So after hanging out in The Land Of Denial from approximately October of 2007 until last Monday, I have now landed squarely in the Land Of Being Really, Really Pissed Off About Being Sick. I’m trying very hard not to inflict this on anyone else, but sometimes it is EX-TRE-ME-LY difficult. Because if I thought I had problems with people back when I worked in retail, they were nothing-NOTHING!!-compared to what I’m dealing with now. Which can pretty much be described as People Finding Out That I’m Sick, And Then Acting Like A Dumb Ass.
1. The day I received my diagnosis of fibromyalgia I posted it as my Facebook status, to update everyone who was sending me good vibes that day. I was SO relieved to finally have this sucker identified, and so, SOOOO happy to finally have my first significant pain relief in over a year. So I was pretty much reveling in the little things like, oh, once again being able to walk and use all of my limbs, and just about everyone I talked to understood what a big deal this was, and rejoiced with me. Except for the person who sent me the following email:
“Gluten intolerance’s most common misdiagnosis is fibromyalgia. We have a friend who was diagnosed with it for 10 years – miserable, on lots of meds for pain, etc…she went off of gluten and she’s fine – off of all of her meds.”
Honestly, when I read this email, I became so enraged that I started to shake, and I lost my ability to speak for a few minutes. Not because of anything related to the idea of going gluten-free. Obviously that in itself is pretty innocuous. Instead, it was how invalidated and dishonored this person’s response made me feel.
After all the agonizing pain, and suffering, and not knowing, and being misdiagnosed, and trying things that didn’t help me at ALL, and being afraid that this was what the rest of my life was going to be, I finally found someone who could correctly identify what was happening to me, and who gave me hope that there are lots of things I can do to get relief and to continue to have a really good quality life, and most importantly, SOMEONE WHO STOPPED THE PAIN. It was a Divine Gift, and I was so, SO grateful for it.
And then to have this person completely disregard and dismiss all my experiences of the past year, without knowing anything about me, what I’ve been through, what my doctor and I have talked about, OR ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE IN GENERAL, OR THE DIAGNOSIS OF FIBRO IN PARTICULAR, and then invalidate the only thing that’s helped me feel better or get relief from pain in the past year and tell me that IT’S WRONG AND I SHOULD STOP IT, BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE ACTUAL, CORRECT ANSWER FOR ME, made me want to rip out their tongue with my bare hands, and then feed it back to them through their eye socket. Obviously I didn’t do that. But I did think about it. A Lot.
And speaking of people who wanted to take things away from me, then there was this:
2. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to go to the dentist earlier this week. I shared the details of my treatment plan with him, since he is one of my health care providers, and I assumed he needed to know what was going on with me.
I explained that I had been put on Lyrica, and that it was providing quick, amazing results in the area of pain relief, and that I loved it deeply with my whole heart, and wanted to marry it and have its babies (and I don’t even WANT children.)
And his response was, (after incorrectly identifying Lyrica as an anti-depressant-which it’s not; it’s an anti-convulsant-and lumping it in with other drugs that affect Serotonin levels-which it doesn’t; it has nothing to do with Serotonin) to ask me, “So, is there any hope that you’ll be able to wean yourself off of it in a little while?”
And I looked at this man and thought, “WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD WOULD I EVER WANT TO DO THAT?! I AM ALMOST COMPLETELY FREE OF PAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A YEAR. WHY DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME? WHY DO YOU WANT ME TO SUFFER AGAIN, STUPID PERSON WHO IS SUPPOSED TO HELP ME CARE FOR MY HEALTH?!”
And then, speaking of babies, I must also share this email I received shortly after the doctor pronounced his diagnosis:
3. “What kind of treatment plan have they suggested? Also, I’ve never asked but do you have any children? I have a friend who suffered from fibromyalgia and a chiropractor suggested that pregnancy could potentially “cure” it or minimize the painful effect.. It worked for her.”
I don’t even know what to say to this, because there are So! Many! things wrong with it that they all try and come out at the same time, and then my brain explodes into a million, billion pieces, and then I have to go lie down on the couch and watch my husband slaughter super mutants on Fallout 3 in order to recover.
Here endeth the first lesson on DumbAssery.
Let us go forth and irritate the crap out of others no more.