Sometimes you know your body better than anybody else—even the medical professionals. These Redditors have felt the frustrations of dealing with disbelieving doctors, and their cautionary tales are here to remind you to advocate for yourself at all times. Don't ignore your gut instincts—they have the power to save your life...
My boyfriend had to bring me to the ER because I was practically screaming in pain passing a kidney stone. The nurse kept asking me what I did to myself, and, through tears, I managed to get out, “It’s a kidney stone.” I then sat in the waiting room passing in and out of consciousness until my boyfriend said something.
I could barely walk, and the nurse asked me, “Well, are you coming?” My boyfriend, frustrated, yelled at them to get me a wheelchair. Six hours and a round of morphine later, I passed the stone. The uncooperative nurse said, “Oh, look at that. It was a kidney stone.” Unbelievable.
One day, a stray cat came into the garage and had kittens. I took care of them, and they clawed my arms bloody. Later, I noticed some bumps on my arms, feeling sore and tired, and my armpits were swollen to the point where I couldn’t put my arms down without feeling pain. So, I went to the doctor to get it checked out.
There, I told him that I had Cat Scratch Disease. He asked me to bend down and touch my toes for some reason. Then he told me that I was out of shape even though I was in the best shape of my life at that point. He didn’t check for any other symptoms and just sent me on my way. Thoroughly unsatisfied with his answer, I took matters into my own hands.
I went straight to the ER. But by then, I couldn’t move my arms much and definitely knew I had Cat Scratch. I told the nurse, and she didn’t believe me either. After a lot of huffing and puffing, she finally let me see a doctor. The doctor came and asked me what was wrong. While he looked down at the scratches on my arms, I told him all my symptoms.
He asked how I’d gotten them, and I told him about the kittens. Then he said, “Yeah, you have Cat Scratch Disease.” I laughed and told him about my day. It made him angry since it could be fatal if left untreated.
As soon as my brother was born, he was vomiting and showing alarming symptoms. My mom worked at a children’s hospital and knew something was up right away. She thought it was a rare case of pyloric stenosis, which is when the sphincter in the stomach closes up and prevents digestion. The doctor would not listen to her.
He dismissed her as a normal paranoid new mother. Annoyed, my mom went to a second doctor. As soon as he heard what she had to say, he called his medical students into the room and said, “this is a baby with very, very early onset pyloric stenosis. You will not see this often this early. The mother just recognized it.”
30 years ago, I was pregnant and experiencing intermittent spotting that kept getting worse over time. I tried calling my OBGYN to speak to him sooner than my next appointment, but both times his staff brushed me off. They told me that spotting was normal this early in the pregnancy and I didn’t need to see the doctor. Boy were they wrong.
A friend later told me that if I had mentioned that the blood was dark red, the staff wouldn’t have written me off as an over-anxious first-time mother. Except I hadn’t known that and thought the bleeding should have been alarming enough. Well, two weeks passed, and my boyfriend was starting to think I was overreacting.
But it was getting painful when we became intimate, and the staff was still not listening. Without insurance or the internet, I was panicking. From the research I was able to do, I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. That meant it was already too late to save the fetus. I accepted it and just wanted to avoid dying.
One day, I feel the worst cramps I’ve ever experienced. I was pale and sweating a lot. So, I drove myself to the doctor’s office and practically crawled inside to see him. I was in the ER within 15 minutes. A few hours later, I was in the operating room for emergency surgery for…Surprise! A ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
I noticed an erratic but incredibly shooting pain in my left foot seven years ago. What started as random twinges progressed over the next four years into a constant cattle prod-like pain. I saw a podiatrist who at first told me everything was normal other than some swelling and inflammation. He said to take pain meds.
Over the next three years, I saw neurologists, general physicians, physical therapists, expensive pain management doctors, and countless rheumatologists. Nothing helped. The third year, I developed a stress fracture on my right hip, which meant that I was on crutches for a month. So, I went to a sports medicine doctor.
