By Caroline Christian in #MEAction.
I am lucky in that I did not realize the fallibility of medicine until I reached the age of 38. This is when I was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a devastating neuroimmune disease wrongly believed by many doctors to be a psychiatric condition.
Throughout the past decade of navigating this illness, I have witnessed rather appalling behavior from some doctors – conceit, arrogance, insecurity, and an utter lack of curiosity and compassion. I have developed a fairly thick skin, but was completely unprepared for the mistreatment that our sick adolescent son would face.
Two years ago, our then 10-year old son started to complain of a stomach ache that did not resolve. Other things seemed wrong, too. I did not want to be an alarmist and waited an appropriate amount of time before calling for an appointment, thinking there would be a simple solution. His pediatrician showed concern, asked questions, then described how anxiety can explain all of the symptoms our son was experiencing and scribbled down a few names of therapists in town who work with adolescents. I left wondering if there might be more to the story, but given that doctors know best, I took their advice and put our kid into therapy.
Except in our son’s case, it was a lot more than anxiety.
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