I think all chronically ill people understand what it feels like to go into a doctor’s office and be afraid that they will write your pain or symptoms off and send you on your way with no answers.
With women especially, the medical field tends to write off their symptoms and pains and blames them all on the fact that they are women. I have been told my stomach pain was just because I was probably going to start my period when I was actually flaring up. I’ve had doctors write off my complaints and ignore my emotional/mental health and summed it all up to the ramblings of a woman. I have found a way to combat that though.
First of all, if you have a uterus I recommend trying to find women doctors who will listen and understand your body a bit more, while all doctors should fully understand the anatomy of both sexes this is sometimes just not the case since reading it from a book is a lot different from experiencing it.
Secondly, keep a journal. In your journal I would include dates, symptoms, intake and out put (if that is relevant to your symptoms), and if you have a uterus I would also include making sure to note your menstrual cycle as well since I know with certain issues they can exacerbate your symptoms.
Next, I want to talk about how to describe your pain in the most accurate way. I have found that if you can really describe your pain to your doctors, they tend to listen better (Though this isn’t always the case). Is it a stabbing pain, a cramping pain, or pulsating pain? Does it feel like someone has taken a baseball bat to your joints? Does it feel like Satan is taking a pitchfork to your intestines? Do you feel like people have piled bricks onto your head? Feel like a Dementor has sucked the air right from your lungs? Sometimes it helps to get creative when describing your symptoms, it will help them a lot more depending on how accurate you can be in your descriptions. Because a sharp pain in your chest can be caused by something completely different than if you have a cramping pain that comes and goes in your chest.
Bring your notebook with you to your appointments with a list of questions you plan to ask. Make sure you ask if any tests can be run, if there is a treatment plan, what is the course of action. If you have any other questions be sure to ask them as well.
Another thing which is harder for some people, in which case it is completely understandable, is tone. Try to sound confident in yourself and that will radiate. I know there is a lot of struggle between trying to maintain looking like you are sick and sounding sick to be taken seriously but also being confident, it is a struggle.
Just remember that no matter what happens, your feelings are valid and these things sometimes just take time. If you are struggling with a doctor who just does not listen to you at all or feel they are not taking you seriously, then I would consider going to another doctor.
I will next be talking about researching and talking to your doctor and getting a diagnosis. If there are other topics you wish me to discuss, please let me know. Thank you.