August 27, 2005 is when my nightmare began. I went to my family doctor complaining of severe abdominal pain & fatigue. They ran blood work and a pregnancy test. And nothing. I went back one month later, still in pain, and hurting. My doctor ran a mono test and suggested an anti-depressant.
I told him I was not depressed, but he persisted. I went back again in mid-October because my pain was becoming more persistent. I saw a different doctor and he ran more blood work. This became the cycle of my life from that point on. He prescribed me 15 pills of an opioid to help with the pain until my results came back in.
The results indicated I had raised amylase/ lipase levels. They suspected gallbladder or pancreatitis. So more tests and 15 more pills. This became a vicious cycle for me. By this time, my husband was tagging along on my appointments and I was living in horrible pain almost daily. I couldn’t eat certain foods anymore due to pain increase and I lived life on my couch while trying to care for my two-year-old daughter.
Also, by this time, they were making me feel like a drug abuser saying they don’t normally give narcotics to abdominal pain sufferers. So we asked if they could give me something they felt more comfortable with. They gave me another painkiller that does not really do much for my pain, but it was better than nothing at all. I have not used my meds in any abusive manner, but the doctors make me feel like I’m a low life for needing this medication that does not even take care of my pain.
Since they cannot figure out what’s wrong through blood work and scans, they make me feel like I’m crazy. It’s not a big deal. And I’m wasting their time. It is so humiliating to know they do not believe you are in pain when you’re crying during an examination. I have seen specialists and they treated me worse or just completely dismissed me. I have also developed new symptoms along with this.
And one is what I call traumatic I.B.S. It sent me to the E.R. on February 2, 2006 via the ambulance screaming and wailing in pain. They gave me morphine in the ambulance on the way. When they got me there, I was still screaming and explaining the best I could this was worse than childbirth. At that point they wanted to shut me up so they gave me a sedative. I was still in pain and crying out. So they gave me more, and when they finally had me incapacitated they sent me home. No tests to see why this was happening – nothing. They just said follow up with my family doctor. What a slap in the face. I had no answers for this and I was so scared it was going to happen again.
I lost my health coverage in 2007 and the care dropped further. They don’t even bother to try anymore. It is now March of 2009 and I have no answers. I still do not know what is wrong with me and they insist they want me off the painkillers which do not work anymore. I have no quality of life and it has affected my entire life, especially my husband and now 5 ½ year-old daughter.
I do not understand how in these times patients can be treated so horribly wrong. When my husband injured his back, he was taken seriously from minute one. They all but doted over him. And they not only gave him huge bottles of opioids, they also gave him sedatives and muscle relaxants. And would ask him, “Do you need more? Well, just in case, we’ll go ahead and give you more refills.”
I was so sickened by the way he was treated compared to my battle over my treatment. I have to ask every time for my meds and then validate why I think I need them. It makes you crazy and I sometimes think I am. Now I believe even my husband doubts me after so many years of this. It has broken us down and we still have no answers. I just pray one day things will get better for women in the health care system, and I also pray my child never has to experience the unfair treatment I have received.