Did You Ever Get The Proper Diagnosis?
I just want to say, don't settle for an “I think”. I’m so tired of doctors saying I think, we're not sure, let’s do more tests. We are living in a time were we have so many diseases with so many of the same symptoms. It’s getting very frustrating for me to go to the doctor year after year. They do all these tests and tell you that you have a particular disorder... they think. You are then prescribed a prescription and told to come back in three months. Okay, I have come to grips with this, year after year, but what is my diagnosis?
Having an invisible illness
I have been told that I have an invisible illness. Why keep fighting for this? We have so many mountains to climb. It’s a journey for most of us has had to travel for years and spent thousands of dollars getting here.
Years past by and you start to get more symptoms down the road and you end up going to a specialist. The specialist begins to have a one on one with you. At this point you discuss your other medical problems and the doctor decides he or she wants to run tests, draw blood, and give a referral to see a physical therapist. How many tests can you get in a lifetime?
All in my head?
I’ve given more blood than I care to remember, have been poked with needles all over my body and had six biopsies. I remember when I was younger that a doctor told me it was all in my head. I have learned over the years that a lot of young adults get that remark. I was even told by a doctor that this was out of his expertise - so why are you pretending to treat me?
I was confronted by several doctors who question my diagnosis. I have had this experience more than once. It’s horrible when you are questioned about the medications your other doctors prescribe for you. Do you challenge the physician that stands before you or the doctor who gave you the medications? It makes you look foolish and you’re at the point and not knowing who to believe.
I think so many of our illnesses mimic so many other things. For example, before I got a diagnosis of psoriasis, doctors didn't have a clue. I was told several things and given wrong medications that didn't work.
Advocating for ourselves
It’s our responsibility to question doctors if we feel they have misdiagnosed us. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion and sometimes a third or fourth. I've seen for myself first hand, where one of my doctors makes a telephone call to another one of my doctors to confirm a diagnosis and the first doctor will question and challenge the second doctor.
There comes a point where you may have to test and test again. It can take a long time to confirm some of these diseases. A lack of diagnosis could lead to patients not getting approved for needed tests or treatment options.
I have often ask myself, why does the right diagnosis matter? Why do I really need to know at this point in your life? Just give up. I will never give up. I need to fight for a better quality of life for my family, friends, and for myself. It’s sad to say that some of us will never get diagnosed properly and always have to suffer the uncertainty.
Remember, question your doctor; get a second opinion. If your doctor is not doing the job you are paying him or her for - find a new one! If I hadn’t changed doctors so many times over the years, I would have never gotten the proper treatment or diagnosis. I would just be stressed out and still wondering.
Getting the right diagnosis
When you get the right diagnosis, it’s like hitting the lottery. Everything starts to make sense. You just want to say, “I told you so”. Yes, a diagnosis does matter, but remember what the end results should be, to have a better quality of life. Many people are being wrongfully diagnosed and being prescribed unnecessary medication. Exercise your rights. It’s your health and you’re right to get the proper diagnosis and proper treatment. Don't just settle for “I think”.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?