Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Full-Time Life in a Half-Time Body

"And so started my odyssey into my body and soul, and through the morass of medicine. I would need several thousand words to describe the absurd, frightening and sometimes humiliating ways that I was greeted by doctors when describing my symptoms that were asymptomatic.

"At first, after I described what had happened to me, a doctor's usual response was to stop his monologue that he/she was enjoying, look at me blankly, take a count of maybe 4 seconds and then blithely continue his/her speech. That was in the beginning. As I grew desperate, the medical practitioner would assure me that my symptoms could not exist; others said I was imagining everything and that the drug that I thought caused all my symptoms couldn't have. One even said I should read the "textbook" if I didn't believe him. Another looked at me when I demanded an explanation and said, "Bad things happen to good people."

* * *

Symptoms that my friend with post-polio was told were "normal" and "to be expected", I was told were "absolutely impossible".  How can it be physically impossible to have something that's normal for another condition?!  Since she was dealing with specialists and I was dealing with a generalist, I decided to believe her doctors and follow their advice, since it was somewhat better-informed than what I was getting.  And by doing so, taking charge of my own health, I avoided permanent physical damage.



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