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Aibu to ask you to tell me your experiences of being dismissed by medics as a sick woman? I promise to listen

(581 Posts)
Graphista Mon 22-Oct-18 19:29:39


I was thinking of maybe posting this in FWR, or health - but I've chosen to post it here because I think it's important and it affects ALL women not just those of us with a particular interest in FWR or healthcare.

It affects us, our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces... ALL of us and I think it's a scandal it's not major news.

I've posted before about research I was shocked to read which said that women take 3-4 times LONGER to get a dx (including for non-specifically women's illness) than it takes for a man.

Due to discussion on another thread where @Helenadove kindly posted a link, I ended up doing some more reading - and I've barely touched the sides I fear!!

I really strongly feel this is an important issue that's being ignored.

"Unconscious and conscious bias work together, to ensure that women's health complaints are minimised, ignored, trivialised and belittled. Female patients are told they're hysterical, hypochondriac, anxious or paranoid - that it is all in their head" - X 1000 if you have a mh dx!!

They even coin a term for it "healthcare gaslighting".

Venus Williams pnd pre-eclampsia and burst c section, blood clot

"As is so often the case for women experiencing pain, both the nurse and doctor dismissed her claims"

Such attitudes are KILLING us:

Coroner: "Gross failure to provide basic medical care"

I'm allergic to the same medication.

"women are more likely to be given sedatives as treatment, instead of pain-relieving drugs"

And apparently it's the one time being good looking works against you:

"doctors subconsciously assume people who look ‘better’ on the outside, are healthier and subsequently require less treatment."


I've had ovarian torsion too. Incredibly painful, worse than endo or labour and frightening because one second you're fine then next in a heap in agony! I was lucky, as I'd that already previously had an ectopic pregnancy (also less painful but I was worried it was happening again) and dx of the endo and surgery for same, the medics straight away assumed a gynae issue. But I know from 2 friends who've had the same that it could have been very different. One was assumed initially to have appendicitis, the other like the lady in the article kidney stones. Thankfully in time these diagnoses were found to be wrong but not in the general course of things but in one case by a neighbouring patient suggesting it, and the other the ct scan person suggested it - before doing the scan!

Sonething I know a LOT of mners have experienced and a relative of mine too - again several YEARS of appointments and telling several Drs of the symptoms. That's UNACCEPTABLE.

So I would love to know your experience of being dismissed by hcps as "exaggerating" "hysterical" "anxious" rather than having your symptoms investigated, tests done and referrals made.

I'd also like to ask WHY don't Drs LISTEN to patients?! Especially women?! (And in my experience the female Drs can be as bad as the men!)

Graphista Mon 22-Oct-18 19:30:40

Links are clicky on app but not on site no idea why sorry.

AbsentmindedWoman Mon 22-Oct-18 19:36:32

I feel strongly about this too.

I'm sick to the back teeth of muddling along with a raft of different symptoms and gps being generally nice but at the same time dismissive. Others, less nice and more passive aggressive and impatient.

I am tired of being chronically ill.

Graphista Mon 22-Oct-18 19:38:28

I'm so very sorry to hear that. But not at all surprised.

What are your symptoms? What has been checked so far?

OhBuggerandArse Mon 22-Oct-18 19:43:22

Oh, I had a perfect example of that when I had really painful thrush in both breasts when trying to establish breastfeeding. Doctor looked at me with head on one side and said 'oh, yes, it's such a difficult stressful tiring time, isn't it. Is there anyone who can take the baby out for a walk in the pram?' and then refused to prescribe any medication.

I went back to another doctor, got a prescription, and managed to breastfeed successfully. But I still remember the utter frustration, and the sense of powerlessness - it was infuriating and upsetting, and absolutely the last thing I needed at the time.

gendercritter Mon 22-Oct-18 19:44:39

It took me 13 years to get one diagnosis. I was treated very badly. Lots of eye rolling and huffing from doctors. One sexual assault. I'm afraid I'm not going to detail everything here but I was treated terribly. I was a child.

With another (M.E) - well where do I start? Have a watch of Voices from the Shadows free online or Unrest on Netflix. I could write a full length book on how poorly M.E patients are treated. Lynn Gilderdale's story is worth googling, as is Sophia Mirza's.

I know of several girls who were diagnosed with cancer after months of being fobbed off and told they were attention seeking.

It is a very serious problem in the medical profession. Chronic health problems are treated as hysterical in many cases

HelenaDove Mon 22-Oct-18 19:46:00

Ive had an overactive bladder since my early 20s (im now 45)

i was told it was normal.

OpalIridescence Mon 22-Oct-18 19:46:54

I went to doctors after having a section where I had a massive bleed. I was terrified because along with a BP crash I had listened to them talk over me about growths they had found.

After the drama of the crash was over I insisted they tell me about the growths. Turned out to be four fibroids.

When I told the doctor (I went because I was having heavy bleeding) they gave me a take to the library for a book about health anxiety!

Totally dismissed, I knew I had fibroids because a surgeon had been looking straight at them, I can't imagine trying to get treatment if they were just a suspicion.

My sister has endometriosis, anyone who has tried for a dx with this will know the struggle.

TheOud Mon 22-Oct-18 19:47:16

I agree totally. I’ve felt exhausted and had a big list of seemingly unrelated symptoms since childhood. It was when DD aged 30 was asked by a rheumatologist if there was any history of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in the family, that I finally got diagnosed aged 56. It’s clesrly what my late DM, my aunt and my DGM had. Granted there wasn’t much, if any awareness of this condition until the last few decades but I was written off with fibromyalgia for years. DD was also sent away time after time before someone took her mucusy, bloody diahorrea seriously enough to get further tests done and diagnose her 5 years on, with ulcerative colitis. She was at uni and moving around a lot but even so blood and mucus in poo and severe pain and weight loss should have been treated seriously. She was diagnosed with IBS, stress etc for years. I’ve also had a serious bladder condition missed so that in all the time they were banging on about interstitial cystitis and menopausal issues, the condition has become chronic and very hard to treat. After getting nowhere fast in the NHS for the last 4 years I’m paying to see an expert privately because it’s ruining my life. I can’t help but feel if it were a bloke with the same symptoms he would haven’t have been fobbed off with hormone issues and told there was nothing much else they could do.

