How do you get drs to isten?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 8/17/2008 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a general dr. and I took her a list of my symptoms and I also made the mistake of telling her that about 6 yrs ago when I was going through a bad divorce I was on Wellbutrin.  She did the initial bloodwork to check my sugar, thyroid ect... It all came back fine which it usually does an dthen she sent me to a nuro, from day one he acted like I was making everything up, he gave me bottle of lyrica to try but first threw the paper on it away showing the side effects.  I've had alot of med cause me problems so I like to know what i'm taking.  He ran a carpul tunnel test and a spinal mri and that was that.  The lyrica made me have bad headaches and when I asked him for the sheet on it he asked why I said I don't like to take meds without knowing all I can about them.  I quit going to him and got my records and read that he felt I had depression then I went on to read where my general doctor had told him I had been on Wellbutrin before.  Why that would matter 6 yrs later is beyond me other then to let him know I had depression in the past.  I believe cuz of this he prejudged me.  I am overweight and i am upset over how I feel all the time but I don't feel thats the cause of my problems. 
I asked my general dr to refer me to a rhumy and she did but now I wonder if she sent the same letter to her as well.  I have a serious problem trusting drs now.  I know I need to tell her everything I experience but I don't want her thinking cuz there are so many things I'm making it up or I'm crazy.  I went to my general dr one more time to talk to her about pain I was having and I started crying when I was telling her how bad it hurt.  She said that maybe there was no real medical answer and told me to start Cymbalta.  I tryed it and I felt like my throat was closing.  I also heard her talking about me to her nurse in the hall about how she felt my problems were depression.  I know I need to find a new dr. but i'm nervous I'm gonna go through this again.  Do you tell the dr all your problems up front even if your not sure they are related?  How do I get them to take me seriously? 

Audrey Ann
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 8/17/2008 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I would try going to the rheumy that the doctor is sending you to see. A good rheumy will know that a symptom of lupus or most any chronic disease is depression. Cymbalta has been very good for me and has greatly reduced my pain that never really went away even three years after beginning treatment for my lupus and RA symptoms. My rheumy now thinks I also have fibromyalgia along with the other two since the pain was such an issue for me and it was helped with the cymbalta. Did you explain to your doctor about the reaction you had to cymbalta?

PS - I don't blame you for your mistrust of doctors right now. If you do go to a new doctor, you don't have to tell them about the wellbutrin from six years ago.
Audrey Ann
Lupus, RA, and (Maybe) Fibromyalgia and LOTS of Medications!


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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 8/18/2008 5:17 AM (GMT -6)   

I think doctors like to grab any easy answer they can so they will latch onto any depression episode and blow it way out of proportion and claim all the problems are depression. I finally went to a psychiatrist and had a full mental health exam done because I was sick and tired of being told it was all depression. Even after the psychiatrist said I had physical problems my doctors tried to blame depression. I stopped telling them my mental health history but it changed nothing. Then I got health insurance and was able to see a rheumy. I told her everything. I took pictures of my rashes and a good summary of all my symptoms since my early teens and my health history. I also took a decent family history considering I have no clue who my biological father is/was. My case was really bad by this point and I walked out with a dx and tx. But I still have mental health issues. Chronic pain causes depression and I have a past that I have been told would have broken most people and left them without a scrap of sanity. I ended up with PTSD and a debate over if I have bipolar type 2 or if they are misdiagnosing PTSD symptoms as bipolar disease as my only manic episodes occured on extremely high doses of anti-depressants. My signature gives a very short outline of the health issues. I nearly died a few months after my rheumy dxed me due to inflammation in my gallbladder (years of inflammation) shutting it down and the ER doctors blowing me off because they didn't know my rheumy, she works out of a hospital 20 miles from my home but all my research and the lupus patients in my area said she was the best for lupus. She has been wonderful and saved my life by telling me what hospital to go to and what test they needed to run.

Unfortunately there is no magic key to make doctors listen and believe. You need a doctor who cares and who is willing to suspend disbelief and not assume depression is the root cause just because you had problems with depression in the past. It is ionic, when I am sad I cannot cry but when I am frustrated and PO ed I cry easily and have always been that way. I just do not process emotions like everyone else because of my past.


That said, you may have depression because of the pain and the lack of anyone who listens and believes you. If there is depression it can actually make things much worse and lower your pain tolerance levels significantly. I am not in any way saying depression is the cause of your problems, rather that depression can be caused by your issues and that it can make it much worse.


I have a horrid time with medications and side effects. I can honestly say neurotin (sp I am spelling by sound here) can help significantly with chronic pain and has fewer chances of side effects than other meds. I can never take another antidepressant because of my brain chemistry and how it reacts to having my neurochemicals messed with. I am allergic to most antibiotics. I suffer extreme pain on a daily basis. I spent years in therapy and for a while it helped but after a point it became more punishing than just letting it go because the therapists always want you to re-hash what bothers you over and over.

