Monday, October 14, 2013

Just Listen

     I have a love-hate relationship with doctors.  It took thousands of dollars, several doctors, years of my life, and an experimental new program to finally find some semblance of my former life before Fibromyalgia.  Before I found the doctor and program that helped, no one listened to me.  They would pat me on the head and tell me I was fine, even though I knew there really was something wrong with me.
       One doctor kept increasing my medication even though he didn't know what was wrong.  I started having seizures and was out of work for several weeks.  My doctor didn't know what to do so he sent me to a neurologist.  The neurologist wrote in my medical file that I was faking it and there was nothing wrong with me.  The second time I went to see her, she had the nurse practitioner see me.  The nurse looked at me and immediately knew the seizures were because I was being overdosed on the medication.  As soon as I stopped taking the medicine, I was able to return to work.  
     This was when I decided to go to a new treatment center for Fibromyalgia.  The insurance considered it to be "experimental," so they wouldn't pay for it.  I put several thousand dollars on my credit card and decided to take a chance.  My new doctor had the same illness I did and spoke to me from a place of understanding.  He set aside an hour to talk to me and listened to what I had to say.  I will never forget how it felt to have someone truly listen and understand me.
     This lesson has stayed with me.  So many times people come to us from a place of fear, or hurt, or confusion and we make judgements or try to fix it.  Sometimes we are right, but often we are very wrong.  When we listen, we make a difference that goes further than the time we spend.
A face of Fibromyalgia