Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Oh, The Things You'll Hear

Thought I'd post some of the worst comments migraneurs have heard about their disease. The pathetic thing is that the very worst ones are made by Doctors and their staff. I got this information from people who responded to the question, "What are the worst comments you've received about your disease?". It was asked specifically of migraneurs. I'm not mentioning their names, because I don't think that's nice, but they're real people from a migraine forum that I regularly go to online. Here ya go:

I am a "drug-addicted skank" who is too lazy to work full time.

Oh, my, we know so much now about treatment, migraines are just not a real problem any more! (From a neurologist)

It won't kill you. Go home. (From the ER)

Crying will only make it worse. Now, get out of this room; I need it for a real patient. (After Doctor sent patient to ER)

We have treatments for that now" (Doc/Neurologist, can't remember which)

"Go home and sleep. Sleep is the only way to get rid of a migraine." -(PA at ER)

"Your migraines are inconvenient for others." (Professor)

"Oh well, you have to suck it up " (Family Doc)

"You can't let migraines rule your life" ( a friend)

"Haven't they found out what's wrong with you yet?" ( a friend)

"Are you sure her problems aren't just mental?" ( a friend to another friend about the migraneur)

I am a "stressed out moody worry-wart who doesn't know how to relax" ( a doctor)

“A lot of women have headaches.” (doctor)

"You're just a drug addict, no better than a heroin addict, you know that don't you?" ( a brother)

I was some kind of "delicate flower" ( a nurse)

I only get migraines "when things don't go my way" ( a husband)

"You are faking the migraines so you can take drugs." (a boyfriend)

"The migraines are only going to get worse, so get used to them." ( a doctor)

"You know, you can't be coming in here all the time to get shots" (note: this migraneur had not had a demerol shot in over 2 years, and she was vomitting in a pink basin when the doctor said this to her)

"You know, there are patients here that are really sick… You just have a headache" (a nurse)

"DO YOU NEED AN ASPIRINE?" ( a doctor, ER)

"well, if there's nothing showing up in your bloodwork it must be psychosomatic. Alot of women have psychosomatic problems you know." (a nurse, ER)

"It was all in my head. Take some Tylenol" (ER doctor)

One doc told me to run around the block when I have a miagraine. (This is the worst. I've heard something similar myself when a doctor recommended that I work out as soon as I felt like I was getting a migraine. I took his suggestion the next time and I ended up in the hospital.)

"You're lazy. You're just trying to get out of going to work." ( a bf she was supporting financially 100%)

Here's a couple of mine, though I've heard others:

"Oh, you're just a drug addict. No one is in that kind of pain from a migraine." (ER doctor)

"Just go home and sleep it off." (Doctor)

"I need you to get out of this room. We need it for someone who's really sick." (ER doctor)

Ok, and here's one of my favorites, only I have to tell you that my GI doctor told me this when I was suffering from my gall bladder shutting down. He wouldn't believe me about how much pain I was in and where the pain was at, and here's what he told me, "You're just depressed and need to see a psychologist to talk about it." Then he handed me his wife's card and guess what? She was the psychologist he thought I should see. Big surprise, huh? I hate hearing that, though. "You're depressed and need to see someone." Well, duh, I'm depressed. I just lost 80 lbs and can't eat anything but broth. You'd be depressed too, Asshole.

Now, if someone went into the hospital with say, chest pains, do you think he'd hear, "go home and sleep it off" or "suck it up and get used to it"? If a doctor told his patient with brain cancer that she was just a drug addict, that guy would get shot! So, why is it that we have to put up with this from our doctors? It just blows my mind. I mean, you wouldn't even hear these kinds of insults if you were just plain nuts. There are no blood tests for craziness, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I've yet to hear of a doctor telling his crazy patient that they need to get out of here so I can use your bed for someone who's really sick; or that they're just lazy and don't want to work, so that's why they're nuts. It doesn't make any sense and really needs to be changed.


At 10:48 AM, Blogger Fallen Angels said...

Hey...dropped by after seeing your comments on dr charles' blog. I am a "severe, migraine-like headache" sufferer. This means my headaches are exactly like migraines, except they never respond to abortive meds and have a known (sort of) cause. I have heard some of the things you posted. I was also made to feel like a drug seeker by a provider in my doc's office (MY doc not in that day), even though it clearly states in my chart that I am to get a "cocktail" injection of torodol, morphine and phenergan if I come in with a headache.

I do want to say though..."crazy" patients hear many of these things too. I am one of those too. ;) Things heard by mental health patients include, "just get over it", "pull yourself up by your bootstraps", "stop living in the past", "it's all in your head" (DUH :P), "think possitive", "tell the voices to go away and they will", "cheer up", "smile, you knew it would happen" (said to my sis-in-law who had just buried her 6 year old son, whom had a genetic disorder), "you just need to get out of the house, get back to work, go to school, join a club, go to the gym, etc", "you can control your thoughts", "just take control". I could go on and on, but I think my point is that chronic sufferers of anything seem to hear these types of unhelpful, rediculously unfeeling comments.


At 3:35 PM, Blogger Kim said...

I actually wrote a post on "Do You Hear What I Hear?"!

When I'm rooming the patients, migraine sufferers get the darkest, quietest room I've got and a sincere apology if the only bed I have is in a multibed room.

I've heard some real doozies in my time, but I've never heard anyone say they need a bed for a "real" patient. That's about as insulting as you can get......

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 40 year old male with three small kids--I've had headaches for 20 years and they've gotten a lot worse over the past 5-7... I'll go 3-4 months without one and then have several in a month that last 2-3 days or more...pain in the 7-9 range. Recently, I've had several really bad ER visits and a bad family doctor visit.... I take adderall for ADD, this has actually helped prevent migraines...another story. My first vist to my doctor after being prescribed adderall by a psychiatrist brought on this: "I can't treat you anymore--if you tell any doctor you're taking adderall they're just going to think your an addict." Next doctor I visited told me I had to take ibuprophin or excedrine--couldn't help me because of Adderall. I had a headache three weeks ago that biult up over three days to the point I was throwing up--I went to the ER and they told me to go home, and asked if I wanted to be directed to someone who could help me for substance abuse. I left and went to a different ER and was to the point I felt like jumping off a bridge, I didn't tell them I took adderall, but they did a pharmacy check and said I was lying to them and must be a drug addict-I explained why I didn't tell them and they said I should go home and consider getting treatment. My psychiatrist is getting me contacts of doctors who can help--but I've decided to stop taking adderall... When i don't take it I get insomnia and stressed out, can't focus on work, convesations, on and on... But the constant fear of getting a headache and not being able to be treated outweighs normal day to day function. I have a good job, two homes, three kids, don't drink or smoke, etc... but am now labled a drug seeker... It is really hard to stay positive--the headaches just destroy me when they happen...which recently is 10-15 days out of the month....

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