THE DAY A PHYSICIAN ASSUMED I HAD PTSD

I have a very addictive personality. It is extremely serious. This addictive personality has ruined otherwise perfectly good times in my life, and it has amplified the already bad situations.

But I’m lucky.

Because I’m basically “allergic” to opiates.

What a leap to make right there, right?

This comes up due to a recent visit to a “pain management” specialist or how I have always thought of them, drug dealers. I am NOT — I REPEAT — NOT — judging anyone who goes to these doctors, who is helped by these doctors, who is one of these doctors. I’m not saying they’re bad or good or anything in that realm. But, I have always been afraid of these doctors. The name of their specialty even feels addictive to me.

Some things have happened in my life. And I met some people. And I know I’m lucky that I’m basically “allergic” to opiates. I’ve never looked like this:

But I know REALLY GOOD PEOPLE, who have….Really good people. I have been fortunate to never have gotten that “dope sick,” a term I am using in this post to mean, “withdrawing from any drug” (and the definition of “drug” is critical here: “a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.”).

But I have been “dope sick” as defined above. I could barely breathe, my heartbeat was irregular, I was severely dehydrated, and my skin was crawling. Less severe reactions were my inability to sit still, my shaking excessively, and of course, my hatred of everything and every one who couldn’t get me what I needed to be not “dope sick.”

But this post is getting off track, because I wanted to share my experience with one such drug dealer — “a pain management” specialist — I finally gave into going to see. I know what these doctors can be about. I know what they’ve done to a lot of people in my life.

But, my pain has become too severe. I cannot work a “normal” job. I cannot move correctly. I cannot live correctly.

Going in, I already knew what I was, and was not, willing to go through to deal with my, now debilitating, chronic pain.

Can I just vent that I am SO, TIRED, OF FILLING OUT PAPERWORK AT DOCTOR’S OFFICES? I want to stop having to go to doctor’s offices. I had to fill out, no joke, fourteen pages of crap that excluding pages that just asked for my signature. One of the things I had to sign was a five page “Contract” (given my profession — paaahhh-lllleeeaaseeeee) which I edited to my satisfaction, and then wrote all over it “I do not consent.”

After twenty minutes, I was still filling out paperwork, but was guided to my own private waiting room (or as I call it — second waiting room). I was then lazily asked some questions by a receptionist (???) about my medical history, etc., and then abandoned for about forty-five seconds before doctor douche-bag entered.

DDB started asking me some questions as he, too, lazily, in my opinion, flipped through my paperwork, noting that it looked like I had been experiencing some pain. Wasn’t I at a pain management office? I was. Good call, doc.

Maybe my prejudices make me a bad candidate to write about this, but I swear this dude looked like a snake. Like, something Satan made (as opposed to something that was naturally created, if that makes any sense). Oh well. I’m writing about it anyway.

He saw that I was not looking for the solution to my pain through controlled substances and genuinely acted WEIRD towards me after realizing that. I swear, he was acting fucking weird. He asked me some questions condescendingly, you know, as they do.

I should confess, I really don’t appreciate it when doctors stand above me, ever. It’s such a power play, particularly in an office like this. I hated that he was standing, hovering, FEET over me as I sat, in pain, looking up at him. I also seriously hate when doctors interrupt you when you’re mid-sentence trying to explain your situation — you know — something you think they might want to know if they’re going to be treating you.

That seems like a HUGE difference to me between practicing medicine and practicing law — the liability in practicing medicine is already on some lawyer telling you that you’re fine if you do (insert checklist here). Sure, your name is attached to something if you’re a doctor, but if you’re anything like DDB, you’re the type of guy who’s relying on EXACTLY THAT CHECKLIST SHITAgain, not what this post is about, sorry again for the self-derailment.

So, trusting the Doctor I saw days before this appointment came up, I brought something up to this doctor that I thought might be relevant, to his decision, as to which way my treatment, or testing, or whatever, might go. I said that I didn’t know what was best for me, which was why I was there, sitting in front of him, but I had been asked to relay that information to him, at my other Doctor’s request.

[Probably] excited that he had a direction to take me in, he gave me some instructions on how to make my other Doctor’s suggestion a reality, and told me he would “help me out.”

FUCK HIM, THAT FUCKING FUCK.

Look. It’s the same bullshit as the cop who pulled me over for being on my cellphone while driving. HE DID ME A “FAVOR” TOO. He wanted to know who I was talking to and about what, and when he was done writing up my ticket leaned over my window and said he did me a favor, pausing for a good four, incredibly uncomfortable seconds, before telling me how he did me that favor.

I have already been criticized about this but I don’t care. If I broke the law (and I did), give me the ticket for the thing I did. Because I didn’t ask for a favor. And I sure as hell am not giving you something in return. (And I don’t care if I’m being ungrateful. The world isn’t fair, and I NEVER want to be on the receiving end of something UNFAIR, if, I can help the balance.)

And when it comes to the fucking law, or MEDICINE, INCLUDING MY LIVELIHOOD, I DON’T NEED FAVORS. I NEED FUCKING CONFIDENT DECISIONS, AND DIAGNOSES, AND TREATMENT. And I bet if either of these two had been women? — different outcome. I hope I’m wrong. But, I’ve yet to hear of a story like the ones above that include woman on woman action. Feel free to prove me wrong in the comments section!

