“I could’ve caught it a lot sooner and saved a ton of money if my doctors had actually taken the time to properly examine me and listened to me.”
We recently asked members of the Community if, as women, they had ever felt as if their pain had not been taken seriously by doctors or medical professionals. Here are some of their stories…
1. The Woman With the Breathing Problems
When I was 17, I started having a really hard time breathing. My primary doctor told me it was just asthma. It became progressively worse, and my inhaler wasn’t really helping. One night, I woke up basically having a panic attack because it felt like I couldn’t breathe. My dad rushed me to the hospital, and after giving me an EpiPen for an allergic reaction, the doctor proceeded to tell my dad right in front of me that I was probably making it up to get out of school.
This happened several times with doctors telling me I was overreacting. After two months, I finally went to a specialist who discovered that I had a severe infection on my voice box that was inhibiting airflow into my lungs. —Alex Glenn, Facebook
2. The Woman With E. Coli
A few years ago I had extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and a fever for two days. It just would not get better. I finally made it to urgent care on the third day, and the male doctor said, “It sounds like you’re just having really bad menstrual cramps.” I happened to be on my period at the time, and he advised me to take some ibuprofen and “sleep it off.” Fortunately, the (female) attending doctor who came in to do the actual exam took one look at me and sent me straight to the ER. Turns out I had an E. coli infection and I spent the night in the hospital hooked up to an IV. Some “menstrual cramps,” amirite? —Rachel Hamalainen, Facebook
3. The Woman With a Torn ACL
I was in a skiing accident when I was 17. I immediately knew that I hurt my knee very badly as it kinda just snapped down and swelled up right away. I went to the walk-in clinic and I told the doctor what had happened. I told him what my pain level was at, and he told me it couldn’t have been that serious, that I just bruised up my knee and I’d be fine shortly. So I had no further testing and was sent on my way.
After two months, my pain hadn’t improved at all and my knee was still swollen, so I went to see a different doctor. Turns out that I had torn my ACL, MCL, and my meniscus. I needed a MAJOR surgery, and everything was worse because the first doctor didn’t listen to me and get me to an orthopedic right away. I ended up getting scheduled for surgery ASAP and they did everything they could to make my knee normal again. But because of the initial response to my pain, I have never been able to ski again, I had to stop jogging/running, and my knee will forever and always be a bit messed up. —MrsH810
4. The Woman With Shingles
In college, I got shingles and waited a while to go to the hospital because I had been misdiagnosed by my student health center. Eventually, I showed the spots to my friend, who said it looked like shingles and took me to the emergency room. I walked in and told the male nurse that I thought I had shingles, and he scoffed and said, “Where did you come up with that? The internet? You would be in a lot of pain if you had shingles.” As soon as I lifted up my shirt he said, “Oh my god you have shingles! Isn’t this painful?” Yes…it is painful. That’s why I’m here. —hannam9. Continue…