He didn’t understand how a 26-year-old developed this kind of fracture with normal bone density. After I told him that it was because I couldn’t put weight on my foot and pointed out the lump on my calf, he told me that it was a muscle knot. This was what every single medical professional told me. And I was even in NYC!
These people were the top in their medical fields! I thought that it was a tumor, but everyone I told from friends and doctors rolled their eyes and laughed whenever I suggested it. Finally, one doctor recommended psychiatric help for my hypochondria, so I gave up. I would just have to get used to living with the pain.
I’ve never felt that unsure of myself in my life than when I tried to communicate my concerns to my friends and doctors who ridiculed and judged me. By then, I’d been suffering for four years, and the pain was unreal. I have a high pain tolerance and would sob silently at my desk and suffer sleepless night after night.
I wouldn’t wish the pain on my worst enemy. It was burning, shooting, stabbing, electric jolts that made me literally cry out. Near the end, it happened at 2–5 minute intervals all day and all day night. When no doctor could find a cause, my rheumatologist decided I needed immunosuppressant therapy due to my psoriasis. That was when I finally put my foot down.
Completely fed up, I threw a tiny tantrum in the doctor’s office. I had researched my symptoms and was convinced it was a tumor, so I demanded that I get it imaged before any treatment. Wouldn’t you know it, the ultrasound tech confirmed that I was exactly right. She applauded my self-avocation. The relief was indescribable.
Eventually, a top surgeon removed the tumor, which was an extremely rare hybrid of three different nerve sheath tumors that had grown within my nerve. I will never forget how stupid my doctors made me feel as a female and how quickly they dismissed my pain as hysteria. Be your own advocate!
I had to go to the ER for a severely infected abscessed tooth that made me lose vision in my right eye. They told me it was pink eye, but I explained that the pain happened over a couple of days and I literally felt the infection spread from my tooth, through my nose, and into my eye. They told me that wouldn’t happen. They were wrong.
All they did was just send me home with some eye drops. Three days later, my face was swollen twice the size that it should have been. I went back, and they removed the tooth and put me on a round of antibiotics.
My wife visited a gastroenterologist at a renowned multi-specialty clinic complaining of severe pain in her upper that she felt mostly after meals. The doctor dismissed her and brushed it off as indigestion. He gave her the usual non-answer to drink more water and rest. She insisted on getting a USG scan done.
I swear, the doctor almost sneered at her when he said that she probably checked her symptoms online. But to put her mind at ease, he obliged. We waited outside the radiology room, and the doctor walked past us with an “all-knowing” smile ready to prove us wrong. Just then, the lab guy came out and told us the results.
He said, “Ma’am! You’ve got lots of stones in your gallbladder. You must see a doctor immediately and get it operated.” The doctor hightailed out of there as fast as he could, and we never went back to see him again!
I tore my ACL and meniscus back in middle school when I was playing basketball. When I told my parents, they brought me to a doctor who said that it was just a knee sprain. Well, after a few days of it not getting any better, I went online to research. Every result came back as a torn ACL. So, I went to another doctor.
That doctor did an x-ray and said nothing was there and that it was probably just a bone bruise or hamstring pull. We went to a third doctor who ordered an MRI, which lo and behold, showed that my ACL and lateral meniscus were completely gone. After 8 weeks of limping around, I was finally able to schedule my surgery.
When my first daughter was one, my body started aching, I was constantly vomiting, and I had a fever, sore throat, the whole works. Dehydrated, I begged my husband to bring me to urgent care, but I ended up in the ER because it was a Sunday. The symptoms felt similar to strep throat or the flu, so they tested for both.
Oddly enough, both were negative, so they gave me fluids and sent me back home. Two days later, my daughter had spots on the palms of her hands and soles of her feet. The doctor told us that she had Hand Foot and Mouth disease, but the spots meant that the illness stage was over, so there was nothing to do except wait.
While I was there, I told the doctor about what happened in the ER two days before and asked her if I could have had it as well. She told me that it was a children’s disease and I didn’t have it. Another two days later, I found spots all over my hands and feet. At least it felt nice to know that I was right in the end.