Familyfeud22 Mon 22-Oct-18 19:48:56

A good few years ago I had awful chest pain and a productive cough, so I suspected a chest infection. Went to the walk In drs who wouldn't even listen to my chest, said because my oxygen saturations were 100%, there's no way I'd have a chest infection despite my symptoms and diagnosed anxiety!!
Luckily I was a student nurse at the time and had one of the drs at the hospital listen to my chest - was definitely a chest infection!

HelenaDove Mon 22-Oct-18 19:49:58

I lost 10 stone 16 years ago.. I got gallstones and it got so bad i couldnt eat SOLID food. i went through months and months of excrutiating pain and A + E admission. In and out of A + E for TEN MONTHS. then doctors coming to my home to give me morphine injections whenever i had an attack . Finally a doctor prescribed me morphine pills which melted under the tongue that i took every time i had an attack. First attack was 3 July 2002 Scan was on 19 Dec 2002 after months of A + E admissions . Early Feb 2003 i got a letter telling me id have to wait for ANOTHER YEAR. I cried my eyes out and actually considered suicide. It was only after a private consultation with a surgeon and then another admission to hospital and an NHS appointment with the same surgeon that my op was promised within 6 weeks It was done 5 weeks later on 28 April lost 8 stone by the time i had my op. The surgeon and two doctors told me it was caused by losing weight too fast. (slimming world) The pain was excrutiating and the first attack appeared after id lost nearly 4 stone. Back then i had no idea fast weight loss could cause gallstones I was losing a stone a month and whenever i did try to slow it down i either stayed the same or gained.

I actually did seriously consider suicide especially after i got the letter telling me id have to wait ANOTHER YEAR. I thought it was beyond cruel especially when id lost the weight by myself with willpower.

i believe due to mixing tramadol with as many over the counter drugs as i could in the early months to stop the pain i have been left with long term issues and its also left a bitter taste in the mouth TBH. Im grateful for the NHS but i was in so much pain i was thinking of overdosing (which i was bloody close to anyway) i also think the fact i won Class Slimmer of the Year and started to appear in our local papers may have been a factor in me getting the op sooner than that awful letter said but i shall never know.

Bearfrills Mon 22-Oct-18 19:51:30

When I had my youngest DC I was in a lot of pain and was dismissed by medical staff with "you've had a section, of course you're in pain". When I tried to tell them it wasn't my first section and it was more pain than I'd had the previous times I was told it was afterpains. When I started shivering, couldn't get warm despite wearing several layers + a dressing gown + two blankets, and couldnt even drink because the thought of liquid being in mouth repulsed me I was told it was my milk coming in, it can make you feel flu-like. When this progressed to non-stop vomiting of green and brown bile "you've caught a stomach bug from your DC" even though none of my DC were ill. When I said could it be an infection I was told no because my wound wasn't red or leaking and I didn't have a fever. By midnight when I was confused, having muscle spasms, severe abdominal pain bad enough to have me sobbing and writhing around the bed, and still having all of the other symptoms DH decided enough was enough, he said the moment that swayed him was when I suddenly turned lucid, very calmly told him that I was dying, and told him where to find my life insurance documents. They listened to him despite fobbing me off all day long and it turned out I had sepsis, if I'd taken the advice they gave me when I was at the vomiting bile stage of "go to bed and sleep it off" I'd have died.

It doesn't just apply directly to women either, it also applies indirectly. DS has ASD and when I first raised concerns about his development the GP turned it around on me and tried to make out that I wasn't coping so was looking for excuses/attention/validation via DS.

AbsentmindedWoman Mon 22-Oct-18 19:51:55

I'm exhausted and feeling a bit down today, so don't want to drone on about all my issues - but a stand out one that really upset me is related to gynae stuff.

I have adenomyosis, but symptoms are getting worse - I suspect endometriosis with bowel adhesions. I've been discharged from gynae services and asked for a second opinion on account of symptoms getting worse.

GP told me endometriosis is normal for women hmm and said he could only consider referring me again if I agreed to a rectal exam. Now, I fully appreciate that they need to do exams - I get that. But it was the way he said it - he was using the threat of the exam as a tool to make me go away.

TedAndLola Mon 22-Oct-18 19:52:33

I bled (menstrual) for five weeks solid, soaking through a super tampon AND pad within an hour. Every hour. I couldn't stand up without being out of breath.

A few weeks in I went to the doctor. He asked about contraception, I said I had an implant, he said "Ah yes, that'll do it. I'll give you a prescription for iron" and looked at me, expecting me to leave. I asked what to do if the bleeding carried on. Him: "Well, you can come back in a few weeks if you like, but the iron should make you feel better."

After another week I went to another doctor and started crying when explaining how shit I felt (I'm not a crier). She didn't comfort me. She said I'd been offered the wrong dose of iron, gave me another prescription, and sent me on my way.

It stopped as suddenly as it started, but I felt completely dismissed. Can you imagine anybody going to the doctor with a wound bleeding that much and not being taken seriously? But because it's "just a period" we have to get on with it...

SilverHairedCat Mon 22-Oct-18 19:52:34

Yup. I had to take a calendar print out with bright pink highlighter marking on it to show the number of days I had migraine on it to visually illustrate the number of migraines I was having to get someone to take me seriously. He said "bloody hell, there's basically no days on there where you're pain free!" and I said "yes, I've been saying this for months, but no one will listen".

I hadn't see him before, but he had the good grace to look a bit embarrassed, probably by his colleagues.

It was 3 more appointments and me sobbing on yet another Dr before I got an MRI and a neurology referral. I've been having chronic migraine for over 20 years now.

LittleCandle Mon 22-Oct-18 19:56:25

I have thyroid issues and my symptoms are ignored. The endo this year didn't listen to a word I said and told me it is all due to the menopause. I am at that stage, but oddly my 'menopause' symptoms all disappeared when I upped my thyroid drugs. I never feel all that brilliant, but I am not actually ill.

