Is It All In My Head?

throatHave you heard someone say about a medical issue “I really hope there IS something wrong”?

These aren’t the words of a hypochondriac – well, I guess they could be but that isn’t the route I am going ;-). They are the words of someone who has been through the system more times than not and they can’t bear to get another diagnosis like “we know there is something wrong but we can’t find anything so there is nothing we can do for you.”

And this isn’t even touching on the trips to emergency where they “pretend” to believe you but just leave you in a holding pattern for awhile then give you some pain medication and send you on your way thinking that is all you want.

This isn’t a rant. Not in the least.

What it is, though, is my realizing that I am not alone in this feeling that the medical system has given up on me. My dear hubby has a genetic blood disorder that his cousin and father have both been treated for and have gotten results. But Hubby was told his iron levels were not “toxic” enough to get the full genetic testing and treatment. This is even though his levels are above the recommended allowable amount. Why won’t they do it? We haven’t figured that out yet but it could simply be that the testing is expensive.

I have met so many people through blogging, FaceBook groups, and other social media who are the same. There are so many tweets, FB statuses, and blog posts saying that someone is getting tests, or seeing a new doctor, and are nervous because they don’t want something major to be wrong but they also don’t want it to be nothing.

Yesterday I went for a swallowing test regarding my throat difficulties. I have a very gravelly voice that tires quickly and I have trouble swallowing. The speech pathologist tried me with various barium coated foods and I coughed the items down like normal. She just called me to say that even slowing the scans down she could not see any problems and attributed it to my dry mouth.

Yes, that is a factor, but the sad truth is that while I was doing her very few and quick tests, the normal reaction never occurred. She stated that my muscles were strong and that this was proved that things were not aspirating into my lungs or choking me.

I believe her, and am so relieved it is not the aspirating problem my Dad went through. But it leaves me wondering “is this all in my throat or all in my head.”

Like I said, I am not ranting and as with everything else health related, I will use it to become stronger.

Let’s soldier on fellow Chronic Warriors!

Lydia!

28 Replies to “Is It All In My Head?”

  1. Been there, lived that. It is maddening and frustrating. No one WANTS to be sick, but you know your body and know when something isn’t right. Keep being an advocate for your and your hubby’s medical care. I’ve been blessed to find compassionate, SMART doctors, but then there have been those who remind me why medicine is called a “practice!” LOL! Peace and blessings!

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  2. I can empathize with your frustration! I am a naturopathic doctor, and “being dismissed” or feeling like they have been given up on by the conventional medical system is a common grievance of my patients. Often, they actually don’t find themselves in my office until they’ve exhausted their other options. It is so sad, because people wouldn’t make their problems up. Even if it is hyperchondrosis…they’re still feeling their symptoms. Honestly, I have seen in my practice that just listening to, and believing people when they tell me their concerns is so healing in itself. Getting blood work, imaging or testing back that says “nothing’s wrong” is a great thing! It doesn’t dismiss what you’re going through, though. Just have to work a little harder to find the underlying cause. Even if it is “in your head.” Your brain is an organ just like every other one in your body, and it can get sick too. Hang in there!

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    1. First of all, thank you for what you do! I was one of those clients who got so frustrated with the medical world that I gave up on them. My husband signed us both up to a 15 minute free session with a Naturopathic doctor at our organic store. Those 15 minutes changed my life… though it wouldn’t happen for another year after my husband was seeing results. She had been a medical doctor in the Ukraine and became frustrated with the system and trained in naturopathy. At my first real appt I gave her a list of all my diagnoses, symptoms, meds, etc. and she shook her head. From that day forward she helped me in many ways. However, it was expensive and I wasn’t able to keep up with it more than a couple of years. So, I am back in the traditional nightmare of a system.

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      1. Thank you for sharing your experience with me! I’m happy to hear you found your naturopathic therapy to be helpful. Unfortunate that finances had to direct you away from it. My hope is that in the near future cost will not be a deicing factor between conventional or “alternative” therapy.
        I am not sure if you’re familiar with homeopathy at all, but I have found it to be the most powerful therapy, and I use it often when there are symptoms present but a diagnosis can’t seem to be made. Might be worth looking into.

