CN: medical stuff, discrimination
Today I meant to come home from the doctors and explain exactly how the change in schedule for codeine has only made things worse not better. I was going to talk about how all these extra trips to the doctor mean I don’t have spoons to go food shopping, how the anxiety about going to the doctor and the chemist and whether I’ll be able to get my dose and how I’ll be treated is amplified (even after the police incident, yes, it can and did get worse).
Instead the doctor came to collect me early and started talking about the possibility of autoimmune disorders and rare genetic diseases and admitted that he expected to write me a mental health plan and pack me off to the psychologist but instead he’s so stunned that he found something that has a name that I shouldn’t have false hope but I need to do my third round of blood tests in four weeks as soon as possible because if he can’t confirm the diagnosis I might die because it’s gone untreated for so long.
And I’m really not thinking anything other than nothing and the occasional ‘I’ve heard this before… haven’t I?’ Because I can tell you right now, since this is my eighth GP in like… five years, that saying the schedule change was meant to push people like me to get proper treatment is absolute bullshit. Since the schedule change I have literally been fired by one GP because I stood up to him and insisted it wasn’t psychological and that he needed to treat me like a person not a stereotype, and before that I was routinely and repeatedly dismissed, told I was making it up, told it would go away if I ate more/drank more/took the piercings out/had schema therapy/saw a speech therapist/saw another psychologist/etc. I would have made it to this doctor eventually, or another one who listened, whether the schedule changed or not. But a doctor listening to me, taking the time to actually run tests and check out my symptoms, is not something that happened because codeine is harder to get. It didn’t happen earlier because doctors and specialists assumed that because I looked female and had a rare symptom that it must be psychiatric, and didn’t look. And that not looking has permanently compromised my ability to have an unimpeded quality of life, and that also has nothing to do with whether I can access the tools to manage my symptoms on my own or not.
With conversion disorder, the diagnostic standard is to have had between 2 and 10 negative results for other things that are frequently misdiagnosed as conversion disorder (e.g. MS, Meniere’s, lupus). I had a WorkCover claim.
There is no way for me to sue the doctors who did this to me. I would, if I knew I could – if I didn’t know it often took seven-ten years, involved medical panels and extra testing and more money put in than coming out. But even if this next round of tests is a red herring, the fact that something was found, that something that has a name and diagnostic criteria that fit me was never looked for or considered, is something that I would hope haunts them, in some dark dull way that means they never, ever, let someone else go untreated.
And yes, this whole process has been far more stressful than it should have been.