Monday, October 27, 2008

Imaginary treatments: addendum and erratum

The addendum: an interesting (and heartbreaking) response to my post on placebos on Life as we know it.
Another concern for patients is those, like me, who suffer permanent physical damage from not getting the correct medication. I've been told I will never be well enough to return to full-time employment because I didn't get the proper treatment in the critical early phase of this relapse.
The erratum: I wrote that maybe the person who inspired "Everybody Knows About Me" (and pointed me to the original placebo article) was lucky, because at least his doctors were willing to say they didn't believe him. After reading my post, he said that actually, very few of his doctors had the balls to tell him what they really thought. Most just prescribed Motrin or something and encouraged him to come back.

Why. Why does anyone think this is OK?


CFS Facts said...

"Why does anyone think this is OK?"

Because many male doctors are misogynists and many of these cryptic diseases afflict primarily women.

I've had doctors tell me to my face that my only problem is that I want to be a housewife, or I want alimony (oh, yeah, from a guy who doesn't even earn enough to support himself). Doesn't matter that I've been working in my own business since I was 14, they know that I don't want to work.

There's a telling comment in Dr. David Bell's book that fully half of patients who are initially diagnosed as psychosomatic are eventually found to have some very real physical ailment.

A friend who's had severe diabetes since birth is so sensitive to her body that she knows something's going wrong while her meter still says she's normal. If she does something when she first notices, she's fine; if she waits till the test says she's out of whack, it's too late and she's dealing with a runaway train. But try to tell a doctor that you're in tune with your body and your observations are more accurate than his blood tests...

In the early days of CFS, Dr. Carol Jessop finally persuaded the virologist who'd been dealing with AIDS to see some of her patients. All the female patients were returned with an unwarranted/inaccurate psych diagnosis. She then sent a male patient, nowhere near as sick as the women, who came back with the diagnosis "obviously a virus, that we don't have blood test for yet".

Many patients report that female doctors take their symptoms more seriously. I've never had a female doctor question my diagnosis, but, unfortunately, when my long-time doctor died suddenly, I couldn't get reassigned to another female, and wound up with a male who believes that if the patient is a middle-aged divorcee, the only possible diagnosis is "depression and desire for alimony". He disregarded my prior specialist diagnosis because he was soooo convinced that he was right and the specialist was wrong.

Anonymous said...

We aren't all female.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I was afraid to reply.

cinderkeys said...

Wow, cfs facts, that's really something. I'd heard about things like this way back when I was taking soc. of gender classes, but hoped we'd gotten beyond it by now.

Of course, as Anon points out, being male doesn't shield you from this kind of prejudice when it's a so-called controversial disease like ME/CFS