        Sending healing vibes your way!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My daughter’s teacher has the SAME thing. She ended up having stomach issues that were affecting her throat.
    Testing just goes on and on. I know this too. For my muscle disease diagnosis I went to so many doctors and was told it was all in my head, i was distressed, i had anxiety, until they finally did a biopsy and that was just I think to shut me up because they were so shocked to find the disease. So you are so not alone!!!!!

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  4. Trust me you are not alone on this. I prayed that my CT scan showed something just to validate to everyone that I was really in pain. They could not seem to understand why I was so happy when they told me what was wrong! -Bruce

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    1. Thanks, Bruce, I totally understand that feeling. When I went to the ER with yet another pain, I was waiting for the “it must be your chronic pain” and was actually ecstatic when they told me my appendix was ready to burst and I needed emergency surgery…and I hate surgery.

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  5. I can identify with this this, but a little differently-with my anxiety I have been convinced many times that I was ill, or having a heart attack……..It is also not from being a Hypochondriac-the conditions were real, and brought on by stress. I truly believe the mind can convince you of anything.

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    1. That is a very common and terrifying symptom of anxiety/panic disorder. But you still have to be proactive because who knows when it is the real thing. And , by the way, your body isn’t “convincing” you that you are ill, it is like a small child or a pet. They have to let you know something is wrong in different ways because they can’t speak. Your body is saying “I am way too stressed” or things like that. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I have a theory that the insurance company has final say in way too much healthcare. I also know way too many people who seem to be on what I refer to as the ‘insurance merry-go-round’, by which I mean that many doctors aren’t actually interested in curing a problem, they merely want to improve it with meds, etc. enough so that patients come back over and over again VS come in one time, get treatment that gives a cure, in which case the person would probably have fewer visits, thus fewer co-pays….
    I know I probably sound cynical, but this is honestly how I see way too many treatments.

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    1. Jean, I don’t think you sound cynical. Unfortunately, you are a realist. I say unfortunately, because it is sad that this is the way it is. Here in Canada we are not dealing with private insurers. Instead, all of our healthcare is looked after and financed through the government. My husband’s company provides additional care for eye care, dental, medications, etc. But we are then tied to the whims of the government who are on our side with providing the care and in most cases paying for it – and they are also the ones who say “hey, such and such a treatment/test/prevention is too expensive so we need to use it as little as possible.

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      1. IMHO, insurance companies have one goal: to make as much money as possible…. that is NOT the goal I think they should have.
        I wish I knew a solution, but I don’t know how our government can fix our own healthcare system, either… That said, I hope both of our governments make this a priority.
        Yesterday, I heard a newscaster say that research had proven that tylenol and pain killers really don’t help lower back pain, that acupuncture, yoga, etc. were more effective…. I wonder how many people they got addicted to pain medication before they figured that out?

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  7. I can relate to this all too well. I’ve had way too many doctors treat me poorly because they couldn’t figure out what’s wrong in a five-minute exam. Thankfully I now have a fantastic rheumatologist but I still deal with this treatment from other doctors all the time. I’m so sorry that any of us have to deal with this. I won’t stop writing about it until things change!

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  8. When you have chronic illnesses, you end up with so many “normal tests” but still have constant symptoms. One of my fears is that a test or diagnosis will be negative, when I’m having debilitating pain/fatigue/etc. Just like you wrote, what we want are answers and solutions, not additional diseases! Great post.

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  9. I’ve been there, too. For over 15 years, I was misdiagnosed and made to feel like it was my fault. For a while, I gave up. Then, I fought back and went to doctor after doctor, and was finally given help. Never stop fighting for yourself.

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  10. Don’t be afraid to question the doctor, or person giving you the test. Remember this is your life. Also don’t be afraid to call your hospitalization coverage. Take NOTES. After reading notes if you don’t understand and depending on how the person treated you, call back. I went though a lot myself. Then one day I go wait a minute, I need more information. We are the odd patients, that really, really test doctors. Take 100 patients, 99 are normal, but there I am the one that will drive my doctors “bonkers”. Hope this helps a little.

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    1. Oh, I am not afraid any more. And I always have my hubby there so if I am in a fibro-fog he understands everything and backs me up when needed. BTW, thanks for the follow! I am looking forward to spending more time at your blog!

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