Sexism In Healthcare Is Real … Women Are Sharing Times They Were Misdiagnosed Because Their Doctors Didn't Take Them Seriously

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Given past experiences in opening threads on this subject, I’m hoping that we’ll be allowed to express our experiences, reactions, and feelings regarding this issue without contention …

Women Are Sharing Times They Were Misdiagnosed Because Their Doctors Didn't Take Them Seriously, And Sexism In Healthcare Is Real …
https://news.yahoo.com/people-were-misdiagnosed-serious-issues-164602728.html


MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ALMOST COST ME MY LIFE.

Five different Drs, including my PCP of 17 years, dismissed my symptoms and complaints (deep fatigue, extreme weight loss, drenching night sweats, mysterious bruises, swollen eck glands, huge abdominal bloat, severe constipation, indescribably fierce, gnawing lower back pain) with various versions of “..it’s all in your head …”, ranging from stress to overwork to lack of exercise (this at a time when I was still forcing myself out on my standard daily skates, up and down hills, juping curbs and dog leashes, covering at least 2 ½ - 4 miles, regardless of weather, except for rain which makes the silicone wheels on my in-lines treacherous ….

After over 2-plus years of dragging myself from Dr to Dr, specialist to specialist, I was finally diagnosed in the ER my hub DB dragged me to by a Physician’s Assistant, in less than 15 minutes and after an emergency CT. I spent the next 5 ½ weeks in the hospital.

When my PCP learned about this, which was a lsost immediately since he was contacted by the ER when I was admitted to the hospital, his response? Not an apology, not a supportive “I got you”….. he altered my medical records and eliminated every symptom, including my weight at the time of my last visit to him, which was just 2 ½ weeks before the ER, along with all the blood test results that clearly indicated the potential of a stage 3 lymphatic cancer. He noted my weight at the time as 135 lbs (it was 112 when I was admitted to the hospital 2 ½ weeks later).

He’s still practicing.


HERE’S AN EXCERPT OF JUST ONE OF THE TWENTY-FIVE EXAMPLES FROM THE ARTICLE. THE BOLDED PART (MINE) AT THE BOTTOM IS DEEPLY DISTRESSING ….

A few months after my hysterectomy, I developed a lump on my hip. I was sent to a dermatologist, who sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon did a two-minute ultrasound and no other tests. He then declared I was 'simply more generous' on that side and that I should 'go home and ignore it.' When I asked about exercise or anything I could do, he shrugged. A few months later, I was in the hospital. The swelling had gone from my hip down to my foot and then turned bright red. The doctor there was shocked, because diagnosing me should have been 'an easy catch.' I was suffering from a complication of my hysterectomy: Lymphedema, which is not uncommon. The redness and pain, which was from the lymphedema, was now causing cellulitis, which has repeatedly reoccurred. I’ve been hospitalized six times in the last five years from it, from three to ten days apiece. "

"Had the surgeon properly examined me and made that 'easy catch,' it would have been easily treated by physical therapy and compression garments. Now, I am waiting on the several surgeries I am going to need, which is not a happy prospect when you have an autoimmune disease. Even with my good insurance, this is going to cost us a ridiculous amount of money we don’t really have. THIS SURGEON HAS NOTHING BUT FIVE-STAR REVIEWS. MY ONE-STAR REVIEW WAS REMOVED."
 
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Such a horrific experience that simply should never have happened yet happened and then happened more.

Praise be that somehow you got through all that. Now where is our refresh button located?

***

below is some personal whining and examples- no need to wade thru this unless anyone is truly into it....

My parents tried to get me help for my spinal troubles when I was 12. I was in miserable pain. The church pew became intolerable. And I had been made fun of at church camp. This was a huge trauma. Ridiculed for something is wrong with my spine. I'd had mono already, and would soon be getting it again.

I was taken to the official osteo- something bone doctor. EXRAYS.

Conclusion: you have your own unique beauty. (see already, its about your appearance, as a female)

No help for back.

My parents never told me that the orthodontist recommended I get plastic surgery and get my chin bobbed and nose foreshortened. (bobbed, I'm borderline chinless now).

(I just won't get into the actual direct physical abuse I experienced from at least TWO medical doctors. Or any of the gyno horrors (ok add the OB GYN accused me of having an hysterical pregnancy) ). Oh he was thorough (not).

That was about hating midwives. I had midwives.

I recall going over to the student health center, unable to walk due to the back pain. I had to end wearing female shoes.

So your never pretty, because your never able to wear a dress, because you can never wear pretty lady shoes. Can't wear slip on flats, as my left foot is half size smaller.

