Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Plea to colleagues by doctor felled by ME

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Countrygirl, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,202
    Likes:
    16,746
    UK
    https://www.reddit.com/r/cfs/comments/6sneul/a_plea_from_a_fallen_doctor_on_chronic_fatigue/

    A plea from a fallen doctor on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) (self.cfs)

    submitted 11 hours ago by fallendocR53-82

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2017
  2. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,202
    Likes:
    16,746
    UK
    The comments are interesting. One poster raises the possibility that this story might have been composed by a well-meaning patient in order to attract the interest of doctors. I can quite understand his concern and he raises some persuasive points. The usual Klimas quote makes me a little suspicious too.

    I hope the author reveals his identity as it is a powerful piece if genuine.
     
  3. TrixieStix

    TrixieStix Senior Member

    Messages:
    531
    Likes:
    879
    That was my first thought as well. The way it is written seems a bit contrived.
     
  4. Murph

    Murph :)

    Messages:
    531
    Likes:
    2,700
    yes that's me raising a ruckus in the comments. I'm ashamed of being so skeptical but there's something odd about the neatness of this tale.
     
  5. bombsh3ll

    bombsh3ll Senior Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes:
    464
    He could be me. I am a GP in the UK who also I am ashamed to say bought into the attitude that no abnormality on standard tests = no somatic illness.

    I have been so humbled since being struck down with ME myself, and also received no help from the NHS that I have worked for my entire professional life.

    His words ring true to me, and I hope they have some impact on the profession.

    I also wish I could afford to try Rituximab.
     
  6. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

    Messages:
    942
    Likes:
    4,717
    S W England
    Thanks for posting this @Countrygirl I don't see why the skepticism-as we know from PR, this illness affects all kinds of people in every profession and no profession. I think he/she have not identified themselves because if he gets well, having 'CFS' on his CV would pretty much guarantee that he would meet the same level of disbelief and suspicion from his peers that we experience from many DRs
     
  7. bombsh3ll

    bombsh3ll Senior Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes:
    464
    I have come across quite a few health care professionals affected by ME on forums. We are probably exposed to a wider range of pathogens in the course of our work than the average person.

    I think it is ironic (but to a degree understandable) that as patients we are so often disbelieved and dismissed by doctors, yet here is a doctor talking about their illness facing the same response from fellow patients.

    ME truly can strike anyone, & it is a double blow finding ones self on the other side of the consulting desk. It makes you feel very vulnerable and stripped of your professional identity.
     
    meadowlark, Esperanza, suseq and 29 others like this.
  8. Starlight

    Starlight Senior Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes:
    669
    I know a do October who has had ME for about a decade. He has not told any of his medical colleagues because he is all too aware of the dismissive attitudes they have. He can work part time as a GP.and lives a totally reclusive life in order to continue that. I think there are many reasons why one wants to maintain their anonymity and we have to respect that.
     
  9. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

    Messages:
    2,896
    Likes:
    10,091
    Being skeptical of this specific tale because the way it is written sounds like someone who both is new to the illness and well familiar with it in a way that implies being ill for quite some time doesn't in any way imply the idea that Dr's can't get sick with ME. I think we're all pretty well aware that anyone can be struck down-- this has been said many times by many people here. Dr's are no more immune than anyone else.

    It's certainly possible that the author is indeed who they say. But multiple people have had the exact same thought on reading the tale which is kind of odd in itself.
     
  10. Murph

    Murph :)

    Messages:
    531
    Likes:
    2,700
    There's the story itself , plus a few little contextual clues on reddit that make the story look odd, but I think another reason I distrust this is it is for many of us, the exact fantasy we've had so many times.

    The doctor who didn't believe us, the one with the prestigious degree, his own practice, his amazing arrogance - is cut down by ME. He becomes not only utterly humbled and empathetic and apologetic, but a powerful advocate for us!

