By Niamh Adams (she/her)
When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness you think the fight is over, you think you will get the help and support you need. Little did I know that this was only the start of my journey in becoming my own advocate and fighting for the support I needed.
I first became poorly at fifteen, no one knew what was wrong and I was told I had growing pains, sports injuries and its normal for teenage girl to pass out. A year of going back and forth and around in circles I was finally given a diagnosis.
Over the years I have met some amazing health professionals but I have also met some questionable ones and ones that blatantly don’t care what so ever.
One year ago, I had the worst experience with a doctor to date. I was not only dismissed, spoken over and shouted at but I was left in more pain than when I first went in. I left the appointment and went straight into my physiotherapist where I sobbed for probably about an hour.
I am in a very lucky position, however, in that I have seen the same physiotherapist ever since I was first diagnosed and she knows me inside out and stands up for me. So, it’s not all bad.
Here’s some things to remember when you have a bad appointment:
It will be okay.
That doctor just wasn’t the right one for you.
This is a journey.
A doctor’s ignorance may just be because they don’t understand, don’t take it personally.
There will be better appointments.
I think many of my bad experiences can fall down to doctors not understanding my condition so therefore going on the defence and instead of admitting they don’t know what to do they just suggest things they think will help but actually don’t.
I hope that none of you reading this will ever have a bad experience with a doctor and find the right one for you straight away but I do think it is a journey and it is equally okay if you go through a fair few before you find the right one for you. The one that understands you, fights for you and actually cares.