The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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My worst doctor story...

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by DanME, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. DanME

    DanME Senior Member

    I guess, a lot of us had really bad experiences with certain kind of doctors. I ve just had an appointment with a cardiologist and I am really angry and furious about it. So I need to tell you, what happened.

    I told her my story and asked her to check out my constant tachycardia and the possibility of severe OI and POTS (I didn't say anything about CFS, just described my symptoms).
    She looked a bit sceptical, but ordered nevertheless some tests. Her staff did an echocardiogram, an ECG, I did an exercise test and surprisingly managed to finish it, and finally she ordered 24h blood pressure monitoring.

    I week later I came to discuss the results. The first thing she said to me (I kid you not), was that I clearly had a life crises and needed therapy. This hit me really hard. I was confused and asked her, if we could discuss the results first. She said, my heart looked really healthy (good to know), my ECG was without abnormalities, my blood pressure at the exercise test was too high, but I was clearly untrained (yeah) and my 24h monitoring showed some episodes of too high and too low blood pressure.

    Then she continued and told me, it was clear to her, that I was depressed and untrained and I didn't know, how to continue with my life. I got angry and asked her, if she had a degree in psychology. She ignored my question and went on asking me, why I stopped my studies and I told her the reason were my severe symptoms and my constant exhaustion. Then (I couldn't believe it), she asked me, if I ever had accomplished and finished anything, if I ever attended class or participated in exams. I told her, that she was really offensive and I studied really hard, before my body forced me to stop and her job was to help me, not to play the psychiatrist. She stopped and said, she could offer me a tilt table test, but my angry reaction was clearly a sign, that she was on the right track. I didn't know, what to say anymore.

    When I left the building, I had to sit down awhile and deal with my severe feelings of neglect, anger, rage and I felt really abused by her.
  2. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

    This is some really unprofessional behaviour. And some hardcore psychobabble too: regardless of how you react, to her it's always a confirmation that she's right.
  3. BadBadBear

    BadBadBear Senior Member

    Rocky Mountains
    Wow, I am sorry you had to experience that, Daniel. :( You did well standing up for yourself.
    Little Bluestem, WillowJ, zzz and 5 others like this.
  4. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

    New Mexico
    Isn't it infuriating!:mad: I have so been there and if any Dr. ever started that sh***t with me again I would tell them to blow it out their arss........and I would immediately leave. (Oh dear.......I think I'm having a bad morning) Sorry Daniel..........that you had to put up with that BS. The last neurologist that I saw.............asked me if I had considered that it could all be in my head (and we all know he wasn't relating this statement to any physiology).......this was after getting tested for some pretty serious neurological symptoms and of course the tests all came back normal. I had also asked him at that visit if he could prescribe me a wheelchair which he refused.............I guess because "ITS ALL IN MY HEAD" Yeah..........I just want a wheelchair for funsies.
  5. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

    Left Coast
    I'm proud of you for standing up to her and telling her she was out of line. If you were giving up on your life you wouldn't be there asking for help. (I had someone who treats CFS tell me I was bipolar. It turns out I was having a reaction to the cleaning products in her office).

    If you can file a grievance against her I would. Then move on and put this behind you. She is not spending one minute of her time thinking about you after this so don't waste your's on her.
  6. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

    OH USA
    What a psycho-bitch! Some doctors should give up the healer-thing and go back to the lab.
  7. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

    Sorry to hear of your troubles with the doctor. In my journey, I have found cardiologists and neurologists to be the most patronizing (abusive) and dismissive of my symptoms. I was told by my (fired!) primary that they deal with much more significant illnesses so don't really care about a few psychosomatic complaints.

    How much more significant can you get than ME/CFS! Too many of us have lost friends, families, homes, jobs, dignity, ability to care for ourselves, and more. You want a "life crisis"? How bout losing your life to a horrible disease and then being abused by doctors? There's a crisis for you, and it's not in our heads, it's in the heads of all the doctors who refuse to read, learn, and listen to their patients. I'm with you, @Tammy - bad day lol!
  8. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

    Vancouver, British Columbia
    @DanielBR - I'm sorry about the disappointing appointment with your cardiologist. Unfortunately, though, I'm not surprised by it. I hope that you made an appointment to have the tilt table test because maybe this will prove to your doctor that there really is something wrong and her comments were unwarranted.
    DanME, WillowJ, Sushi and 1 other person like this.
  9. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    Sorry to hear of your ordeal! Wow, what a head case herself!

