Today's post is coming with a bit of a vent. Warning: there might be language. I'm pissed. Also.. this has to do with female issues, so if you're squeamish (not that there will be much detail), move along.
I'm calling it a matter that I'm passionate about because... it's about me and my body. Go figure I would have strong opinions about this. How could I, when the western (Western? Does Western have a capitol at this point?) medical profession usually scuttles me through the system (I think I should type it as, The System. It almost has a body of it's own, doesn't it...) as if I have no voice? Maybe I should duct tape an 'x' over my mouth. That's right; I don't have a voice because you're (the doctor) not fucking listening anyways.
I went to the doc this morning to do a checkup on my Vitamin D levels. Three months ago we found they were exceptionally low and have since been taking supplements (and getting lots of sun, of course). I thought we would do new blood tests to check my current levels, but as soon as I told her I was feeling much better for having done so, it didn't seem to cause her concern. So.. do I keep taking the supplements or don't I? I'm confused about this and received no feedback.
Next, I'd given her a list of symptoms I've been having the past 5 months about my cycle, that in some ways have been getting increasingly worse (including pain). I was given a (very) brief exam (literally, 2 seconds) and I was told the following....
1) "Every woman experiences pain during her cycle"
a) What I heard -> I'm going to dismiss your pain because it sounds normal, regardless of the fact you told me you're doubled over in pain and it feels like / this... / (description held back from the squeamish)
2) Go on the pill. It's the first thing we prescribe.
b) What I heard -> We have learned to medicate everything, so I'm going to do that in this case, too, without asking further questions.
c) What I heard -> When you ask me what's causing this pain, I've learned to shake my head and keep in silence because I wouldn't be considered a strong medical professional or person if I told you: I'm sorry, but I really don't know.. because that's our culture and how I've been trained.
Let me be clear; the symtpoms I gave her are *not* normal. I'm getting so sick and tired of how the Western medical system pushes you through not caring about what's causing your dis-ease, and medicating to cover it up so it's not an issue anymore. That cyst or tumor you have? Oh, we'll get around to it. *said issue explodes* I'm sorry, you're dead now because we've become complacent.
Now medical professionals, don't go hatin'. I've worked in health care long enough to know how the system works and I'm *not* discounting the fact that doctors are very intelligent and that some *do* care. We see them for a reason, right? I'm allowed (right now) to bitch as a patient. This is the only body I have, and I have to honour it by keeping it as healthy as I can. I don't feel like the current health care System is fucking listening to me; the very same System that was built to care for me when I feel frail, weak, sick, ill, unwell in any way, or at worse, terminal. So how is it servicing me right now? This is the one System that many people lean on for support and care. When you get 10 minutes with a doctor, how are you supposed to connect? How are they supposed to understand what's going on?*
Now, having said all of that, I do see a Japanese acupuncturist. It's the first time ever (I've been seeing him almost a year now) that I've been seeing someone for alternative care (besides chiropractor). I can't say enough about it. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine - and yes, I'm quoting 2 different Eastern medicines, but they do treat along the same values) treats the whole person, not just the dis-ease or symptoms. My acupuncturist has gotten to know me, my disposition, personality and my habits (eating, etc). He knows when A is off, it's causing a ripple effect for B to be off or out of balance. So you're thinking, why am I bitching about my doctor to begin with when I can just see my acupuncturist? Because (while not necessary) he can treat me better when there's official diagnosis.
After some pushing with my doctor, she's referring me to a gynaecologist to do an ultrasound. That makes me somewhat happy. I can't say I'll stop pushing for answers after that (if it shows nothing), but it's a start.
I'm just so fucking tired of not being listened to about my symptoms. Don't dismiss what I'm telling you as normal when you know damn well it's not! I just don't get it.. and it upsets me greatly. It makes me very sad.
Anyways, that's my rant for today. I'm curious if you've had similar experiences, or if there are medical professionals, what your opinion or take on this is.
*Disclaimer; I do like my current doctor for the most part and she's nice enough to get to know me a bit and ask questions at the beginning of an app't. I will say that for her. She has also been right about things in the past. Still, her approach to healthcare is representative of the culture they were raised. She's a bit older and I'm not sure if newer younger doctors come with a different approach.