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Stand Your Ground With Your Healthcare Team

Stand Your Ground With Your Healthcare Team

Doctors and the tests they order are not infallible. I would be filthy rich if I had a dollar every time a doctor dismissed an unrelated symptom and blamed it on one of my chronic conditions.

Being my own advocate

I knew that my knee would not improve just by losing weight or exercising. I could feel something moving in my knee and spent years searching for physicians that would not only take me seriously, but also find the real source of my pain: loose cartilage and bone fragments would lodge themselves into the joint. I spent two years arguing with doctors when they wanted to blame abdominal pain that was later discovered to be caused by a botched hysterectomy on fibromyalgia. Last year when abdominal adhesions began attacking my bowels, my physicians wanted to diagnose me with every GI condition possible and refused to consider what was really happening. But I persisted and after all of their tests proved me to be correct, they finally agreed with my assessment. These are just a few examples of how I have had to stand my ground, I could list them all but then I would be writing a book instead of a blog post.

We know our bodies better than anyone

We know our bodies better than anyone else. Chronic pain increases that knowledge because we feel pain in parts of our bodies that most healthy people will never experience. I have found that the longer I live with my conditions, my sense of knowing when something is different or urgent in matter grows stronger. If you feel that you have received an incorrect diagnosis or test result, speak up!! In the two years spent seeking relief from my botched hysterectomy, I saw 21 surgeons. Twenty of those visits ended with tears and I often wanted to give up. However, the joy of surgeon number 21 discovering the truth made the two years I spent standing firm and refusing to be written off worth it.

I recognize how difficult it is to diagnose and treat patients with conditions like psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia. These conditions have symptoms that are similar to or mimic other conditions which make being diagnosed correctly difficult. However, if you have never experienced a particular symptom before or if something feels off to you, stand your ground. You are your best advocate and if you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else will.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Jax53
    2 years ago

    Wow, Cynthia, I do feel for you, I did try to stand my ground, silly Doctor told me I had hard skin, I felt like flooring the woman, Then after 6 years of me saying something is wrong in my knees, I got told, your knee is perfectly healthy, even though it is swollen and misshapen I snapped and demanded, a second opinion, There they found my knee was being eaten away, No apology, only told that I am an infection risk, no operation, because the plaques adhere to the prosthetic material, and cause a very bad infection where I could lose my leg, I say lose my leg I only have one to worry about then?

  • mich54
    2 years ago

    It took me 30 years to get a diagnosis and I had to finally put the pieces of the puzzle together myself….and then bring all that to my doctor (who has been my dr. for 20+ years and never came up with an answer.)

  • Rebecca moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi mich54 and welcome to the community! Ugh – 30 years?!? Only to have to find the answers on your own….sigh. Unfortunately, we hear this all too often. We’d love if you’d be willing to share your story with the community, I know it would make others feel less alone in this struggle.

  • VickiN moderator
    2 years ago

    @mich54, so frustrating when we have to be the experts! I’m glad you were able to get some answers finally, but sorry that it took you so many years of fighting.
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  • mich54
    2 years ago

    Thanks Vicki. Now yesterday the rheum told me because I don’t the feel the prednisone is really doing much, that maybe I don’t have PsA. UGH! These doctors!! I KNOW that is what I have. And I have talked to 2 women on FB PsA support page that said 1) the dosage he gave me would do nothing for her. And 2) another one said prednisone did nothing for her.
    I wrote and told him this. They make me so mad the way they just assume and generalize everything. I just found out through an article someone posted, that there is another doctor in my city who is a rheumatologist who has been doing resource on PsA and only accepts PsA cases. I think I am going to ask to go to him. Seems logical.
    He is Dr. Chris Ritchlin mentioned in the article.

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