    DanME, AndyPandy and MeSci like this.
  10. SDSue

    SDSue Southeast

    When scheduling the tilt table test, it's important that you get it interpreted by someone knowledgeable in POTS/OI. Better yet is having it done by a doctor who actually treats POTS, but that is sometimes very hard to find. At the very least, you should ask to see the results while they are being discussed with you.

    My test was done by a cardiologist who told me I was simply anxious. He and his nurse then had a good laugh when the nurse suggested I needed to drink more wine in the evenings. At that point, I had not actually seen the results, which were undeniably severe POTS, as suspected by my classic symptoms.

    When the same data was shown to a knowledgable physician, proper treatment was finally undertaken and I have seen improvement. This whole process took me over 2 years of being dismissed as psychosomatic. All of this could have been avoided by a doctor listening to me and caring enough to run even a basic "poor man's tilt table test", which you can even do yourself at home.

    Thanks to PR, we can help each other fight through the odyssey of diagnosis and treatment of our very serious condition. Best of luck to you!
    taniaaust1, DanME, WillowJ and 10 others like this.
  11. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

  12. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

    Cornwall, UK
    I don't think many of them are intelligent or disciplined enough to do lab work.

    I would definitely complain about this - it's disgraceful.
  13. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

    OH USA
    @MeSci Good point and sorry to all our lab people.
  14. Cheshire

    Cheshire Senior Member

    Sorry to hear you've been so strongly mistreated.

    What an unethical attitude. It's not medicine, it is moral judgment. There is no justification to such words. In her depression theory, it’s not acceptable either. A depressed person depreciate, and I don't see how despise could help...
  15. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

    New Zealand
    Sorry to hear your story. What a useless doctor. :hug:
    DanME, MeSci and AndyPandy like this.
  16. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

    Northcoast NSW, Australia
  17. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

    Disgusting behaviour by your cardiologist @DanielBR. Sorry you had to go through this. Agree with @SDSue about cardiologists and neurologists. Matches my experiences.
    PennyIA, DanME, MeSci and 1 other person like this.
  18. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

    @DanielBR I, too, am so sorry you had to go through this and I have had similar experiences with doctors in the past and I do not think you should see this doctor again. Is there any possibility of seeing another cardiologist who is more familiar with heart rhythm and autonomic issues (or is just a more decent, humane person?!!!)

    In my former career as a social worker/therapist (before I became ill with CFS), I actually worked with many students who did have to take medical leaves from college due to depression, anxiety, psychosis, etc, and never in my life have I spoken to one of them in the manner in which that cardiologist spoke with you.

    I know that is a separate issue and you are dealing with CFS, POTS, tachycardia & OI (pretty much all the same stuff as me!) but the point I was trying to make is that regardless if you were coming to see her for tachycardia and POTS or you were a patient with depression/anxiety-- in both cases she should:

    1) Treat you with respect.

    2) Not make any assumptions or diagnosis until ALL the testing is done b/c she could miss a major cardiac issue based on her judgmental attitude and arrogance.

    3) If she doesn't know how to diagnose or treat POTS and autonomic dysfunction, then refer you to a colleague or specialist who does.

    4) Back where I started, treat you with respect as she would want to be treated herself.

    Don't let her ignorance allow you to stop pursuing treatment and you sound very determined and a fighter and I wish you the best. Are there any ME specialists in Germany?
    Alea Ishikawa, DanME, WillowJ and 3 others like this.
  19. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

    Dr's are not on a pedestal. They took a bunch of classes and passed them and got a piece of paper called a degree. It doesn't even prove they are above average intelligence nor that they don't have ulterior motives. So far I have wasted so much money on doctors I thought could help me. The only person that will help you is you, and maybe you'll find a doctor that can assist you. This is my current opinion until I find a better doctor.
  20. globalpilot

    globalpilot Senior Member

    Yep, been through this a couple of times. I've learned to take what I need and leave the rest. It is very upsetting to go through this though and it just shouldn't be this way.
    She really just has no clue whatsoever.
    MeSci and SDSue like this.

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