My sister had a lump behind her ear that was causing her pain and growing. My mom worked as a nurse and thought it wasn’t a cyst. She kept her eye on it worrying that it could be cancerous. For an entire year, my mother had to go to doctor after doctor trying to get them to take her seriously until one finally gave in.
After a biopsy of the lump, the doctor discovered that my sister had a rare form of stage 1 cancer.
My husband had been dealing with what we thought was a cold. But through the week, he was no better, and his cough was sounding worse. Plus, he had a high fever and was exhausted all the time. As an RN, I listened to his lungs and heard something in his right upper lung. So, the next morning, I sent him to urgent care.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t go with him since I had work. I expected the doctor to do a chest x-ray, instead, he said that he had a cold that was almost over. He gave the usual plenty of fluids and rest. A prescription for cough medicine later, he went on his way. Two days later, his “cold” was getting worse, not better.
So, I called our doctor for an appointment for the next day. I left a message with the nurse to have a chest x-ray done. I told her that I didn’t care what the doctor said and I heard something in the upper right lobe. I also wanted the doctor to call me after the examination. But the doctor still didn’t hear anything.
He called and told me that he was going to order the x-ray and call again when it was done. My husband went straight to the imaging center for his x-ray. First thing the next morning we learned that the x-ray showed a lesion on his right upper lobe and he needed to see a specialist as soon he could. I made a few calls.
I spoke with the pulmonologist at the hospital where I worked and got him in his office by that afternoon. My husband was admitted to the hospital that evening. Three days, a CT scan, a lung biopsy, IV, and antibiotics later, we finally had a diagnosis. Our doctor never second guesses me when I ask him to do tests now.
I had a spontaneous collapsed lung when I was 17. I had to go to the hospital and get a tube hooked up to my thoracic cavity to reinflate my lung. A week later, I was in statistics class and felt my other lung collapse. I immediately knew what it was. It was a weird but distinct feeling of pain and shortness of breath.
The nurse did not believe me at first when I tried to explain that I needed to go to the hospital for a collapsed lung.
In the 80s when my mom was in her 30s, she couldn’t convince several doctors that she had breast cancer. She knew it wasn’t just a lump or normal pain. Every doctor’s response was that was “too young,” and did nothing. Then finally, she got one doctor to refer her to a specialist just to stop her from talking about it.
The specialist proved her right, which meant a possible mastectomy. Luckily, they were able to remove enough of the lump without having to go too deep. But my mom wasn't about to let those other doctors get away with what they had done. She went to the first doctor she consulted and gave him an earful.
She said that if in the future, he was accused of malpractice, she’d make a statement against him. It wasn’t an empty threat either; she worked in the medical industry too, which is why she was so persistent. Then she told him to never tell another woman she was too young for breast cancer again.
I went to the doctor and told her that I had shingles. She chuckled a little and said, “Well, you’re far too young to have shingles. It’s impossible.” So, I lifted my shirt and showed her the side where it was. I watched her eyes widen instantly. She said, “Oh my. That is definitely shingles,” and started my treatment.
The other doctors and nurses there were sheepish and apologetic but did a great job helping me get better. Apparently, in my early 20s, I was the youngest case that they had ever seen.
My mom was feeling pain in her lower back close to her kidney. The doctor did a quick check up and told her that she was probably just sleeping wrong. She mentioned cancer, but the doctor cut her off and said that people with kidney cancer rarely felt pain. She knew that something was wrong and went to a second doctor.
He told her the same thing as the first but said he’d do the test to prove that it wasn’t cancer. When the tests came back, they found out that she did indeed have cancer in one of her kidneys. And because she had caught it at such an early stage, they were able to remove it before it spread to the rest of her body.
I was involved in a car accident, and my arm started going numb a few weeks later. After some research, I figured it was a spinal cord issue. So, I went to the hospital for an MRI. But the doctor said no and told me to take more pain meds to deal with it. I didn’t want to resort to taking those and insisted on the MRI.