I am due for my yearly medical review and I am going to take a list in and make the poor nurse listen to me. I don't care if they want to drop my thyroid dosage because my levels are 'all right' because my symptoms say otherwise. I have decided that since they know nothing about thyroid problems, I will buy my drugs on the internet if need be, simply so that I can keep functioning. I have had 22 years of feeling a bit shit and utterly exhausted each and every day and I am done being cheerful about it all.

Enterthewolves Mon 22-Oct-18 19:56:52

I was told I had asthma at 39, eye rolled at when I said on a previous visit the GP (female) had said if the cough hadn’t cleared up I needed an X-ray and was fobbbed off with paracetamol. 4 days later was admitted to hospital for a week with bi-lateral pneumonia and blood oxygen so low they couldn’t believe I was conscious.

AbsentmindedWoman Mon 22-Oct-18 19:57:40

Thank you for starting this thread, OP.

Sometimes I despair that I'm just ineffectual in this context, or that it's otherwise my fault somehow.

Cornettoninja Mon 22-Oct-18 19:58:30

I actively avoid the GP to my detriment now. I’m sick of being patronised and dismissed. I have constant back pain and have done for five years (it’s on of those things), dizziness and instability for three years (tried antihistamines which made it worse and was told that was all available), psoriasis (steroid creams made no difference Live with it). Heavy painful periods are just part of life apparently. I know more can be investigated.

On and on... tbh I’m too bloody tired to fight my corner any more. Add in the difficulty getting appointments And one problem per appointment where do you bloody start.

SilverHairedCat Mon 22-Oct-18 19:58:47

Ah yes, then there's my mother who is regularly dismissed because is now in her 60s so is of course invisible.

She is a retired nursing Sister so isn't daft and is fairly clued up on medical stuff. She has osteoporosis. She has been left with a pair of broken ankles misdiagnosed as gout for 6 weeks - that was fun....

And the worst was a broken femur misdiagnosed as her hip playing up. That ended up being pinned.

She recently broke her foot turning around in the kitchen. She's broken that twice standing up getting out of bed or off the sofa.

She's fobbed off all the time even though her medical notes are very clear on her medical and familial history (all of her female relatives are the same - I'm praying I take after my Dad!).

AgathaRaisinsCat Mon 22-Oct-18 19:59:53

Certainly not as bad as most examples but this happened today and I'm cross.

Phoned my GP this morning with a chronic cough (5-6 weeks) and they asked me to go in. When I got there the paramedic on duty (didn't know that they had these at GPs but you learn something new) took one look at me and weighed me, measured me and had a go about weight. I know that I have a problem and I wouldn't have minded if he'd even vaguely addressed the reason that I'd asked for the appointment but he didn't until I pushed for it at the end of the appointment. Then he just told me that it was a cough and would probably clear up on its own at some point.

Why would I want to go to the GP again if they won't even listen to the reason for the visit but make it about weight?

AnnDerry Mon 22-Oct-18 20:00:13

Very short version:
I was told by the GP I had a stomach bug.
3 days later I was unable to keep water down and was hallucinating from pain and dehydration.
Eventually I was seen by the out of hours GP.
When I was admitted to hospital with a severe kidney infection I was so ill that I had to have a glucose and saline drop, and IV antibiotics and needed 3 different types of antibiotic before I was well enough to be released.

All this is in spite of the fact that I have a history of kidney problems, had been hospitalised twice before for kidney infections, and told the GP on the very contact that my symptoms were following the usual pattern of kidney infections and that the D&V were incidental to the appalling kidney pain. The GP read my records and then told me I was being unnecessarily anxious.

HelenaDove Mon 22-Oct-18 20:00:49

Thread from earlier this year.

Bearfrills Mon 22-Oct-18 20:03:20

I had HG when pregnant with my youngest and went to the GP to try get some help. I explained that the sickness was beyond anything I could cope with, that it was constant, that it had triggers I wouldn't have expected like noise, who knew noise could make you sick? She told me that after so many pregnancies I should know what the expect (six pregnancies, four DC) and that morning sickness is normal, sign of a healthy pregnancy, get some rest, it'll pass, blah blah blah and absolutely refused to listen when I told her that I know what to expect in terms of morning sickness and that this sickness was not normal morning sickness. Three days later ended up at EPAU who diagnosed HG and gave me a prescription for antiemetics. When the prescription needed to be renewed the GP refused to prescribe them because "it's just morning sickness" and told me I needed to learn to cope better.

Same surgery, different GP. I went in with symptoms of a UTI. Back pain, feeling a bit hot/sweaty, frequent trips for a wee but only small amounts at a time. They dipped my wee and it tested positive for blood even though it was a normal colour so I got lots of questions about was I on my period (no), was I sure (of course), well did it end in the last few days (no), have I had any spotting (no), have I recently had sex because that can cause mild spotting (FFS). Absolutely refused to believe it wasn't vaginal blood, said I didn't have an infection, back pain was probably age (36!) and raised temperature was due to it being a warm day. A few hours later and my lower back is throbbing, I'm sweating buckets, and peeing bright red pee that feels like it's laced with glass. Off to OOH and yup, it's a UTI.

ThereWillBeAdequateFood Mon 22-Oct-18 20:04:58

I’m lucky with my health but you are banks on the money op.

My mum had hideous endometriosis and heavy periods. It took well over a decade to get any decent treatment.

IHaveBrilloHair Mon 22-Oct-18 20:05:07

I was once dismissed as having agorophobia when I was having an asthma attack.
I'm a known brittle asthmatic, my consultant is based in that hospital, I'd had a diagnosis for six years at that time, but the A&E Dr didn't want to know.
I am not, nor ever been been agorophobia.
I was eventually admitted for 16 days with an exacerbation of brittle asthma.
That A&E Dr could have killed me, I couldn't breathe ffs.

