Hey Andy and Suzy,
I’m sorry to say it like this but your experiences with the medicos are not unusual. I too was repeatedly brushed off or just labelled a hypochondriac for many years. Seems I was imagining it all, which would have been great because then I should have been able to imagine it all away, only it was all too real to be imaginary. So, I ignored it all. It wasn’t until some 20yrs later that I had an incident that made them investigate a bit further, they came out with the line ‘Ohh, look what we found…’ as if it was all something new. I was SO VERY ANGRY. I’d been telling them for years something just wasn’t right ‘Oh, but your file says you have a history of hypochondria…’ No, I have a history of false diagnosis.
Then they operated, but things still were not right. Their attitude was ‘We operated, we fixed’, my view was ‘Well, if this is fixed I can think of another ‘F’ word that better describes it all’. So I went looking for answers. Like you Suzy, I went and had all sorts of scans, tests and examinations but the results were inconclusive and that line of ‘Oh, but your file says you have a history of hypochondria…’ kept coming up. Seems once that hypochondria diagnosis is given it follows you everywhere and is an easy out for any medico. The closest I came to getting anything like an answer was from an ophthalmologist who stated ‘Well, you’ve had brain surgery, what did you expect?’ I didn’t expect ‘THIS’.
I have symptoms everyday. Some days that’s manageable, some days it’s chronic bad, but what I look for now is a progression of symptoms. For me, a headache… …that’s normal, but if that headache progresses to one sided numbness/tingling, then progresses to nausea and vomiting, I need to act. These are my signs and over the years I have learnt which signs, for me, are ‘normal’ (as if any of it is ‘normal’) and which signs are an ‘Act Now’. You too will learn you signs, but I can assure you trying to get the medicos to accept that ‘Somethings not right’ is near on impossible, if the scans show no issue, then there’s no issue, according to them. Our views or reports of symptoms are often taken as hearsay and often the easiest answer is hypochondria.
Merl from the Modsupport Team