My insurance wouldn’t cover the MRI since I’d requested it against doctor’s orders, so I footed the bill. I was right. I had a bulging disk on my spinal cord. I needed 7 months of physical training and medication to get feeling back in my arm.
I was expecting my period a couple of days before my 18th birthday when suddenly my stomach hurt more than it had ever before. I thought it was just bad cramps, but my mom panicked thinking it was my appendix and took me to the doctor. The ER dismissed me and said I was just faking it. But it didn’t stop the day after.
I went to the doctor again who gave me some strong pain medication to stop me from passing out from the pain. They sent me away again, but my mom brought me back to the ER even though I couldn’t feel a thing anymore. She’d insisted that they do an ultrasound until they relented. They said that everything looked normal. But my gut feeling told me they were wrong.
The doctor condescendingly told me that I should know already that cramps can be really painful. But I was admitted to the hospital anyway to monitor me. When the painkillers wore off the next day, I couldn’t walk, and all of my symptoms pointed to appendicitis. So, they finally opened me up to find out. It’d ruptured.
I had been suffering for three days before it burst because in the ultrasound, other organs covered it making it hard to see. The doctor waited for me to wake up to apologize, but I only realized how dire the situation was when I checked all my discharge papers. They told me that the three-day delay caused the rupture.
This was after my mom had already pointed out that it was my appendix in the beginning. And that’s how I got to spend my 18th birthday – in the children’s ward with cartoon characters on the wall and dry bread for dinner.
I thought I felt a lump in my neck one day when I was 27. Of course, I assumed it was cancer. I went to the doctor who said it was nothing and I was too young for cancer. He said my blood tests looked fine but I could see an endocrinologist if I was worried. The endocrinologist said the same and suggested an ultrasound.
The radiologist told me that the ultrasound showed a lump and that it was probably nothing since I was too young for cancer. But he said to do a biopsy to make sure. The results came back as “maybe,” which meant it could possibly be cancer. So, to find out, he sent me to a surgeon who told me that he could take it out.
But he said that he’d only remove the side with the lump just in case it wasn’t cancer. I was opposed because I wanted the entire thing removed, so he told me that he would do a frozen section to determine if it was cancer. After the surgery, the results came back inconclusive. So, they sent it to three pathology labs.
Two weeks later, I get a call, “Hi, it looks like it was cancer after all. How soon can you come in to get the rest taken out?”
When I was in the sixth grade, I was learning about common musical injuries in my orchestra class. At home, my mom mentioned that her ring finger and pinky were tinkly and numb. I was quick to inform her that she had cubital tunnel syndrome because I’d taken notes about it earlier. So, my mom asked to see a specialist.
Once she got her diagnosis and some occupational therapy treatment, she jokingly came in to see my orchestra teacher to thank her for beginning my career as a doctor.
After a lumbar puncture procedure, I had a CSF leak for 8 months. The doctor who had performed it told me that it was impossible. So, I wrote to the neuro department at my local hospital. I explained what happened and why I believed I still had the leak. After reading the letter, they agreed I was right and treated it.
Once, I passed a chest cold to my dad. I eventually got better, but he just got worse. On the way to and from work, he’d have to keep pulling over just to throw up. Our family practitioner only treated his symptoms. My father begged for months for a blood test, but the doctor laughed asking what he thought they’d find.
My dad didn’t know but knew that a blood test would come back with results. But the doctor never ordered the test and kept treating the symptoms. After a round of antibiotics, my dad began having constant diarrhea. The doctor sent him to a gastroenterologist to treat it. That doctor thought my dad’s whole situation was odd.
My 44-year-old dad had lost 40 pounds in less than six months and had an intestinal issue almost exclusive to elderly people. So, he ordered a blood test. We finally found out that my dad had leukemia. His blood draw was grey from all the half-formed white blood cells in his sample. He never saw the other doctor again.
I had started taking new medication and started feeling symptoms of anemia. When I went to see my doctor, I asked her if my medication was to blame. She said no and that it was probably because I donated blood regularly. That confused me since I’d been donating since I was 18 and was almost 40 and never felt like this.