AngelsSins Mon 22-Oct-18 20:06:03

I’m very lucky in that so far (touch wood) I’ve never had any really serious health problems, however my aunt had skin cancer and she was told to let people in her family know so they could keep an eye on any moles - or something like that (it was years ago so I can’t remember exactly). Anyway I have similar skin to my aunt, moley around my collar bone, but also very pale. I had planned to pay to get them removed but had been told I should get them checked first.

I had an appointment with my gp about something else, so mentioned my aunt to him and asked if there was anyway I could get my moles checked/tested. He looked at me with almost contempt and said “the NHS isn’t for cosmetic procedures; if you want them removed, go pay for it”.

I was so angry about the way he spoke to me, I hadn’t asked to have them removed, and I really think it was because I was fairly young and pretty back then, so he assumed I was obsessed with my looks. Not the worst case in the world obviously but I doubt he would have said the same to a man.

Bearfrills Mon 22-Oct-18 20:06:12

To add to my post about the GP refusing to help with HG.

DH went to the GP the same week because he was getting almost constant nausea as a side effect of a medication he takes. The GP, same one I saw, told him that constant nausea is grim and prescribed him medication to help with it!

OpalIridescence Mon 22-Oct-18 20:07:43

Agree about indirect dismissal too.
My nine month old had a cold that would not shift. Her eye started to swell. I was worried and I googled. I found an old Mumsnet thread on here talking about periorbital cellulitis.

I took my daughter to walk in and the doctor was so dismissive of me. He said there wasn't any thing wrong with her eye and and I was overly worried, he actually talked to me as though I was attention seeking or stupid.

I held up an image of periorbital cellulitis on my phone and said it's the same, it's what she has. Nope total dismissal.

I took her to another doctor, exactly the same. Ok, I had to believe them.

The next day when I got her out of the cot her eye was swollen shut and huge. I drove straight to a&e. They admitted her straight away and started her on IV antibiotics. The doctor told me she was lucky that it had not spread to brain when I got her in as it is life threatening leading to sepsis/meningitis.

That's my child, I know her eyes, I knew she wasn't ok but no one thought I was worth listening too.

IHATEPeppaPigMoresoatHalloween Mon 22-Oct-18 20:09:15

You are right OP, I was constantly told during my pregnancy that the symptoms I was experiencing were anxiety - I knew it wasn't and turns out I had extremely low blood count and severely anaemic, that wasn't until I was about to give birth though so literally throughout my pregnancy I was totally ignored and dismissed.

skyesayshi Mon 22-Oct-18 20:12:35

My mum almost died when I was 6 due to this. She had already had one topic pregnancy and had a tube removed.

When she felt ill again and was in agonising pain she told the doctor it felt like the ectopic pregnancy. The doctors told her it was all in her head, she was hysterical, it never happens twice blah blah blah and sent her home. They ignored her for days. In the end someone told my dad, get her to hospital or you will lose her.

Turned out it was a second ectopic which had ruptured and she was bleeding internally. She could have died, leaving two DC aged 4 and 6. It took her weeks to recover.

It’s the reason I won’t have a coil fitted as she was on it each time.

This was in the mid 70’s.

StickingWithEasy Mon 22-Oct-18 20:14:04

Had a diagnosis or Juvenile arthritis as a child, have had joint problems on and off since age 8. As I got older rheumatoid arthritis was bandied about about but I wasn't following a typical degeneration and my joints have deteriorated incredibly slowly.

Had a synovectomy on my left knee, which had always been the most problematic joint, at age 18. A few years later my right knee started playing up. A doctor told me "You're in your early twenties, maybe you should focus on being well rather than trying to be ill" hmm
When I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter age 24 I suddenly developed psoriasis only on the scalp. Age 28 I met a better rheumatologist who agreed I did have arthritis but wasn't typical of either rheumatoid or psoriasis and again very strange that I had slow degeneration. The arthritis was managed then with steroids and painkillers and after my last baby 2 years ago when I couldn't walk up or down stairs I was put on methotrexate then switched to sulfasalazine.

Unfortunately my good rheumy left and now my wrists have started playing up, went to see the new rheumy who blamed it on me wearing a watch?! Plus she has written "probable psoriatic arthritis" which just makes me feel like they think I'm making it seem worse but I literally have documented joint problems from childhood, they performed an operation on my knee, they have me on daily medication and they still are not sure enough to give me a firm diagnosis?! So fed up with it all

skyesayshi Mon 22-Oct-18 20:14:14


vampirethriller Mon 22-Oct-18 20:15:37

4 weeks ago: 32 weeks pregnant with terrible chest pain, wheezing, couldn't breathe. Was told by a consultant in a and e that it was reflux and sent home.
An hour later had to go back because the pain was through my whole upper body. I couldn't speak or walk. Kept waiting 13 hours for painkillers because I used to be a heroin addict and they decided this was just drug seeking behaviour.
Another consultant saw me, I had xrays, and they realised it was pleurisy. Gave me one dose of antibiotics and sent me home.
In the last four weeks I've had it return twice because the antibiotics weren't enough the first time.

mytieisascarf Mon 22-Oct-18 20:16:55


In my teens, my period's were debilitating. Pain so that all I could do was crawl around the floor. For five days a month I couldn't eat or sleep and had constant diarrhoea. Was told by male doctor that this was normal and I was a women now and had to just deal with it. Then I started to bleed and didn't stop for weeks. I thought I was dying of a sexually transmitted disease! (Had just started to be sexually active) and took myself off to the local family planning clinic. Within an hour I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and ovarian cysts - one of which was the size of a grapefruit and had surgery scheduled for the following week.

Also have thyroid issues (well known to be completely misunderstood by GP's) Despite being medicated to the optimum level I am still experiencing all of the same symptoms that I had when I was first diagnosed. After much research I have come to the conclusion that I am on the wrong kind of medication. When I brought this up with my GP he literally laughed at me and told me a completely irrelevant story about how when they changed the packaging of drug in Germany thousands of women complained that they stopped working.

SimplySteve Mon 22-Oct-18 20:16:59

I've been very blind to this, that is until my DW was left waiting for almost two years with a very serious sight issue. Saw one consultant who operated, then two years until follow-up. Net result is she is now registered blind.