    If trashy ME novels were a genre that plot line would be the best-selling one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    Azriel, aaron_c, pattismith and 6 others like this.
  11. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes:
    21,540
    Germany
    It wouldn't have occurred to me to doubt that he was genuine. Unless you've got something more concrete to back up your suspicions, I can't see what purpose you're serving by airing them.
     
  12. Daisymay

    Daisymay Senior Member

    Messages:
    738
    Likes:
    4,018
    The whole ME and PACE saga, when you think about it must sound quite unbelievable to outsiders who are trusting and decent (and naive!). If made into a film, what's happened to us all over so many decades, so many twists and turns, so utterly appalling, the David versus Goliath aspect, it may come over as being very contrived and trashy, as if the writer had really stretching credibility.

    But unfortunately its true!
     
  13. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes:
    5,030
    I was also skeptic when I first read. This line in particular:

    "I used to see CFS patients fairly often in my practice".

    Fairly often? It's not a common illness.
     
    Azriel and Murph like this.
  14. Daisymay

    Daisymay Senior Member

    Messages:
    738
    Likes:
    4,018
    They used to say that there were disproportionate numbers of nurses and teachers with ME because of being exposed to infections as you say. Teachers, certainly of young children, get exposed to loads of infections, but then so do parents of those children, but I guess not so many.

    I can imagine there is an additional burden for a health care professional to have ME, your view of your own profession is I'd imagine irrevocably altered.

    For us all our beliefs and views of so many things and so many people is brought into question and our professional identities lost on top of loosing our health, no chronic disease is easy, but ME is particularly difficult, no doubt about that.
     
  15. bombsh3ll

    bombsh3ll Senior Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes:
    464
    I guess it depends on the size of the practice, the medical specialty & of course the correct diagnosis of patients. Without sufficient knowledge of the condition, and with the muddying of the classification from ME to "CFS" (the latter a term I do not use as I do not feel it accurately describes my illness), a large and heterogenous group of people with various fatiguing conditions can be categorized as "CFS" or ME/CFS when they do not genuinely have ME.

    I would not have understood this until becoming ill myself. I am certainly not just "fatigued"!

    The doctor posting this (and indeed any health professional now unwell with ME) should be comforted therefore that a significant number of those with "CFS" he treated with antidepressants and exercise will have improved with these measures, as they would probably not have had actual ME.
     
  16. Barry53

    Barry53 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    Likes:
    13,705
    UK
    And yet, also ironically, you and fellow medical professional PwME are, in a way, specially placed to be heard and listened to, especially by the BPS crew.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    MEMum, Jan, Luther Blissett and 2 others like this.
  17. snowathlete

    snowathlete

    Messages:
    3,312
    Likes:
    14,618
    UK
    It is common, there are loads of ME patients all over the place. I know about half a dozen who live within one minute walk of me. (That's one minute for a normal person of course).
     
  18. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

    Messages:
    942
    Likes:
    4,717
    S W England
    Yes! and to be fair WE are all posting anonymously on here...so why do we expect this Dr to identify themselves- we don't!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  19. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes:
    5,030
    Luther Blissett and Countrygirl like this.
  20. geraldt52

    geraldt52 Senior Member

    Messages:
    399
    Likes:
    1,549
    I was struck by this statement: "And when patients didn't come back, I subconsciously assumed they had gotten better, and that I was justified in my approach."

    There is no doubt in my mind that this could be equally applied to most, if not all, of the "CFS specialists" out there...not just the BPS crowd. When I read of "70% success rate" and the like, my nonsense warning goes off, and I'm afraid that a lot of very expensive "CFS specialists" are guilty of this.

    I'd like to think that they aren't intentionally lying, but that they are making an assumption that is totally unjustified. Just because a patient doesn't come back, especially a patient known to be chronically ill, doesn't mean a treatment has cured them.

    When you've stopped seeing a doctor without notice, has anyone ever had the doctor's office contact you to see how you're doing, and inquire if their "treatment" has worked?
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page