I kept bringing it up, and she kept insisting that it wasn’t the drugs. Finally, I asked about the side effects of each medication. We went down the list and got to one that she said could cause a change in my blood, which caused low iron, which caused low hemoglobin levels…a symptom of anemia.
My son has asthma and was having a hard time breathing. As a CAN, I knew that he had croup and brought him to the ER in the morning. The doctor told me that it was impossible to get croup during the day time and thought it had to be something else. So, he ran all kinds of tests while the whole time I knew it was croup.
Finally, my son coughed, and his seal bark cough was what caught the doctor’s attention. He looked at me and said, “oh…it is croup!” Now he knows croup doesn’t just happen at night.
My wife dragged me to three different doctors when she suspected the excruciating pain in my leg wasn’t tendonitis. She believed it was a back issue. The first two doctors completely misdiagnosed it. The third doctor figured it out within five minutes after a simple leg lift test. The others didn’t even perform a test!
The second doctor just prescribed bed rest which was the worst thing I could’ve done for my body. I’d spent a month in bed barely moving when I really needed physical therapy.
For years, I dealt with stomach pain that fluctuated between dull and sharp pain every couple of weeks or if I ate something new. I felt tearing in my abdomen and was always bloated. I told the doctor that I thought I had Crohn’s disease, but they thought it was a hernia. So, I moved cities, and I went to a new doctor.
My new doctor scheduled a colonoscopy which led to my, surprise, surprise, Crohn’s diagnosis as soon as it was done.
I suffered from joint pain my whole life and assumed it was just a part of life. My hypotension always got me a, “with that blood pressure, you’ll live forever!” comment. Except it reminded me I couldn’t stand up for more than a few minutes at a time. I thought I was just a hypochondriac until one day I was kneeling.
I said out loud, “Right, I shouldn’t kneel like that. I might dislocate my knee again,” in front of someone. They asked me if I had the same genetic connective tissue disorder as they did. It seemed possible, and after some research, I needed an official diagnosis. But the lengths I had to go to? Ridiculous.
I went out of state because no one would treat me. Even with the evidence, the doctors weren’t willing to confirm my suspicion officially. I’m almost 35, and my quality of life was that of a geriatric. If it had been caught sooner, I could have done more to improve it. So now, I want to go back to every doctor who brushed me off and tell them to actually pay attention!
I had my husband bring me to the ER at 2 AM after I figured out that my gallbladder was inflamed. The doctor was a jerk and said that it was a kidney infection even though I told him what it was. I had wanted to have a sonogram done. Instead, he poked me with a needle then sent me home. So, I went to my regular doctor.
He said the same thing, a kidney infection. But there was blood in my urine, which didn’t explain the pain. Three weeks later, my 10-year-old daughter asked her friend whose mommy was a doctor of her mommy could save her mommy who was really sick and no one would take care of her. I was in for surgery three days later.
When they removed it, the gallbladder was badly decaying and highly infected. I would have been much worse off without my daughter.
When I was 17, I felt healthy besides being skinny and having terrible periods. One day, I felt this ball in my crotch area when I’d sit down. After looking it up online, I found the term “prolapsed uterus.” So, I went straight to the emergency room and told the doctor what I thought. He was skeptical of me right away.
He said that it was impossible since I was so young. But if I was right, I could tell his boss. The doctor had a speculum to look for the source of the pain but actually pushed my slightly prolapsed uterus back in. When his boss came in, I was able to tell her that he didn’t listen and I was smarter than the ER doctor.
A patient came into the dental clinic complaining about pain in the upper right part of his jaw. He told us that his jaw was broken even though there is no “upper jaw.” After an initial evaluation, he had mild gum loss on the upper right teeth, but it was nothing that serious. However, his x-ray told a different story.
It showed a minor fracture in his jaw that calcified over time. It was nowhere near where he said the pain was, but technically, he was right about having a broken jaw.
