To the GP who finally found some answers, who chose research over trial medications and who was willing to admit that she didn’t know the answers, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for persevering and for being there when it felt like no other professional was.
Being undiagnosed is stressful enough in its own right, it’s full of fear, of questions, of self doubt. Not to mention the untreated pain and other seemingly endless symptoms of the unknown. We’re taught as kids to respect professionals, to listen to the one who knows best. So when your doctor is telling you it’s all in your head, what are you supposed to do? Who are you supposed to believe?
The leap of faith to trust in your own feelings and instinct over a trained professional isn’t an easy leap to make. Turning that into the courage to try GP after GP until one cares… that’s even harder. And yet it’s a story we hear over and over again. How can you avoid questioning your own judgement when professionals repeatedly tell you that you’re not ill? Or that it’s simply your diet, or your cholesterol, or depression. When blood test after blood test come back clear.
I’ve lost count of how many GP’s I met in that first year. Of course, it became easier to trust myself the more GP’s I tried. Every GP had a completely different answer, no two were the same. And the more they told me their increasingly differing opinions on my health, the more skeptical I became that I would ever find a real answer. The more obvious it became that they were terrified of not knowing.
And then I found the one that cared.
I knew, because she told me she had no idea what was wrong. But more importantly than that, she told me she believed me and she made a plan for further research.
Being believed is so much more important than having a diagnosis. It’s worth so much more than knowing what to do or how to go about it. Being believed means you aren’t crazy. You’re a little less alone and in the case of hearing it from a professional – someone who knows something, or at least, where to start looking, is on your side.
This post is Part 28 of 52 in the series –A Year of Growth.
The series is a celebration of the first anniversary of The Truth About M.E and is designed to help me grow through my illness throughout my second year of blogging. I look forward to having you along for the journey!