Meanwhile- after the assaults, so much for visiting any doctors. And my mom, drugged up by her favorite doctor, was returning to be a bit normal again. "Do not take their pills", me Thinks.

The only reason I ever agreed to get near any more doctor types was...me trying to get a few Xanax so I could actually sleep so I could actually go to a meeting for work.

I wish I could recall more about my eight year saga with the Physicians assistant. When the nurse who ran the office, pulled me aside and said: You Understand Your Not Seeing a Real Doctor....(I should have realized that was a message to me, and taken more heed). But not long thereafter, my insurance was dropped, and I changed plans and I found my wonderful doctor.

so far, no specialist has ever helped me, so tag that on.

he altered my medical records and eliminated every symptom, including my weight at the time of my last visit to him, which was just 2 ½ weeks before the ER, along with all the blood test results that clearly indicated the potential of a stage 3 lymphatic cancer. He noted my weight at the time as 135 lbs (it was 112 when I was admitted to the hospital 2 ½ weeks later).
I'm surprised you could even figure that out. You must have had papers. I assume you did not sue.
 

splusholia

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My friend was turned away by an NHS doctor when she had bad stomach aches and other symptoms which made her suspect cancer. He said ‘you don’t look like you have cancer’, refused further investigation and implied she was just anxious. She works in a hospital and she ended up getting her friends there to do a scan, etc, after they’d finished work. All very delayed though, after the initial symptoms. She passed away last August at the age of 41, with two young children. I really mistrust doctors at this point.
 
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She passed away last August at the age of 41, with two young children. I really mistrust doctors at this point.
Oh, crap @splusholia .... I'm so sorry. It's hard to imagine the pain and rage this causes to her friends, her family, and especially her two young children.


Needless death at such a relatively young age, and these days if you're diagnosed soon enough, cancer isn't the near-automatic death sentence that it was years ago ... needless death, particularly when it's delivered in such a callously casual way, is particularly painful and infuriating.

Like you, my trust level for Drs has been reduced to close to nothing. I know there are good ones, or at least I know that I read about them, and Ive had better-than-average luck in terms of survival. But it was just dumb luck.

When two vertebra in my spine were collapsing and both crushing and sawing a critical nerve bundle in half, 3 Drs and one highly-lauded chiropractor all told me it was tendonitis or a strained muscle. If I hadn't kept my promise to my dad and somehow managed to pack up and crawl on a plane to go visit him (the pain was excruciating, and Id already lost most of the strength and range of motion in that arm), I would have lost the use of my left arm entirely. He had a great neurologist and neurosurgeon, who took a few Xrays and immediately put me in the hospital, scheduled an emergency spinal, and I was on the operating table 36 hours later. It took over 6 hours to repair the damage and a good-sized chunk of my hip.

I thought all the dismissive misdiagnoses were a fluke. As you're also learned in the one of the hardest ways possible, I found out that sadly, that seems to be the norm. And WAAAAAAY more so for women than for men, based on stats.

Which is not to say that men get a golden pass. They have their horror stories, too. It's just that ours are more predictable.

I'm hoping that your friend's children were taken in by family, and not left to the mercies of yet another flawed system. Lemme know if you can, yes?

EDIT .... for an apostrophe. Yes, I'm just that OCD-ish .... I prefer to think of it as perfectionism, which isnt much better and is closely related, so where's the win in that I asks 'ya .....
 
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My husband would have died from the ruptured appendix.

I called though. So maybe the fact that a female called, is why I was told my husband was likely just constipated.

The miracle was a cancellation and the nurse called us back (not the doctor, who actually spoke to me announcing constipated).

Five minutes. Into the ER they sent him and he spent a week there.
 

Zebra

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Thank you for sharing your personal stories with us @YippeeKi YOW !! . I remembered the reprehensible delay in your lymphoma diagnosis, but did not know about the sh*t you went through with your spine. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

It's one thing to experience poor health or misfortune in life, almost all of us have or will.

It's inexcusable that the physical pain and suffering is needlessly drawn out and worsened by a medical community that dismisses women's symptoms up until the point they become permanently disabling or life-threatening.

@Slushiefan, thank you for sharing your friend's story. It hit me really hard. I'm so sorry this happened to your friend and I offer you my condolences.

I have my own story or two to share, and perhaps I will another time.

Additionally, it seems about once a week I come across a newspaper or magazine article (which have been fact-checked) about women who were repeatedly dismissed by their doctors and yet kept knocking on doors until they got answers. The most frequent answer for women seems to be late-stage cancer with a brutal treatment plan and poor prognosis.