My little sister wasn’t feeling well, but my parents just thought that she was faking it to skip school. I talked to her and looked her symptoms up online. My research showed it probably was a UTI. Except our parents wouldn’t listen, so I kept an eye on her. In the middle of the night, her fever became alarmingly high.
So, I dragged my dad out of bed and off to the ER we went. The doctor told us that it was a UTI. As a reward, I got to eat chocolate cake for dinner a few days later.
One night I was using the washroom and noticed a blob on my knee. I went back to sleep, and when I woke up in the morning, the blob had started to blister. I looked it up online, and the closest thing I could find was a hobo spider bite which causes necrosis. The only treatment was antibiotics and to avoid touching it.
My doctor who I already thought didn’t like me refused to believe me. She kept asking if I’d fallen or been drinking and hurt myself. So, I kept insisting that it was a spider bite and I needed the antibiotics right away. My doctor also knew that I didn’t like antibiotics and will only take them when I absolutely must.
She still didn’t want to prescribe them to me but finally relented. After that, I never went back to see her again and found a much better doctor. My new doctor did fantastic follow-ups during the next two months of having a pus-filled hole in my knee.
A girl I knew had gone to many doctors multiple times complaining of pain and begging them to do a scan just in case it was something serious like cancer. Instead, the doctors wrote it off as IBS because she was too young for cancer. But everything took a turn for the worse when she collapsed. She was sent to a hospital to get everything checked out.
Sure enough, she had bowel cancer. And two weeks later, she was gone because they’d caught it too late. Her parents now use her case to raise awareness about misdiagnoses based on being “too young” for anything serious.
I started puberty really early at 12. And one day, my left side started to really hurt. My mom and my aunt who’s a doctor thought it was just hormonal. But we went to the ER just in case, and the doctor there just told us it was cramps and sent us home. Then the next day, I collapsed and had to go back to the hospital.
They found that I had a massive ovarian cyst that burst, almost making me lose an ovary. I needed surgery and several more after that.
Both of my sons got chickenpox when I was pregnant with my third. I hadn’t had it before, so I panicked and told the pediatrician. I had been exposed many times but never sick. The doctor was adamant that I was wrong, and I ended up not getting it that time. Then four years later, I now had four sons who all got sick.
It looked like chickenpox. The same pediatrician said that there was no way that my two oldest had it again. I started getting feverish and itchy, so I brought us all to the doctor’s office. When the doctor came in to see us, he just stood there with his jaw on the floor. My two boys did indeed have chickenpox again.
I finally got it at 30 with 13 exposures. So, nothing’s impossible!
Sometimes right after I ate something, I’d have difficulty swallowing for a day or two and a sore throat for several days. I saw the doctor on multiple occasions and told him that I thought I was probably allergic to something. He disagreed because he’d been my doctor since I was a child and tested me for “everything.”
It happened a couple more times, and I just brushed it off. That was until I had spring rolls for the first time in years. I didn’t want anymore because they’d left a tingly feeling on my tongue and in my throat. Guess who’s allergic to soy?
When I was 25 weeks pregnant, the sonographer, genetic counselor, and maternal-fetal medicine doctor all didn’t know what they were looking at during my sonogram. The fetus had severe facial, brain, and heart defects. The doctors told me that it was some kind of genetic disorder, which would be impossible to determine.
We decided to end the pregnancy and were allowed to view my daughter when it was over. Her facial features were drastic and unique. I just had to know what did that to her and if it could happen again. I took some time researching through various scientific articles using the terms I’d learned from genetic counseling.
Finally, I learned it was Acromelic Frontonasal Dysostosis that occurred due to a single gene mutation. I sent the articles and pictures of my daughter to the genetic counselor who had the leftover amniotic sample tested for that gene. Sure enough, I was right. At that time, there were only 22 known cases in the world.
I went to the doctor and told him that I had a kidney infection. He asked me some questions, and I responded honestly. I guess I hadn’t checked off all his boxes since he told me that I didn’t have one. So, I asked him to write my symptoms and the fact that he denied me a test on my chart. He did not like that request.
He became borderline rude but ordered the test. He personally called me when the results came back that I was right and apologized.