I find keeping your mind occupied can help with chronic pain. I am in grad school which keeps my mind busy and may provide the skills needed so I can work again some day. My cognative function is off lately so I likely make little sense but I guess the gist of it is doctors can be idiots and because they hate admitting ignorance or lack of expertise they often latch onto any simple answer no matter how idiotic. Pain, suffered for any length of time causes depression and even mild depression makes pain worse and adds to fatigue. You need to find the right doctor and have a thorough medical history and family history as well as a symptom history that has a fair amount of details. Yet you need to make sure it is not so much information that the doctor cannot process it all and feels like they have been swamped with it. When they feel swamped they tend to assume mental health issues like they do when they haven't a clue.

When you find a good doctor you will know it and trust will happen. Do not trust easily because this is your health, your life, and your future on the line here. Some doctors will listen and believe but make your symptoms fit their preconceptions or what they want to find wrong. I wish you much luck. I am under the care of the best in my area and I have still encountered serious issues dealing with GP's and PCP's as well as specialists in other areas (dermatologists, GI docs, neurologists, etc).

A solid mental health eval can dispell the assumption depression or mental issues are the root of your health issues and if depression is an issue can offer safe treatment that will force medical attention back onto the medical problems. Also mental health medication should be prescribed and managed by a psychiatrist and not by any other kind of doctor. This is from my rheumy who says the meds used for mental issues be it depression or something else are too easy to screw up and that too many unqualified doctors are assuming they understand mental health issues based on the short section from medical school and prescribing these meds when not needed or incorrectly. Only a psychiatrist can accurately prescribe and manage them and even they make mistakes at times but at least they know how to fix it when they screw them up.

Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sj√∂gren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007,
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Procardia, Prilosec, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 8/18/2008 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   

I certainly can sympathize with what you are going through. I find that doctors are like cops. If they stop you and you cry, you're sure to get a ticket. But if you sit up straight and smile and say, "so sorry, sir, i was really going a little fast, wasn't i", you're more likely to get a warning.

It's like that with doctors. Dress up. Walk in with these lists:

1. All of your doctors, including their phone numbers

2. Any recent lab reports

3. A list of all the meds you are currently on (not past meds)

4. All the symptoms you have or have had in the past, whether or not you think they are relevant.

Tell the doctor in a matter-of-fact voice that you don't know what's wrong with you but something definitely is so you've listed all your symptoms so that he or she can sort through them. Don't whine, cry, or tell him that no one listens to you or believes you. Be strong and the doctor is more likely to listen to you.

Believe me. If you walk in prepared, with theses lists, the doctor will be impressed that you have done a lot of his work for him. He might even take you more seriously.

Sometimes it takes a long time and many doctors before we get a diagnosis. It can be so frustrating. I know. It took me many many years and many many doctors before I was finally diagnosed with lupus. Stay strong, and keep coming here for support and advice. That's what we're here for, Domanique.


Lupus, osteoarthritis, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.
cellcept, neurontin, prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, triamterene, tramadol, actonel, tri-est, imitrex, cymbalta, tricor, acifex, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 8/18/2008 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Domanique, finding a doctor that will truly listen is a hard thing to do, but they are out there and you may have to see several before you find one. For me I saw 2 other rheumy's before finding a great one. As far as regular doctors I don't think they will ever take as much time as a specialist but I only see mine for colds, etc. When you find a new rheumy they should spend at least 30-60 minutes with you on the first appt. Like Pat said, make a list of your symptoms and family history, take any recent labs (even as far back as a year ago) and don't wear make up, especially if you have a rash on your face.. When I was searching for the right rheumy I did not have my medical records transferred, (in fact she didn't even ask for them), I wanted them to figure it out for themselves instead of reading another doctor's opinion.

I know how frustrating this is, hang in there and keep searching for your doctor. I pray you get some answers soon and begin to feel better.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's, Celiac Disease, Raynaud's, Lupus and Sjogrens
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Folgard OS (B12), Darvocet (as needed) and magic mouthwash (for mouth sores)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 8/18/2008 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dominique,
All I can add to what the others have given you is that I went through the same torture trying to get help.  I was young, and doctors thought I was making things up.  I finally got in to see an Internal Medicine Specialist.  She was my angel.  She did tests, got me hooked up with other specialists that she knew and trusted and eventually, some 2 years later, I had my diagnosis. It still took time though.  I got really smart and knowledgeable and went into my appointments with confidence and a "no nonsense" attitude.  That got attention.  It still works and is only getting better.
I know this is hard.  Keep trucking through this. You might have to see 20 doctors before things start to fall into place, but it will.
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder-(miraclulously disappeared!), Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, Cozaar, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 8/21/2008 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dominique

I hope you are feeling better today!!!

diagnosed with RSD in March of /03, diagnosed with Lupus in Sept./06.Thyroid Disease ,RA
Taking Methotrexate, Plaquenell, Folic Acid, Synthroid,Prednisone, Pantoloc, Singulair, Tramadol, OxyCodeine and extra Strength tylenol when needed,and Zytram.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 8/27/2008 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the wonderful answers you guys have given toi me and all the care, concern and support. I appreciate it more then you could know.
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