Three notes that may apply to listeners, friends, providers, or others

ableism, chronic illness, dehumanization, medical system, mental health system, mental illness, PTSD, saneism

TRIGGER WARNING: ableism, saneism, provider dehumanization/disengagement

 

To therapists: I am not a “case.” I am a human being. If I am a “case,” so are you, therapist sir or ma’am or whatever you may want to be called. You are a case of dehumanization. I am a case of humanity. We are not a “population.” We are a community. We are not just our diagnoses, and our diagnoses are more than us; we have our own whole full lives.

To medical providers: I have been living with chronic pain for five years, and a lot of that was malpractice. Even if my prognosis is good, and even though you have not been here for most of that time, sometimes, I don’t want to be cheery. Sometimes, I don’t want to be the easy “patient.” Often, I am not brave at all. Oh no—that word—“patient.” I am a human being, not a “patient,” not another file folder for your office, to be tucked away and locked after each half-hour visit, months apart… I wish much more, if not all, medical care was much more like acupuncture, where, once you adequately explained your perspective on the issue, you lay there and napped while other people fussed over you and actually put their heads together to try to put you together again. Take my problems seriously—and also take me seriously, as a person apart from an equation to solve. I know my own self best, and I want your best brain to help me.

To well-meaning friends and acquaintances who feel the need to diagnose and cure me right away: I may or may not have tried daily kale smoothies, aromatherapy (fragrance sensitive anyway), eating no gluten, exposure therapy, eating no dairy, traditional medicine, somatic experiencing, muscle testing, acupuncture, hiding in my room all day, exercising more, denial, yoga, constant discussion of my problems, tai chi, your grandma’s herbal tea, detoxing, EMDR, eating only broth, eating only cooked fruit, EFT, probiotics, just getting over it, considering the mind-body connection, blaming all my physical problems on my PTSD, blaming my PTSD on my physical problems, and/or meditation. I don’t even have to tell you what I’ve tried, and what was helpful, and what was total hogwash. You know what? Unless you suddenly became the expert on my mind and body, it’s none of your business!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Three notes that may apply to listeners, friends, providers, or others

  1. Well said and terribly important. Puts me in mind of Oliver Sack’s “A Leg to Stand On” where he recounts his experience at Doctor-Patient role reversal after being gored by a Scots highlands bull, crawling for hours back to where help was at hand, then spending two years as Patient. I think it was he also who urged medicals schools to include spending an academic quarter as a patient in the curriculum.

    Yay! for your gutsy blog. Honor to you.

    Like

    1. Wow, thanks so much! And you are my first commenter. 🙂

      I like a lot of Oliver Sack’s work, but I haven’t read that–I’ll check it out! The medical system is so wack, seriously. Only people who haven’t been at its mercy would disagree.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s