It was the holiday season, and there was a girl who was admitted to the medical ward severely underweight. Her body chemistry was messed up, and everyone was saying that she was anorexic or bulimic. I remember hearing the head nurse threatening her that if she didn’t eat lunch, she’d never see her family for Christmas.
The patient swore up and down that she couldn’t eat anything except plain rice without having severe stomach pain and diarrhea. No one believed her, and all decided that she was a controlling anorexic. But months later, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. She needed most of her bowel removed and a colostomy bag.
One time I had a high fever, and my intestines were bleeding. Except my blood tests showed that my white blood cell count was fine, so the doctor told me that it was all in my head. But every week I was back with the same symptoms, yet he’d just do another blood test. By then, I’d passed out every time they drew blood.
That didn’t seem to concern my doctor at all, and I was left convinced that I was going insane. One of my professors who worked in the medical field asked me why I was missing so many classes. I told them why, and they said I should ask for a colonoscopy. So, when I asked, my doctor refused saying that I was too young.
Luckily, I went straight to a gastroenterologist I knew to ask for a colonoscopy. He was surprised that the bleeding had gone on for so long–long enough that I was becoming anemic, which my doctor hadn’t noticed in the multiple blood tests. A week later, I had the colonoscopy and found out I had salmonella poisoning.
If my professor hadn’t said anything, I would’ve spent the rest of my life thinking I was going insane.
One time, I tripped and fell on my arm. I had it x-rayed, and the doctors said that there was no problem at all. But my arm still hurt and felt weak two months later. So, I went to get an MRI but never heard back. I assumed it was all fine, but I still felt pain three years later. So, at 14, I brought myself to the ER.
I told them that it felt broken still and about my condition that caused me to have weak bones. They said that it couldn’t be broken because I wasn’t in enough pain even though my condition affects my pain tolerance too. And they did nothing to help. Then four years went by, and I went to a specialist for my scoliosis.
There I asked him to look at my MRI. He found a hairline fracture and sent me for another MRI. My bone apparently had broken in two and grown apart. After a failed bone graft surgery and getting a titanium screw, my wrist was still broken and still hurts. A simple Velcro brace would’ve fixed the issue when I first fell.
Since I was 13, I had felt extreme pain in my calf when I knelt down and stood back up. Over the years, I saw several doctors who told me that I was too young for anything serious and probably just tore a muscle “fooling around.” It wasn’t until university that it got so bad—I couldn't bear it. I couldn’t even extend my heel without pain.
My boyfriend insisted that I see the doctor again and refuse to leave without answers. I found out that I had AVM, arterial Venus malformation, and needed two sections of my calf repaired. The day after the surgery I was able to walk.
A man came with a swollen leg and complained of “buzzing” in his groin. He was a user and resorted to injecting down there without any other veins to use. He said he’d been looking in a textbook and figured out that he might have “joined” the “blue one to the red one” from his repeated injections. He was exactly right.
I went to my doctor with all the usual pregnancy symptoms including a missed period. Every test came back negative, but I’d already had one of my kids, so I know how my body feels when I’m pregnant. I told him that there was something wrong with my body, but I just didn’t know what. They gave me another pregnancy test.
When it came back negative, they said that I was probably late and I’d be fine. I called and called trying to get the doctors and nurses to listen to me. Finally, one caved and agreed to schedule an ultrasound. I remember the ultrasound tech was chatting with me then fell silent when she saw what came up on the screen.
The doctor later called me and said I had a several ovarian cysts that would likely clear up over time. Well, I received the electronic reports and saw on my ultrasound that I had maybe three or four cysts on one ovary and an uncountable number on the other. I was so mad. I had repeatedly told them something was wrong.
And when they found out I was right, they still downplayed the situation. So, I switched to a better doctor who thinks I have endometriosis, which would explain the cysts and unbearable pain from my period over ten years.
A patient came into the ER complaining of unbearable pain and yelled aloud any time someone touched her. The other staff assumed she was a pill seeker. Well, I took her history and performed an exam. She told me that she thought she had cancer in her bones. After some tests, we found out that it was lytic bone lesions.
