} (hugs to you and Robert!!!) Jackie