Then I started digging, all of the cases you highlighted are shocking Graphista, and it leads me to think if this is happening to celebs/sport stars then I cringe, and seriously worry, of the general public.

As a man too, I've personally been treated like this. I was waiting 10 years for one dx, ignored multiple times when asking for pain meds in A&E (turned out my gallbladder was infected and a massive gallstone blocking). Didn't get anything for 14hrs until consultant saw me and went batshit. Cue morphine drip...

I think we've seen less than 1% of what goes on, and agree massively with any mh dx affecting care. I had appendicitis, and because my pulse was up and blood pressure a nurse said I was having a panic attack and to "piss off home". (I have ptsd).

It's like so many things, and I agree women are mistreated far more than men, they are so ingrained in the system, and I think resources (both financial and departmental) are stretched so much cutting corners is systemic and procedural. Few quid here, few quid there. Cancel this - 10 month wait for a generic clinical appointment anyone? - saves on staff/medicaments. Utter joke.
Someone like Atul Gawande needs to do a book about this. I shall go tweet him.

SharkSave Mon 22-Oct-18 20:17:21

After I'd had my first DC I was in the post op recovery ward, crying in pain. I'd had an epidural, forceps delivery, 3rd degree tear repaired and a manual placenta delivery and was told by the midwife 'hmm yes that's what happens when you have an epidural and it wears off'
Couldn't offer me any pain relief other than paracetamol apparently.
Fucking bitch ruined my first few hours with my new baby

extremelymaturecheese Mon 22-Oct-18 20:17:39

I was extremely ill while on holiday with a sharp pain in my side (it had been coming in waves off and on for months) so when I got back I went to a Dr.

He just said I had knocked my floating rib and that maybe I was just a bit stressed.

Pushed for an ultrasound - wouldn't give it until I asked for his full name and which Practice Manager I would need to write to as it was one of those hub clinics staffed by locums. He sulkily referred me.

Gallstones. Lots and lots of gallstones.

I'd like to say it was a unique experience.

It's like Drs believe the wahmens don't know what pain is, what with all our wahmen problems. thlhmm

Mehaveit Mon 22-Oct-18 20:17:40

I too was fobbed off about my HG by a female doctor no less. I've been fobbed off about my anxiety around birth by a female psychologist no less. It worries me the lack of empathy even a female medical professional offers to fellow women.

HelenaDove Mon 22-Oct-18 20:17:40

My 82 year old mum has high blood pressure For a few weeks they had her in every week to check it.................then they told her to buy a blood pressure monitor and do it herself and then take the results to the surgery (all this is exacerbated by the fact that the surgery moved to the outskirts of town so many elderly /disabled patients are having trouble getting there. ) DM has also had bad head pains for months. They are supposed to have referred her to an ENT specialist but its a 20 week wait. The surgery is in special measures and has been rated inadequate on all counts. Other patients have said their referrals have not been put through.

DM hasnt been prescribed anything for the symptoms ive described here.

ArabellaUmbrella Mon 22-Oct-18 20:18:15

My problem is not nearly as serious as some of yours. But I would really love to get some proper information about the peri menopause. Ive been struggling with symptoms for some time now and my male GP doesn't seem remotely interested. We do have private healthcare and I'm thinking of going down that route now, but not everyone has that option.

SimplySteve Mon 22-Oct-18 20:18:46

Personally I have chronic conditions, five of them, and two acute conditions I've been waiting to be seen about for 10 months and 16 months... and refused to be prescribed two medicines because they are too expensive.

OhTheTastyNuts Mon 22-Oct-18 20:19:37

I was experiencing a lot of bleeding when doing a poo.

Went to GP. He asked if I was having my period. No. Was I sure? Yes. Did the bleeding also occur when I WAS having my period? Yes. So it's just your period then dear.

I was in my 30s. Having periods since late teens. Apparently totally unable to tell whether blood is coming from my vagina or anus 😑

Fstar Mon 22-Oct-18 20:20:13

My own experience is it took 2 years of consistently telling gp something was wrong, didnt feel good, excessive weight gain, more frequent migraines and a whole load of symtoms until they finally tested thyroid and gave me treatment. A year later still tryi g to gef the right dose.

Mentioned everytime about weight and how i can lose it, no reply, ignored completely. Told me to keep a food diary, i did, ate avg 1000cals a day. No answers from gp abojt how i can loss it. Had a very stressful time this hear with partner nearly dying twice and could t bring myself to eat much, still no weight loss.

As a side note my partner (male) has also had a terrible time sinee late 20s, cancer twice, sepsis a d kidney failure. Gp didnt lksten to him until it was too late, for fhe cancers and kidney failure. They told him he had ibs (for 2 years this went on) then he had viral i fectikn, 2 days later in icu for kidney failure.

Bowerbird5 Mon 22-Oct-18 20:20:58

Yep. They told my mum it was MH problems and the palpitations she had were anxiety/stress related.Scotland.
She went to live with her sister in Australia and within 6 months she had a top to toe health check and discovered she had a heart condition. She had a bloody triple bypass and at deaths door. All in her head though! She recovered and lived till 83.

Rollyrollyrollyrolly Mon 22-Oct-18 20:21:06

I told a GP I wanted to kill myself and to please help me whilst in tears to be told "well we all feel down sometimes maybe try taking a walk" I said is there nothing else you can do to be told " I don't know what you think I can do that you can't do for yourself"

To cut a long story short I left feeling even worse and ended up in A&E the next day.

Gwenhwyfar Mon 22-Oct-18 20:21:19

My mum apparently saw 'neurotic mother' on mine or one of my siblings' medical records. One thing we can all do now is request our notes free of charge. I do worry about the burden this might place on NHS staff though. Since GDPR came in they're not allowed to charge us for them.