The plasma in her white blood cells in her bones were cancerous. She didn’t technically have bone cancer, but she was pretty close.
I had experienced polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms since puberty. In my late teens, I started having serious complications. This included a strong ripping pain that went from my lower abdomen to my back that hurt to the point where I couldn’t move. And my periods became so heavy that I could fill the bath with blood.
The worst was excessive the hair growth that made kids at school bully me horrendously. I spent six years in and out of the hospital and went through every invasive test. I had my appendix removed as a precaution even though the scans clearly showed cysts on my ovaries for which I already signed papers to have removed.
I was passed from male doctor to male doctor from consultants to emergency surgeons until I moved to a new area. There I found a female doctor who diagnosed me after a few tests with what I’d known I’d been suffering for years at the age of 25. After ten years of hurting, I’m finally on a treatment that actually works.
When I was 17, my liver was failing. After a year, I asked my doctors why they didn’t start the process for a transplant. The doctor took the time to lecture me about how I didn’t want that kind of dangerous and life-altering surgery at my age. Instead, I had an endoscopy to look at my throat. The results weren’t good.
There were several esophageal varices that indicated serious liver failure. That meant I needed a transplant or I wouldn’t live for much longer. The next day, my doctor made a hilarious attempt to backpedal from what he’d said before and explained how “safe” the surgery would be. It took two years, but I got my liver!
My friend kept complaining about his elbow. He said that it felt like there was a rubber band running up his arm and into his shoulder. Doctors just told him to alternate between hot and cold packs and take some ibuprofen for the pain. But one day, he noticed something poking out of his elbow and he couldn't believe it. It was a catheter.
About 18 months before, he had a heart catheterization while getting treated for a serious work injury. Somebody had forgotten about it and left it in there.
I became a dad at 18 but broke up with my son’s mom two years later. Despite our problems, I stayed engaged in my son’s life. When he turned five, she went in for a hysterectomy. Then the day after the surgery, her mom called me asking me to go to the hospital. Apparently, she was “in a mood” and wouldn’t talk to anybody.
She thought that I could get her to talk, so I visited later that day. She just stared at me while I talked. After 20 minutes, I decided to give up and went for a hug. I noticed she was clenching her fist. At the time, I thought nothing of it and left. At home, I thought about how one-half of the brain controls speech. And that's when I had a terrifying revelation.
I remembered her clenched fist and did some research online. I looked up strokes and quickly figured that was what was happening to her. I called the nurse at the hospital to tell her my realization and got to sleep thinking I’d done a good deed. Except in the morning, her mom called saying she was getting transferred.
Apparently, due to her history of depression, doctors assumed she was acting out. I talked to my boss and asked for a day off to go to the hospital. When I got there, everyone ignored me since I “wasn’t a family member,” so I sat with her for a little. Eventually, a doctor came to sign off on the final transport orders.
I was upset. When he asked me why I was crying, I told him that she’d obviously had a stroke, but no one could see it. He told me to leave the room, and two minutes later came out confirming that she did have a stroke.
My mom thought I was having absence seizures where I’d zone out and forget anything that’d happened 10 minutes before. My dad, a neurosurgeon, didn’t agree and said that I was just ignoring her. My mom brought me to get an EEG. Strangely, it only took 15 minutes even though the process usually takes at least two hours.
We walked over to the hospital where my dad worked, and my mom walked in flaunting the papers saying, “I knew it!! I’m smarter than the neurosurgeon!”
When I was in my early twenties, I took someone to the emergency room one time with a badly infected wound. When I told the middle-aged doctor that it was an infection, he chuckled and said, “don’t be silly. I’m sure you just mean that it’s inflamed.” I said yes, but it was also infected. He just rolled his eyes at me.
The nurses and other doctors chuckled. But then when the doctor looked at the wound, he said, “oh man. That is really badly infected.” After that, he wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I didn’t know why he had to argue with me and make me feel dumb in front of everyone.
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