Psalm 142: 1, 2 – I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.
It is one thing when someone you know thinks you’re faking your chronic health condition and it hurts, but there is one other thing that cuts you to the bone:
When you’re doctor doesn’t believe you.
I know that doctors are expected to do a lot these days with all the changes in the medical system. It forces them to treat more patients each day and to produce results so that insurance companies will continue to pay for the services the doctors perform.
That may sound like an excuse and it can and can’t be. It all depends on the doctor and on the depth of the relationship that you have with him.
But sometimes those with chronic pain can slip through the cracks and fall into the valley of hopelessness. After all, if your doctor doesn’t believe you who will?
My heart breaks when I think about the time when a doctor accused me of being too focused on my health. Here’s why: Because I have so many health conditions, (which by the way have been proven through medical tests) I learned some time ago to keep track on these conditions on what is called, “File of Life.” It is a one page document with you create that lists all your important information on it – Your primary care physician, your date of birth and address, the surgeries that have been performed on you and the dates, your medical conditions, medications you’re currently on, and your drug and food allergies.
This tool helps you as you go from one specialist to the next so that it’s easier filling out paperwork and so that you can keep up to date with your health. By and large I’ve had doctors tell me what a great idea it was and how it was helpful. But like I said above, there have been doctors who have thought that I liked to, “dance with the doctors.” Yes, a doctor really said that to me. Another said my keeping track of everything proved that I spent too much of my time thinking about my heath.
But that’s just not true! Those of us who suffer from chronic pain especially, unfortunately, at times need to back up what we’re telling the doctor. Yet, what about the things that we can’t back up as easily. And one of those things is that you can’t always prove beyond a shadow of a doubt where your pain is coming from.
I thought that was where a doctor comes in. Some doctors don’t think so.
So how do we convey our symptoms and “convince” a doctor that we aren’t faking it? How are we to be believed by our doctor? Webmd.com has some helpful suggestions in their post, “How to Talk to Your Doctors When They Don’t Listen,” such as what you can do to help you better convey your symptoms to the doctor, and lists some factors as seen from the doctor’s perspective.
And remember, you have the right as a patient to choose another doctor if the one you’re seeing stops believing you. This stress we can let go of. Our health depends on it, as added unwarranted pressure can cause our pain to spiral out of control.
Though all of this can seem overwhelming, there is one who believes you every time you talk to him. He never believes you’re faking your chronic pain. You can complain to him, as the person in the Bible verse above did. God can take it. He won’t give you a cold shoulder or push you aside. He also can give you the wisdom and words that you need when seeing a physician. Trust and rely on God. As you lift up your heart to him he will show you mercy and comfort you in your heartache.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.