Mehaveit Mon 22-Oct-18 20:21:38

@vampirethriller my cousin had pleurisy and was in hospital for a week! That's disgraceful especially for a pregnant woman. Ex heroin addict and they still condemn you by your past flowers

gingajewel Mon 22-Oct-18 20:21:56

My daughter had an undiagnosed dairy allergy when she was very little. It took me seven visits to the go, five visits to the walk in centre and two to a and e until a locus doctor said to me “this isn’t my surgery so i won’t think about the cost and trial some dairy free milk for her” I new my baby was ill but no one listened.
In this time I was asked if I was a first time mom, told that babies cry and what did I expect and that I had pnd and was trying to pin something on my baby that she didn’t have.
I felt in this time I was going mad, I didn’t no who to turn too and didn’t no where to turn to for help, I will never forget the feeling of utter helplessness I felt during this time.

gingajewel Mon 22-Oct-18 20:22:32

Sorry for the spelling mistakes! Autocorrect!

Weathermonger Mon 22-Oct-18 20:23:18

My mother had ovarian cancer. She had surgery and chemo. A year later - and over the course of a few months, she returned several times to her doctor with a painful lump near the surgery site. It was dismissed as scar tissue and she was labelled "hysterical". Turns out the cancer had returned and she died 3 months later. Who knows how it could have turned out had her doctor only listened to her the first time ?

Loonoon Mon 22-Oct-18 20:24:17

It’s not just women though. My dad went to the doctor three times with severe pain in his back and shoulder and was told it was a type of tennis elbow. It was actually referred pain caused by the liver cancer he had been treated for 2 years recurring and spreading to his colon. He died 5 months later by which time the cancer was in his bones, blood and brain.

StuntNun Mon 22-Oct-18 20:25:19

During my third pregnancy at 40+6 I started to feel awful and went to the hospital maternity ward to tell them I thought I was bleeding internally. Even though I had already had a placental abruption during my first pregnancy they sent me home without doing any examination or scan. 36 hours later after going into labour but failing to progress they finally scanned me and found I had a partial placental abruption. I had to have an emergency section so urgently that they didn't even have time to give me a spinal and had to go straight for a general anaesthetic. Considering the placenta could have completely abrupted at any time I was lucky to survive.

Mehaveit Mon 22-Oct-18 20:27:26

Oh yes and when I had sepsis post DD2 birth I was in more pain than I've ever been in in my entire life and they still discharged me because 'you've got the antibiotics you just need to wait for them to work' In the meantime what?? I was a mother to a newborn and 2 year old. I couldn't sit down I was in so much pain. That was the Tuesday. On the Friday I spent an hour after GP clinic was over with the loveliest most caring GP I've ever known listening to all my problems of where all the pain was and providing a solution one by one. Without her I don't think I'd have made it through that weekend.

GoopWrithing Mon 22-Oct-18 20:28:55

My DM went to see her GP when she just wasn't recovering from a bad cold or flu (can't remember which), and in fact was feeling worse and more tired (after initially thinking she was recovering) and couldn't stay awake and had lots of chest pain. The Dr for whatever reason questioned her about her cycle, instead of listening to her lungs, and declared my DM (well in her adulthood, already had children, hardly someone who doesn't know what her cycle feels like) was suffering from OVULATION. She had pneumonia, obviously. Luckily the second or third Dr she saw about it recognised it. She was in hospital for a good few weeks and it ended up taking her a year to get back to normal.

SwarmOfBats Mon 22-Oct-18 20:29:17

I’ve experienced this with more than one issue.

Chronic fatigue, pain all over my body, muscle weakness, palpitations, loss of coordination, nerve disturbance and numb patches. I was told I am clearly tired because I have children. Totally ignored the fact that I feel like I have flu when it hits, my kids sleep through the night, rest doesn’t help. I’ve been told it’s all in my head. Probably anxiety. Even after being under a neurologist who is investigating, my GP doesn’t seem to think any of this is anything other than health anxiety or attention seeking.

Most recently; I’ve been going to my doctors for YEARS about heavy, long, very painful periods that seemed to be getting worse over time. I was told to try exercise, to try yoga, to take paracetamol. Nothing worked. Eventually I made a nuisance of myself (after being bullied back to the GP - I was reluctant as I thought I’d be dismissed again) and was referred for an ultrasound, which showed results that suggested adenomyosis. My doctor dismissed this. The first gynaecologist I saw dismissed this, then tried to discourage me from having diagnostic surgery, saying “I guess you might have minor endometriosis...?” Luckily I asked to switch consultants and got a great one - he did the diagnostic surgery...and I’m having a hysterectomy next week. The pain wasn’t in my head, I’m losing my uterus, cervix and one ovary, and it turns out what he found correlates pretty closely to where I feel it the most...despite the first gynaecologist telling me “you can’t have pain there”.

It very much seems to be down to luck as to whether you’ll be seen by somebody who listens, or somebody who will treat you like a total hypochondriac!

OpalIridescence Mon 22-Oct-18 20:29:22

Ah yes the coverall IBS diagnosis. I and many of my friends have 'IBS', seems to be alot of it going around!

PJBanana Mon 22-Oct-18 20:29:27

I have multiple bladder issues, had them for 2 years now.

It causes me immense difficulties, I often need to use the loo every 30-40 minutes during my worst flare ups.

I have seen 3 different GPs and 2 urologists (one I actually paid privately). The (male) urologist I saw privately was horrendous. I broke down in his office because of the stress my symptoms cause me on a daily basis (I almost lost my job!) and he basically said “lots of women have an overactive bladder, it’s very common” and that was that, as if it’s completely normal to pee 20+ times a day.

I was referred to another (male) urologist via the NHS (after waiting 3 months) who was equally apathetic.

Needless to say I’m just living with it right now. I try to count myself lucky that I don’t have a more “serious” illness, but this has a huge effect on my life and it it soul destroying to feel so helpless because nobody seems to want to help me.

Gingerrogered Mon 22-Oct-18 20:31:44

Yeah, I’ve collapsed twice recently and am in a great deal of pain and very tired, feeling unwell. They know the collapses were genuine from the hospital and paramedics.

I have depression. One of my doctors is pretty much open she thinks I’m hysterical. They don’t seem keen to do anything about it or find out what’s wrong.

