I feel like I have been at war with white coats (doctors) for my entire adult life.
Some of the battles were minor in comparison to the ones that put my life at risk, but nonetheless, each and every one of them drained me both physically and emotionally.
Oh let’s not forget about how they drained my bank account. Second, third, and twenty-first opinions aren’t free! Neither are the repeat testing that the new doc orders just because he doesn’t want to accept or look at the results from the prior tests.
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My first battle lasted 8 long years. I had loose cartilage in my knee that would jam into the joint.
When this happened, I couldn’t put pressure on it. Yet with each ER and doctor visit I was told to rest until the pain went away, then to exercise and lose 10lbs!!!!
Knowing that I would be told to stay off it until the pain subsided each time, I ended buying my own crutches. It was easier and less expensive than having to continue renting them from the pharmacy.
Finally, after falling down a flight of stairs a doctor took my complaint seriously and it was later fixed with surgery.
False sense of security
My luck appeared to change soon after my knee surgery. When I went to my OBGYN with complaints of severe pain with every other cycle, he quickly scheduled an exploratory surgery when tests weren’t conclusive. And thank God he did, because I had a massive cyst that had adhered not only to my left ovary, but also to my fallopian tube, uterus, and bladder.
To top it off it was also adhered to my sidewall and was pulling all of those organs to it as well. In fact my fallopian tube and uterus also had to be released from the sidewall.
A year later a visit to the ER while on vacation resulted in an emergency appendectomy and later when the pain I had prior to the exploratory surgery returned my OBGYN scheduled a hysterectomy.
At this point I fell into a false sense of security. I truly believed that doctors listened and would do whatever possible to help their patients. That was until the pain that triggered the exploratory surgery returned after my hysterectomy.
From that point I was told that it was all in my head.
One doctor, who prior to my hysterectomy told me that he didn’t believe that fibromyalgia was a real disease, later blamed my pain on it.
Throughout a two year period I saw 21 doctors before finding one who would take my pain seriously. The others either blamed my chronic illnesses or told me that they would be happy to refer me to a psychologist.
To be honest, I did reach a point where I began believing that maybe I was losing my mind. If it hadn’t been for the mess that was finally revealed in surgery, I probably would have had lost it.
Later I would continue to battle adhesions. They became an ongoing problem even after all the endometriosis was removed. Little did I know that this battle would later give me the strength to once again fight for my life.
A new battle plan
Surgical scarring continued the spread. They would adhere to my organs and abdominal lining. Then they would rip from them and create more scar tissue.
Until 2 years ago I believed and was told by my doctors that the only way to deal with them was thru surgery. But because I had had so many abdominal surgeries (8 by the last time they were strangling my bowels) I couldn’t find a surgeon willing to perform my 9th abdominal surgery.
At the time I felt as though I had been issued my death sentence. They gave no other options other than being offered the equivalent of end of life pain care. Not ready to give up, I continued my quest to find a solution. When I heard that ultrasound therapy had been known to break up adhesions, I quickly asked my physicians if we could give it a try. But my HMO quickly denied it, saying it wasn’t a common practice within their network and they would not pursue or cover it.
Thankfully I soon discovered pemf therapy. By running treatments on my abdomen, I was able to relieve the pain that my doctors swore nothing could be done for! Within days my pain went from excruciating to mild. Within weeks it was completely gone!
I wouldn’t be here today had I not fought the white coats. I would be dead or unable to function from severe abdominal pain had I believed them when they said nothing more could be done.
The white coats have failed me. Seeing how many people aren’t able to achieve a decent level of pain relief, I’d say they’re failing them too.
It’s a good thing that I’m stubborn. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here to celebrate my 50th birthday. Learn from my experience! Never give up and don’t be afraid to look outside or in my case inside the box!