The Doctors That Teach Distrust

Dear Audy,

Earlier this month, I published You Need To See A Psychiatrist, which details some of the most distressing appointments that I’ve had with doctors and provides some background information for today’s post.

Sometimes, the only way to make peace with a traumatic event is to find the silver lining, the little glints of goodness that sparkle amongst the ashes.

I definitely learnt things from the previously mentioned Pain Specialist Prick. Some of those lessons were as he intended, others were the harsh type of lesson that we learn when the universe seems to spit in our face.

PSP was the doctor that broke me most and was able to do so because his earlier behaviour, logic and expertise, had convinced me that he was different, that he actually knew what he was talking about.

When he turned on me, it felt like a betrayal.

He taught me some pretty important things. Medically speaking, he knew more than the “pain specialist” that had previously kicked me out because “CRPS doesn’t spread” (I just can’t take that guy’s title seriously).

PSP taught me how chronic pain can progress in some cases. He taught me about how CRPS can spread from limb to limb due to changes in the brain. He taught me about the connection between chronic pain, emotional disturbance and brain fog. He explained central sensitisation to me and helped me to understand what was happening in my body and my mind.

I’d be grateful if he hadn’t turned out to be such a bitter soul; his intelligence warped by his arrogance. I try to be grateful. If nothing else, he left me with an excellent meditative anchor on which to practise forgiveness.

The last thing that PSP taught me was not to have faith in medical professionals.

It’s been a double-edged, sword of a lesson.

Or, perhaps a dual blade sword.

On the front of the blade, in learning to cope with his awful behaviour, I have gotten stronger. I took the pieces of my shattered mind and I built a stronger foundation. I have been able to take more responsibility for my own care and more responsibility for learning ways to improve my quality of life. I’ve learnt to have more faith in myself when it comes to accepting, or overcoming, limits.

I think betterer a lot now. Sometimes.

On the back of the blade, I’ve learnt to not trust that anybody knows what they’re doing. No matter how many credentials they’ve earned. Especially not doctors.

I finally found a decent pain specialist, who I now haven’t seen in over a year because during my last appointment, he didn’t have my records and kept trying to prescribe me Lyrica again. It was frustrating. He just didn’t even seem to recognise me and I left with a recommendation for taking a natural supplement as a painkiller, which did absolutely nothing.

He wasn’t even mean to me, but I’ve felt like I’d be wasting my time going back. One lacklustre appointment and I can’t find the motivation to return.

Maybe this wasn’t a lesson, maybe it’s a fear. Isn’t fear always a lesson of sorts?

My previous experiences have left me raw. These days, it takes longer to build up skin that’s thick enough to deal with any sort of attempt to seek further help in managing my pain.

It takes a lot of time, skill and practise to overcome a fearful lesson. It’s not that I blame anybody for the wrongdoings committed against me in my past, except for the perpetrators themselves, it’s that I struggle to trust those in similar professional positions.

Not blaming is different to trusting. I’m not sure that I truly trust any doctors, despite having a lovely GP. Liking is different to trusting too.

Healthy skepticism is a wonderful thing, however I don’t like feeling cynical. I might not be able to remanufacture trust out of thin air, but I can keep trying to recognise when a lack of it is interfering with my recovery. I can keep trying to approach each new situation, or medical professional, with an open attitude, rather than with anxious cynicism.

A lot of the time now, I feel a bit lost in trying to improve my management of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I plod along and I do the rehabilitation things that I have learnt will help and I keep hoping that I’ll push through to a better level of functioning.

Maybe that’s all I can do, maybe it just feels slow sometimes.

The past has burnt my trusting gland like CRPS burns my nerves, but this a burn that can be soothed. I’ll just have to keep working at it, because I might happen to need further help one day and I’d rather not be dealing with extra stress seeping in from my past.

Do you trust your doctors?

Thanks so much to everybody that has been supporting me in the NHBPM challenge! If you like what I am doing, please share these posts with the people that you share things with or click that little thumbs up. It’s CRPS Awareness Month, which is why I’m choosing to disclose a little more about my health on a daily basis. The more awareness that we can raise, the easier it will get for people who are navigating the choppy waters of chronic pain.

Love & Letting Go,

WEGO, CRPS Awareness Month, #NHBPM

This post written as a part of National Health Blog Post Month, run by WEGO health. Check out what people have been contributing via #NHBPM on Twitter, or joining the NHBPM Facebook Event.

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  • One thought on “The Doctors That Teach Distrust

    1. sarah (withstars)

      Don’t forget the target for the doctors and the targets you aim to achieve out of treatment is different. They want you to stop coming back, and for the scans and tests to SHOW there is nothing wrong. Funnily enough, your goal is to actually live a life that is worth struggling through each day- which usually does NOT include the level of agony you are currently enduring. If they cannot see, it doesn’t exist; if you say it does, they send to you a psychiatrist to find out why you are insane (not why there is something WRONG)

      While I’m wanting to throw my arms around you in complete understanding and empathy, because I’m losing my mind as my psych just keeps increasing and increasing my venlafaxine to help the depression- that feeling that WOULDN’T be there if I wasn’t in agony. And as this continues, I get foggier and lose more and more of my real self into this odd staggering, limping,mentally numb but screaming body state.

      All I can do is say, I wish I could be with you, to stroke your hand softly and say ‘I know, baby girl’ while also saying “this is the point when you realise you are alone and have to find you will have to find EVEN more money from that tree in your garden to try more random therapies, because the health service doesn’t really care”

      You are not alone xxxxxx never xxxxxx

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