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How to Handle a Doctor Who’s Gaslighting You

Whenever we feel sick or under the weather, the first thing we think of is to have a medical checkup and consult a doctor. While taking meds may help alleviate the pain or discomfort we’re feeling, we often seek a medical professional’s advice to help alleviate the symptoms we’re feeling and to make our body better. But what if your doctor doubts or even dismisses your symptoms? Here’s what you can do.

A Painful Story

One patient named Deborah J.Cohan shared her gaslighting story to About four years ago, she went to her attending physician as she complained about the pain throughout her midsection. The pain was so excruciating she wasn’t able to stand up straight.

Even going to the bathroom or eating took a lot of her will to do. She had a hunch the pain she felt was gynecologically related, but her doctor dismissed the idea. Instead, her doctor declared it as back pain and prescribed Cohan with muscle relaxants. Unfortunately, her symptoms didn’t subside, and ice, chiropractic care, heat, and stretching didn’t work. A few days later, Cohan’s pain was unbearable she went to the ER.

Cohan thought she would be getting the dire help she needed when she was rushed to the ER, only to find out it was just the beginning of her suffering.

Cohan encountered more pushback when she was rushed to the ER. Unfortunately, the doctor on duty claimed she had uterine fibroids. But Cohan pointed out it was impossible since she didn’t have a uterus anymore. She remembered the doctor was adamant about not admitting his mistakes.

It was then that Cohan had enough and she went to an ob-gyn to have a medical checkup. This time, the right diagnosis was finally made. She found out she had an ovarian torsion and her ovaries had twisted and fallen from their normal position. According to her OB, it’s considered a medical emergency, and it would be fatal if it was left untreated.

Road To Healing

Cohan then had undergone a medical surgery to remove both of her ovaries. After the surgery, Cohan healed quickly and she was glad she wasn’t suffering from any pain anymore. She also couldn’t believe she waited for this long to free herself from the pain.

She recommends every patient to be observant of their doctor’s medical diagnosis and if you feel something’s wrong, follow your instinct and don’t hesitate to take a second or even third opinion.

Cohan realized we should embrace, trust, and protect our own bodies instead of trusting a single doctor’s advice.

Find a Trusted Doctor You Can Bond With

According to Dr. Yvonne Bohn of Providence Saint John’s Health Center, you should look for an honest and direct doctor who wouldn’t hesitate to tell you the truth no matter how painful it is. You have to realize your health and well-being is at stake here, so any sugarcoating or attempt of downsizing your sickness is not good.

One wrong medical diagnosis or negligence can cost your life. Aside from that, you should also find a doctor whom you’re comfortable talking with, with whom you can share every deepest secret or concern you have. This doctor should also be willing to listen to you so that he or she can give a proper diagnosis after hearing your story.

Prioritize Your Concerns

While it’s important for your doctor to listen to you, the patients should also respect the doctor’s time. As much as possible, go straight to the point and tell your doctor all the symptoms you felt, as well as any other relevant information that pertains to your discomfort. Do not try to withhold or dismiss the other symptoms you feel and deemed as “normal.” This will help your doctor to diagnose you properly.

Advocate For Yourself

If you feel unsatisfied with your doctor’s diagnosis, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Or if not, you may consult a specialist (e.g. gynecologist, neurologists, etc.) to help you narrow down the symptoms you’re feeling. These medical specialists can help make an accurate diagnosis based on what you feel rather than going to a general, all-around doctor.

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