My doctors didn’t give me Fibromyalgia; I contracted a virus when I was about 12 years old and, in my mother’s words, was never the same afterwards. But my doctors broke me, and I have spent years trying to break free. Here is how they did it:
1. They Dismissed My Pain. Over and over agan I would hear, “There’s nothing wrong with you.” No follow ups, no “Come see me in a week and let’s see if it improves,” no sending me out to specialists. Nothing. My pain might as well have not existed…except that it did. I needed help, I wanted help, but my pain wasn’t enough for them. They broke my trust.
2. They Blamed My Brain – but not in the right way. I was contantly being told it was anxiety or depression and therefore constantly being presribed the corresponding medications, but never once did they send me to a phsychologist. Not once. When I finally gave in to the meds they pushed, I still had no relief. I spent 20 years thinking I was crazy. They broke my self-confidence.
3. They Never Listened. They often cut me off, answering questions I didn’t ask, belittling my pain experience and symptoms. I would tell them what worked and what didn’t, and it was alway as if they weren’t even hearing me. They pushed their agenda, and my input was never considered. They broke my spirit.
4. They Gave Up on Me. They would give me a valium and send me home. They would make offhand comments like “You just need exercise,” or “Maybe you need accupuncture” when I would come into the ER with a pain level of 10. They never knew anything about fibromyalgia, and many wouldn’t even touch me as a patient once they knew I had it. One doctor had the balls to finally tell me I was the patient that no one wanted. They broke my heart.
So in the end, Fibromyalgia broke my body but my doctors broke my mind… and almost my soul.
But I’m taking it all back. I’m breaking free. I’m breaking broke.
And I’m sharing this because I don’t want *you* to give up. If your doctor does these things to you, MOVE ON because that kind of treatment is NOT OK! Go. Run. Leave. Not all doctors are created equal! Keep going until you find a doctor that listens, is knowledgeable about fibro and chronic pain, that doesn’t push either medications or alternative therapies as a magic cure, and who makes you part of the team.
There is no cure for fibro. But just because there isn’t a cure doesn’t mean that you need to go untreated and suffer. I believe that the suffering can be reduced by about 30% with the right treatment – a special blend of medication, physical therapy (mixture of gentle exercise in proper form, massage, and trigger point work), and by keeping your mind healthy. This is *my* magic combo, though, not yours. Each person is different, and your doctor should know that and routinely express that to you. You need the right doctor, the right team, to guide you to be a little less dysfunctional, a little less pained. And while 30% might not seem like that much, it’s enough that we would refuse 30% *more* pain, right?
It makes a difference. 😉
If you haven’t found your doctor yet, KEEP GOING! I believe you will find them. I will believe for you until you, too, believe. Don’t accept less than what you deserve – not everyone is great at their job, and that is their fault, not yours.
Best wishes to all of you on your journey, and I hope this lets you know that you aren’t alone. (: