What To Do When Your Doctors Won't Listen (How These Steps Saved My Life)
We've all been through it. Whether you were getting diagnosed to be gluten-free or you're dealing with something now, we've all dealt with doctors who just won't listen. Your laundry list of symptoms continues to grow. The phrase "well your tests came back fine so let's run some more." starts to become routine. You get to the point where you're really start to question if it's all in your head. You start to doubt yourself but then that pain or nagging symptom comes back and you know, "something has to be wrong."
When I first got diagnosed with Celiac Disease and my adrenal disorder in 2011, I was told that I was perfectly fine according to their tests. I was told that I shouldn't have these symptoms since their papers said so. I knew something was wrong but my doctors wouldn't listen no matter what I said. "We're doing everything we can" they would say. But whenever I would leave that office, I knew I was just another statistic on a piece of paper. After a year, I was fed up, tired, and exhausted. Not to mention, my medical debt was getting exhausted too. It got to the point where if I didn't do these few things, I would have died in 2012. I wouldn't be here today if I didn't do these things and this is why I can't stress this advice enough.
Listen to your body and yourself
There are some instances where people make up symptoms and it gets in their head. But this instance is not you. You know your body better than any doctor who runs a test. Results come back and say that you're fine but you still have back pain, migraines, fatigue, or any typical symptom? Those negative test results that the doctor ran mean nothing. Constantly listen to your body and make notes. Once you listen to your body enough and have a true log of symptoms, all you have to do is find a doctor who will listen too.
Ask for the purpose of each test (you don't want medical bills for nothing)
If you're getting into the routine of going in for test after test, not even knowing what they're looking for, ask some questions. You as the patient, and especially the person being tested, deserve to know what is trying to be diagnosed. Most of the time they are looking to rule out a very serious condition. But the last thing you want to do is see those medical bills rack up for tests that get you nowhere. Get some answers.
Demand a test if you feel that it's needed
When I was 13 years old, I was thought to have IBS and ADHD. I knew that I didn't have either of those things so I did some research on my own. What did I find? Celiac Disease. What did my doctor never test for? Celiac Disease. If you have an idea of something that you may have, ask your doctor to test for it or get a referral for a doctor who will do so. Sure, you may be wrong. But you also could be right and it doesn't hurt to check.
Move on if your needs aren't being met
If you feel like you aren't getting the attention you need, if you feel like you aren't being heard or listened to, or if you feel like you're just another patient to help get them their paycheck...move on. Find a doctor who will listen to you and try to get to the bottom of what's wrong. There are many doctors out there who, unfortunately, get lost in the money. Even if that's not true, they may just have so many patients where it makes it hard for them to focus on you. Know when to move on and find a doctor who will listen and really search for an answer.
2011 - (Myself during one of my many tests)
Get into an medical institute if you're fed up with doctors
This is my most important tip. At 13 years old I had a team of doctors working on me to figure out why I couldn't walk, talk properly, or be a normal teen. Day after day, I would have the best doctors work on my case only to come up with nothing. You would think that the best doctors would be able to find something wrong. But the fact of the matter is they see hundreds of patients each week. Sometimes, not to the fault of their own, they just don't have the time to focus on your case alone. They don't have the time to do the research that a person dedicated to your case would do. That's where medical institutes come in. I got diagnosed with a life threatening adrenal disorder by a medical student at OSU who saved my life. If it weren't for this student dedicating his full attention to my case, I wouldn't be here today.
When you go to a medical institute, you will often get someone dedicated to your case. They will have the most up-to-date knowledge in the medical community and have a fresh perspective to help too. In my experience, I've gotten the best attention from medical institutes when all else has failed with doctors. Finding them is easy but getting a first appointment can be a little harder. If you're fed up with your doctor, I strongly recommend looking up the most medically recognized college near you and seeing if there is someone in the field to help. Neurology, cardiology, endocrinology, and much more is usually offered. All you need to do is take the next step to find someone who cares just as much as you do and I can confidently say that a medical institute is most likely to help.