I made an offhand comment on Facebook last week that I was looking through the forums and giving people advice on this website (which, as far as I can tell, is for people who have one diagnosis set in their head [and aren't getting the answers they want] to share that with the world in the hopes that someone will agree with them, even if that “someone” happens to be a cat-lady from TN who doesn’t even have her bachelor’s degree yet).
It’s a fun stress-reliever, but I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think that I had anything valid to say. As a bonus, I get to limit the “over-sharing” and “TMI” to what I want to read, and I can respond or not respond without any pressure. Huzzah. (Noooo, people don’t randomly come up and ask me for advice IRL – why would you ask that? Psh.)
So here’s what I do: I pick a set of search terms related to something I know about or have had happen (yeah, they usually center around girly-bit issues, because I spent so much time dealing with that over a 4-year period). The results come up, and I pick the person with the worst “my doctors are no help!” attitude. Depending on the reason they haven’t gotten satisfactory results from a doctor, my answer varies, but it’s usually somewhere along the lines of, “Go to another doctor.” One person kept going to clinics that were chosen for her by other people, and she’d go there with the information from the last clinic (which was inconclusive), so the doctors immediately dismissed her. She should have been going to a gynecologist because all of her symptoms were related to her period. I mean, for example.
Then I give some reasons why whatever they’ve tried related to the diagnosis they don’t agree with could have been affected. Example: birth-control therapy is popular for endometriosis, because there’s a hormone imbalance that comes along with the disorder, and you can get your periods to regulate and possibly lighten by taking birth control pills, in most cases. If you say you tried one type and it didn’t work, so you want to give up, then you probably just need to try another type of pill. It sucks when you’re switching around on them, but ultimately you’ll be much happier that you spent the time to figure this stuff out. The same goes for anti-depressants and the like.
The reason I pick someone with a set of symptoms I’ve experienced is so that I can say, “this worked for me when I was in your situation, but talk to your doctor about it” – specifically, yes, that phrase, though not in so many words. Why? Because you’re more likely to listen to someone, when you’re in that position of mistrust, whom you feel has an idea of what you’re “going through”. This is why many women choose female gynecologists, and why people feel more comfortable with a counselor or psychotherapist that’s the same gender as they – it adds a dimension of “they get me” to the situation, which actually creates a positive attitude change that’s helpful in treatment.
The “talk to your doctor” part is basically a CYA move, because I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. It’s also to let the doctor know that you’ve spoken to someone with similar symptoms, which is a sneaky way of forcing the doctors to either refute your theory or otherwise explain themselves. It doesn’t always work – I’ve had doctors who’ve acted annoyed and stopped communicating with me at all because I’ve done this – but if they become uncommunicative after you’ve pulled this card, then you know for sure you need a new doctor.
Ultimately, things that I post on there will probably be ignored, because I’m not falling all over myself to validate the original post’s concerns and talk about how eeeeeeevil doctors are.
Anyway, now you know one of my hobbies.