I don’t think it’s cancer, but when Jade Goody did have cancer she collapsed four times before she was diagnosed despite having had previous abnormal smears which should have rung alarm bells.

borntobequiet Mon 22-Oct-18 20:32:50

I ask for male doctors as I have found them consistently more sympathetic with regard to female health issues. I have been fobbed off and had problems minimised in the past when seen by female GPs.

SimplySteve Mon 22-Oct-18 20:33:58

@gendercritter I feel your pain with M.E. It's a horrific condition. 

BlackeyedGruesome Mon 22-Oct-18 20:34:23

hip pain was dismissed when late teen by male Dr and about 8 years ago by female Dr, finally been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos about 30 years later. Two pregnancies were effected by that.

been several times to see about dyspaxia for dd. no referrals, but many, many accidents.

dontalltalkatonce Mon 22-Oct-18 20:34:27

A friend of mine broke her neck in a fall. She told them she also had huge pain in her back. Ignored. Spent 2 months in a neck brace before it was discovered that she had also cracked a vertebrae below her neck, too.

Sadly, I can see why a lot of people buy drugs off the internet, too.

darkriver198868 Mon 22-Oct-18 20:35:46

Most recent: I live with horrible MH problems and was feeling incredibly suicidal. Went to the doctor who handed me a list of helplines.

I have ten years of being dismissed, ignored, being subscribed meds that made me ill.

Gingerrogered Mon 22-Oct-18 20:36:22

Oh. And GP told me there was no glide in DSs eye I was imagining it and should go away. HV came last week, spotted it immediately and referred him to hospital.

KatnissK Mon 22-Oct-18 20:36:37

A female relative of mine had had an operation and recovery was not going well. She was in a lot of pain although had been discharged. Went to visit her at her home - she was yellow, vomiting and had excruciating pain in her abdomen (turned out to be a blocked liver duct from the removal of her gallbladder). Rushed to a and e to be told by a nurse, in reference to the fact she was yellow, "I don't know what colour she normally is" and that perhaps she should "go home and put her feet up". Refused to leave, finally got seen by a dr and she was rushed into surgery that same day to sort out the problem.

Another relative had repeated chest pains, breathlessness, dizziness. Many appointments with various medical professionals, all of whom told her it was nothing and she was fine. She told us that one day she was going to drop down dead from a heart attack because no one believed her that something was wrong. Guess what- she was right. She's dead now. Worst thing was helping her DH sort out her belongings after she had passed, finding notebooks filled with copious notes on her symptoms and how they were worsening. The hospital did concede that she had, in fact, had heart disease but since they only came to this conclusion after she'd died from a heart attack it was hardly surprising and little comfort.

Tranzishions Mon 22-Oct-18 20:37:11

heavy bleeding and flooding and hairy face like a monster since age 12. “Hormones funny things” repeated GPs ad finitum for last 20 years. Saw brilliant private endo and gynae this year...hey bingo pcos diagnosis, anaemia big style and removal of 20cm fibroid and three stone weight loss for now knowing what I can eat. Livid livid livid and might retrain in a public health type advocacy role.

KatnissK Mon 22-Oct-18 20:38:01

Sorry I did do paragraphs but the app never shows them.

myidentitymycrisis Mon 22-Oct-18 20:38:51

I was told I had flu by an out of hours doctor when in fact I had pneumonia.

I think it’s HCP’s don’t take into account that we put up with so many painful things that are ‘just part of being a woman‘ already. We are only going to complain of pain that is over and above that

Tranzishions Mon 22-Oct-18 20:40:02

And don’t get me started on “white coat bp” @ollox too - how about just properly checking it out rather than putting me down as a neurotic. Again thank you to a recent private cardiologist and proper high bp diagnosis and treatment. Can actually @ucking breathe freely in first time in years.

OpalIridescence Mon 22-Oct-18 20:40:07

I think the question being missed from female medicine is why?

I was at doctors yesterday to talk about irregular extremely heavy periods (remember I have fibroids). I was talked through the options of the pill, the coil and very last on the table hysterectomy.

When I asked why I would be experiencing these symptoms I was met with an extremely uninterested blank face looking back.

SantaClauseMightWork Mon 22-Oct-18 20:40:59

I have suspected endometriosis. Taking ages to diagnose unexplained and excruciating period pain. I could barely breathe so I can probably understand the heart attack analogy.
But after over a decade of this sort of pain, prescription medication required for period pain control, I had to go in to my GP surgery in person to get the prescription again. My period date was looming and I hadn't been able to get time off work to get to GP in time to show my face to get the prescription.
The GP could not look me in the eye when I got to him and took it out on him. I went ballistic. I told him that it was incredibly rude to assume someone on a prescription medication as strong as mine (with serious side effects too, but that's another story) should have to come in. I know there is a procedure but if he had been a woman, I might have had a much better chance. One more thing that made me furious that it was a random demand. It hadn't happened before.
I still remember that fear when I knew I have a few hours left till my periods start and I could not t leave work.

AlphaBravo Mon 22-Oct-18 20:41:26

I had gallstones in late pregnancy. I did not know what these heart attack like pains were. I was having a horrific gallstone attack (unknown to me until 3 days post partum when I had another, even worse one) when I was in full labour and was told I "wasn't in enough pain" and sent home to carry on with my 'home birth plan' with just gas and air. When I had attended the MAU the gallstone had passed/moved and the pain subsided a little.

I actually had preeclampsia too but no one would believe me that my legs were swollen and my pee wasn't right.

I'd arrived in an ambulance on blue lights and even the paramedics were almost freaking out about me, the midwife and consultant told me "not to call an ambulance net time unless I was in genuine pain"... I nearly punched the twat in the face tbf.

No one listened to me. I was dismissed at every turn. By men. By women. By everyone. I nearly died from Liver failure and I suffered heart damage as I've just found out. I also bled out at home and had to be taken back in on blue lights to find out the hospital had been calling while I was giving birth to come in "and be induced" as they'd tested my pee sample finally and my proteins were through the roof 🙄😏 NO SHIT.