Would it be OK if I shared these newspaper or magazine stories here on this thread?
 

Strawberry

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“Women don’t have heart disease, they have anxiety. Quit stressing out about everything and you will be fine.”

I Quit eating anything with food coloring and my heart palpitations are near zero now. I had them daily for decades.

“Nobody is aware of their heart beat. NOBODY.”

Well last night my garmin smart watch also was alarmed at my rapid heart rate. That I could hear. Guess y’all can start calling me Nobody.

:p
 
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Women don’t have heart disease, they have anxiety
On my more cynical days I think you can replace 'heart disease' with any ailment under the sun.

When I think of my own experience of not being believed by the first rheumatologists my primary care doctor sent me to when I initially had ME/CFS symptoms I don't feel angry anymore--I just feel sad.

But I do feel angry when I think of my mother. Following a severe illness in 2010 she developed neurological symptoms such as debilitating migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, tingling and numbness in her hands and feet, difficulty with walking and balance, and many more. She was told that she could take ibuprofen for the pain, and that she if she could reduce stress by taking up yoga and quitting her job her symptoms would resolve or at least greatly improve. She quit the job she loved (she had been working as a nurse--thankfully my father was in a position to support them both) and signed up for yoga classes. Her symptoms just got worse. When she persisted in trying to find a neurologist who could help or at least give her some answers, she was told that several very smart doctors had already found that nothing was wrong with her, and she needed to stop shopping around.

She died in 2014 from a catastrophic neurological event. The brain damage was so extensive (compounded by the fact that she hit her head after losing consciousness), that the doctors who tried to treat her as well as the medical examiner weren't able to determine exactly what happened. Who knows if any doctor could have prevented this eventual outcome. But I when I remember how one of the strongest women I have ever known emerged from her doctors' offices in tears over and over again, it makes me burn with anger.

This is such a sore topic for so many of us. Hugs for all.
 
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Absolutely not a problem. Altho this thread is aimed at the grotesque dismissive mistreatment of women, particularly, by the medical community, it doesn't ignore the fact that men may get the same bullshite treatment .... they just dont usually get it as predictably and determinedly as women ....

3 years later, still no sign of the cancer.......
:D:D :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: :rofl::rofl::rofl: .... I hope you're not waiting standing up ....

Do you think it might be the protective aspects of all those mushy peas :D:D:D ???
 
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“Women don’t have heart disease, they have anxiety. Quit stressing out about everything and you will be fine.”
I'd say that's gobsmackingly idiotic, but it would be gilding the lily ....


I'm glad that you found your own way of dealing with it successfully, particularly considering the .... uh .... helpful input that you were getting medically :):):):) .....
 
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She died in 2014 from a catastrophic neurological event.
Oh ReRe .... I'm so deeply sorry. Your expression of the history that preceded this brought back a lot of miserable memories, and when I say I can feel your pain, I truly, deeply mean it ....
Who knows if any doctor could have prevented this eventual outcome. But I when I remember how one of the strongest women I have ever known emerged from her doctors' offices in tears over and over again, it makes me burn with anger.
This really broke my heart. It resounded so closely with what I experienced with my mother, and I can remember the tears of fury and pain that went on for what seems like forever after she died.

I'm sending HUUUUUGE hugs to you, along with deep empathy, even while knowing that that doesn't really change the pain .... :hug::hug::hug::hug::hug:
 
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… the children are being looked after by her husband, and a whole group of her lovely friends, plus two sets of grandparents and an uncle, so thankfully they have a lot of love and support! @YippeeKi YOW !!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting back to me .... it's eased my mind and heart to know that they continue to survive and thrive in a loving, supportive family !!!!
 

Treeman

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Not a medical story, but one that was printed today in the UK.

Politicians have condemned a suggestion made in a newspaper that Labour's Angela Rayner tries to distract Boris Johnson in the Commons by crossing and uncrossing her legs.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61208037

It is a down right misogyny story about politicians, however I've got a sneaky feeling it's a plant to detract from what a crook Boris is!
 

Zebra

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A magazine article from last year.
The gist: Physician unable to look past a young woman's age and weight, which prevents him from properly evaluating her symptoms, which included not being able to eat normally and subsequent weight loss. The description of her in-office conversation with this physician is stunning, but not surprising. Eventually she is properly tested and diagnosed with Stage 3A colon cancer (spread to lymph nodes).

The video that precedes the article briefly discusses Gender Bias in healthcare, using this young woman's story as one example.

https://www.today.com/health/colon-cancer-young-adults-woman-28-shares-diagnosis-t220806
 
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