DDB leafs through my paperwork again, looks up at me, stares me straight in the face, and says, “Let me guess, you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD.” And the way that eff-ing eff-er said that — wasn’t a question. It wasn’t a fucking question! He asserted it upon me. THEN, he asked, “and what about anxiety?”

I get it. I need to “qualify” for the treatment I need. And that’s great. Vet me. Make sure I have what I claim to have. Call my other doctors (their suggestion not mine) who led me to your drug-dealing door. (He refused that offer, putting the burden on me, who can only now painfully drive anywhere, to go get written proof for him of what I “claimed” to be true.) Why couldn’t he just fucking call them? If he were a PROFESSIONAL, he would have TALKED TO MY PHYSICIANS, WHILE I WAS IN THE ROOM WITH HIM, AND HE COULD HAVE ASKED THEM OVER THE PHONE TO FAX HIM WHAT HE WANTED. But no, now I have errands to run to prove that I’m not making this shit up.

Two phone calls on his part. The possible six or less minutes he spent with me could have expanded by a few more to save me the trouble. So that’s my new mission since this appointment this past Friday.

But the fact is: DDB has no interest in alleviating my pain. And I know that. Because he didn’t do SHIT for me. He didn’t go the proverbial “extra mile.” He didn’t even go a fucking centimeter. Because why do more than you have to, when you can order your in need of help, in pain, patients around?

Asshole.

Let me list for you, without any shame whatsoever, the conditions from which I suffer that would “qualify” me for the treatment at hand:

Approved debilitating medical conditions include:

  • Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, which include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and opioid use disorder;
  • Chronic pain of visceral origin
  • Migraine
  • Anxiety
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

But this asshole looks at my paperwork, and with fucking absolutely NOTHING in it which should have prompted the statement pertaining to the last thing on this list, TOLD me I was diagnosed with PTSD. Like he knows one fucking thing about my life. WHY?

I NEED to know. I WILL find out. After I get what I need. (I’m no hero.)

But why THAT THING? He had other legit options.

What it because I’m a woman?

Because I’m totally underestimating this dude and he actually knows the way things are in the world and his “guess” just happened to sound more like a statement than a question to me? Maybe he’s enlightened and I’m just biased. Maybe.

Or maybe.

FUCK. HIM.

After he declares, with certainty, my prior diagnosis, he moves to asking me, “and anxiety?” What about the eff-ing thing I came here for treatment for, which happens to be at the top of that eff-ing list?! WHY. NOT. THAT?

FUCK HIM and his FUCKING FUCK self. I don’t care what the fuck was going on with him at that moment, at that time, during that day. I don’t. Because Friday night, and again Saturday night, I called my Mom, to talk about it, and I began sobbing. It was like bringing up PTSD, which YES, I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH, brought up everything I experienced with that diagnosis, and no one — NO ONE — who has PTSD needs ANYTHING to remind him/her of the fucking hell that led to his/her PTSD.

Maybe you already guessed this about me, but I’m not in the military. They wouldn’t take me. So I don’t have the kind of PTSD that someone in the military might have. But I have it, and it has destroyed a lot of my self. And anyone who has PTSD, in my opinion, wouldn’t judge anyone else for what he/she has PTSD for. There’s a community of us. Real survivors — of a trauma which changed our lives completely. It is debilitating.

But again.

Nothing in my fucking paperwork or otherwise pointed to PTSD. My medication list? Sure, numbers 1, 3 & 4? CHECK. So what the fuck, DDB?

Why did you jump to THAT?

FUCKING WHY?

My medication list SHOULD have led him to anxiety before anything else in the world. ANYTHING. FUCKING. ELSE!

It’s not okay that he did that.

It’s not okay that when I was leaving I felt like he was showing off, by literally violating HIPPA in front of me, giving his staff member instructions after she asked him a question, like he was flaunting his power, and how much responsibility came with that power.

My Mom recently told me that “If I make just a little bit of effort…” I might be happy with the results, in regards to my appearance. I was making, literally just the littlest bit of effort possible. So, ironically, I was like, Mom! But I know what she meant. She meant look prettier if I want to attract a mate. I, being the Bitch I am, of course told her that I was happy to now be supporting the establishment who sells make-up, feeding the culture that reflects back to us all of our values in society, including beauty, over everything else I WANT to be noticed for. To her credit, she admitted, “point taken.”(I love you, Mom. And you gave me good advice. People DO notice me now that I’m wearing make-up, perpetuating the implication that looks are indeed everything. But whatever I think of it, your intentions were always pure and kind.)

I think I need a dog to help me get through my panic attacks related to my anxiety and PTSD. I’m not kidding. Anyone know someone?

In conclusion, just don’t do THAT. Don’t be THAT guy. Don’t be an asshole. Don’t bring up PTSD unless you absolutely have to, and don’t assume anyone doesn’t want to talk about their PTSD either. Don’t do anything I say. Because in the PTSD community, I guarantee, there is one of us who will tell you, “you did it wrong.”

Editor’s Note: It turns out that chronic pain, is, well, chronic. I’ve been barely able to get around the past few days, having worn myself out earlier in the week, and my writing here every day has suffered. I dislike this very much, but am learning to manage it and work with it and deal with this new situation. Selfishly, I hope you missed me.

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