Post Edited (squigey) : 10/8/2005 9:16:50 PM (GMT-6)
Hey there everyone,
I usually post in the Crohn's/IBS forums with my stupid gut issues...but I wanted to chime into this post because I am studying to be a physician. I understand that many physicians discount their patients' reports of symptoms that seem to defy diagnosis. They may tell you it's "in your head," or it's "not real." But the fact is this: no matter what, if you truly feel ill, there is some physiological change occurring that is causing visible or non-visible changes in your body. This may be a change in neurotransmission (not typically noticeable on various scans, x-rays, blood work, etc.), a change in your immune system (sometimes, but not always, noticeable on your bloodwork)...the list goes on and on. Medical science has come a long way; it helps so many people; our lifespan is longer because of it. But - it is not perfect. It is not exact. Your symptoms are real - otherwise you wouldn't feel them! It is very true that feelings of stress/sadness/emptiness can affect how you feel physically. I learned that when I was 14 years old, the adolescent child of an alcoholic mother and blatantly absent father - I started fainting. During Spanish class, gym class. I was miserable, lonely, and afraid. I had a cardiologist tell me the PVCs were benign and I just needed to learn to live with them. It was really hard for a couple of years, and then I adjusted, finally. I'm a social worker now, ready to start med school, and re-encounter the same crap over and over again with the kids I work with. Our brains are intricately connected with the rest of our bodies, and we cannot ignore that.
I don't know much about CFS. From what I have read, I understand that it can be totally debilitating for many people. I am not yet a physician. But I just wanted to let you know that there ARE people out there who may treat you in the future, and who may be more understanding than your current physicians may be. Nowadays, it is becoming more common for physicians to be trained in the psychosocial aspects of medicine, which are just as important (if not more) than the physiological aspects of medicine.
I wish all of you the best. Please know that some of us are trying very hard to educate ourselves before we throw our "professional" advice out there!