• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of, and finding treatments for, complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

1st "Disability Doctor" Visit - AWFUL!!!

realjoy;68732 said:
I'm in the early stages of my case, and DES set up an appt for me with a doctor. I was confused because it was at a radiology office, so I thought maybe they wanted to do imaging or something. WRONG. This guy used to be an "occupational doctor". He sounded like he was English, going by his accent. He was quite abrupt and seemed very 'suspicious' of me (for lack of a better word).

First off, they set it for first thing in the morning! With insomnia and the whole cfs/fibro sleep issues, it's a nightmare for me to get up that early and I pay for it for days. The doctor ended up running half an hour late, which made me mad...I could have slept longer. Once in the room, he started asking general questions, and asked about smoking, alcohol use and illegal drug use. I answered no to all three. He goes "No one ever answers yes to the drug question. All Americans do illegal drugs". Are you kidding me?!? I said "well, this one doesn't".

The worst part though was the way he "examined" me. We talked at length about my pain, and yet at one point he pulled out one of those mallets that test your reflexes and hit me HARD on the forearms, upper arms, legs, etc. I let him know that it hurt by my reaction. Then he took one of my outstretched legs and started pushing it upward (while I"m sitting up) and it hurt like hell. I was in so much pain by this point, I started crying a little. Get this! He says "Why are you crying? People don't cry because of pain. Do you have emotional problems? Is something else bothering you?" OMG!!! I told him that, no, I don't' have emotional issues...it just HURT!

The weird thing was as I was getting up to leave he said "sorry I hurt you" (back to me, without looking at me) and I said "I guess it's to be expected". Then he looked me right in the eyes and said "good luck". I don't know what to make of that.

I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I am still upset at this guy! I spent the rest of the day in tremendous pain from the places he hit and agitated . My lower back and knees are hurting so bad I can't hardly stand it! I've also been really nauseous since a couple of hours after the appt.

Anyone else ever have an "exam" like this??? I know this guy is paid by DES to disprove my inability to work, but come on! He seemed to go way overboard. Also...my husband is in the habit of going with me to my appointments as my "memory" (both to help me remember things to tell the doctor and to also remember the doctor's instructions). Out of habit, he came in with me but the doctor seemed put off by this. Later, I wondered if that will in any way affect my case negatively? Thoughts?


Jeez. I wonder if the guy can sleep at night (because of his conscience, not ME lol) he's doing a job with a cruel brief. It's got to do something to his psyche, IMHO.

I think you proved your disability to him, by his parting shot, "good luck", and that he made eye contact. Having your husband with you for the appointment should only confirm your difficulties.

Nasty (spit) medicals are just another of the joys of having ME. Hopefully, with all the discoveries being made now, and with all the excellent advocacy going on, the 'established facts' will move closer to the reality we experience day to day.

It took me nine days to get over my ATOS medical (UK disability) last August.
Hi Joy -- I sent you a private message about this. Let me know if you get it or not.
this guy sounds like a total a-hole! where is he located, if he lives anyone near me, I'll stop in and tear him a new one!
I am really sorry to hear of your experience.

The first Rheumatologist that I was sent to, treated me like a lump of meat in a meat processing factory. He threw my x-rays & scans up to the light with such speed, there's no way he could have looked at them properly.

He got me to lie down & lifted each arm & leg with the same speed & then said gruffly, nothing much wrong with you & hustled me out he door before I could reply. I reported his behaviour & rudeness to my GP who had referred me. Luckily, his consultation was years before I was assessed by a Job Capacity Assessor.

By the sound of the Dr who had given you an apology for hurting you & good luck wishes, I felt he was actually sorry he had to put you through that. I suspect he has been instructed by the Powers that Be to REALLY PUSH YOUR PAIN "strings" & treat you gruffly, in the hope it will expose any false claims on your part.

And you responded with genuine pain.

I would try to put the consultation behind you, otherwise you will be distressed & upset for days (if not weeks).

I was upset for quite some time after my 2 different bad experiences with specialists. I get angry easily & no dount you have good reason to get angry too.

(I would certainly take his apology as a good sign).

PS. After a very bad experience from an orthopaedic surgeon (from whom I sought a 2nd opinion about my back), I sat down & typed a long letter of complaint & objection to his rudeness & lack of professional etiquette. I never sent the letter to the surgeon, but by writing down a summary of the whole consultation & the surgeon's bad behaviour, i felt much much better. I suggest you try & do the same.

I used to write letters (to myself) at work when something or someone had upset me & I always found that by getting it down on paper, it took away some of the distress I felt.

I still have all those letters (to myself).
I understand your frustration. I can feel your pain literally. Again, it just shows how people can be so cold and insensitive and he clearly had a bias to begin with. I think what I am hearing from you is that you want to know if anyone else did this but also, "can you believe someone did this?" It's completely inappropriate behavior and you need to be in touch with someone to report this. If you don't, he'll do this to someone else and I am sure he already has and people don't feel they have the power to change anything...so they don't rat him out. DO SOMETHING. You will feel better for tattling. And he deserves a swift kick in the ass.
What an insensitive jerk. I am familiar with OcMed docs (for work comp injuries) and they usually rely on an OT performing a Functional Capacity Exam (FCE) for Range of Motion (ROM). If the OT finds the pt is in pain, she would end the exam. The report is then passed to the physician and he/she would base their disability ratings on that along with a brief exam. Sounds like the doctor just wants to make some quick cash without having to worry about pt's care.

I hope at least with all the movements that he will at least affirm your disability.
Hi Joy,

On the 'can you believe it' question - yes. These guys work in weird ways. I have a story not re: ME/CFS but thought you might appreciate one more affirmation these guys really can be insensitive jerks.

Hmmm. are they always guys? I don't think so. We ran into a very rude woman neurologist testing my CFS hubby. So long as he could follow her fingers with his eyes, touch his nose and his knees responded to the little hammer, he was fine and she told us we were wasting her time and to get out. She really did say that. I believe she was the last in the line of 20+ neurologists over 5 years, Fortunately not too long after we learned about Dr. Myhill and this thing called ME/CFS.

To my story: I fell of my bike and tore my shoulder to bits. The surgeon tried the least intrusive route of just pinning it together to heal. After about 3 months I had to see the insurance doc for my insurance claim for work for the six weeks the pin was in and I could not use the arm. The shoulder was still not quite right, drooping a bit, but it functioned. I had not done tons of physio on it but some so had some range of motion.

This Doc. took my arm behind my back to check range of motion and instead of moving my arm up slowly until I said ouch, he jerked it up. Yup, that brought tears to my eyes. And tore my shoulder apart again. He also apologised. I ended up with more major surgery and screws in for 5 months. To this day I don't know if he was a sadist, or could see it was not right and figured the only way to make sure it got fixed was to split it apart again. I really don't know which it was. But of course insurance found some reason to only pay for the first time off work, not the second lot. This was in France and my French is not good enough to easily complain or I certainly would have.

Blog entry information

Last update

More entries in User Blogs

More entries from realjoy

  • Please help!
    I hate to ask again, but my daughter is the one that is fighting to win...