Don't even ask me about the 3 months after with repeated ambulance trips to A&E with gallstone attacks and the wait for surgery. My gallbladder burst when they tried to remove it and had to prise parts off my Liver, it was so utterly destroyed.

dontalltalkatonce Mon 22-Oct-18 20:42:07

I was told my infant son, my third child, was teething when I took him about a cough during the swine flu epidemic. Took him to one of the testing centres, and he had swine flu. All of us did, in fact.

MoteOfDustInASunbeam Mon 22-Oct-18 20:44:22

Being brusquely told “It’s all standard stuff just sign it” whilst I was reading the form before having a procedure.

The doctor performing the procedure was running late and obviously trying to make up time. For the same reason he barked a diagnosis at me whilst I still had a scope down my throat and didn’t come to elaborate any further when I was in recovery.

Sent in a nurse to explain “he wouldn’t have had anything to say he hadn’t said already”. Maybe, but I might have had questions. She looked so embarrassed at having to say it.

BestIsWest Mon 22-Oct-18 20:44:27

Parathyroid Tumour. Causes calcium issues, not least of which is Osteoporosis. Went to doctors numerous times with related issues including 9 fractures.
Eventually got diagnosed but waited four years for surgery to remove tumour, all the time being told it was a minor complaint. Had 3 more fractures and eventually had to go private for surgery.

Still have several long lasting issues caused by the parathyroid tumour which could have avoided with earlier treatment.

Graphista Mon 22-Oct-18 20:48:37

Wow! Shocked at the response to this. I promise I am reading all but can't necessarily reply to all.

Ohbuggerandarse - and then they complain about low bf rates! Ffs! Glad you got someone better.

Gendercritter - yes I think being young is another bias added to the mix so therefore even more likely to be dismissed. There's also evidence that non-White patients have the same issues so must be a nightmare for black women. The lady who died from cocodamol reaction was black too, I think from her pictures. It's not mentioned in the article but I do wonder what race those paramedics were too.

I have a few friends with ME. I will add Unrest to my list. Thank you.

I will also Google Lynn and Sophia.

I have an aunt who was misdx it turned out to be cancer. She was one of many in a particular scandal and I believe received compensation, but it meant she couldn't become a mother. No amount of money makes up for that!

Helena I'm so sorry are you getting treatment now? Definitely not normal - and look at all that's done for men if they need to pee every 5 mins!

"Totally dismissed, I knew I had fibroids because a surgeon had been looking straight at them, I can't imagine trying to get treatment if they were just a suspicion"

My interest in this area comes from my own experience as like your sister I am an endo sufferer. I had textbook symptoms right from first period. Heavy (soaking through pads half hourly, then tried tampons but still had to use pads too and change hourly, severe back pain (classic endo symptom), as well as hideous cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea. Yet it took 14 YEARS and losing 3 babies before I got a dx and then only because 2nd mc required surgery and it was seen by surgeon. Even since getting dx I get Drs acting like I'm exaggerating/a wimp with pain/making a fuss over a normal women's bodily function 😡😡😡

Theoud - my dd has a similar condition - and actually I'm concerned even this may be a misdx as I think she may have another condition that is more rare. But we can't get even the supposedly dx thing treated properly so fuck knows how we're going to get a yes/no on the other!
Took us 8 YEARS from the point I was sure this was more than just a "clumsy kid" to dx! But knowing what I do now symptoms I wasn't picking up on (but I'm not a dr!) were being reported/treated even before then. There are symptoms D had at birth that relate to the condition I think she REALLY has! Dd is 17.

The diarrhoea and cramps at ovulation I had due to the endo were dx as ibs - treatments did bugger all BECAUSE THEY WERE WRONG!

Familyfeud - yes I've also had being a nurse/ex nurse used against me "oh all hcps are hypochondriacs" bet they're not saying that to male consultants!

Helena your gallstone tale angers me every time I read it.

They listened to him and there's the problem - I'm single so I'm screwed basically! It's just me and dd.

"It doesn't just apply directly to women either, it also applies indirectly" totally agree. I've found it much harder to get the right treatment for dd compared to if ex took her to dr when we were still together.

"GP told me endometriosis is normal for women" 😱😡 wtf that's appalling!! No it blood isn't!

"he was using the threat of the exam as a tool to make me go away." Absolutely believe you on this, testing you to see if you're "genuine" - totally unacceptable!

TedandLola - not only dismissive but they didn't even consider removing the cause?! I'm so sorry.

Silvercat - I was also a migraine sufferer, hormone related, never taken seriously finally stopped when I had pro-stap treatment for the endo 8 years ago. At 38, had been having them since 14.

Littlecandle - I'm sure I have a thyroid issue. I've had blood tests a few times but been told my results are "fine" not the full details though. I must follow this up, but honestly between serious mh issues (try getting taken seriously when you have them!), a physical disability and lack of primary healthcare available here it's exhausting! I've twice asked what EXACTLY The last results were and that someone will get back to me - nobody has! Also from reading here and elsewhere I feel that nhs acceptable results on thyroid tests would be considered not acce oral in other countries.

"and I am done being cheerful about it all." That's how I'm feeling about the endo. It's getting really painful again, I'm 46, I'm not currently sexually active, I have enough to be dealing with, they won't do a hysterectomy and I just want to NOT have periods any more. It's 10 days (that's an improvement but still) every month of worse pain, bleeding, dizziness, nausea and anxiety (they NEVER seem to consider PHYSICAL caused for mh symptoms either). There's NO clinical reason why I need to have periods so I want to take norethisterone permanently. It's the only non surgical thing that's ever worked long term.

Enterthewolves - I am so sorry that happened that's awful. I too am asthmatic and know too well how chest infections can quickly become dangerous.

Absentminded- because we're too often told everything's our own fault just because we're women! It's not on!

Cornetto - it's unacceptable! We are entitled to medical treatment and we are just not getting it

How the fuck do you miss broken bones?! That's incompetent negligence! Whoever did that should be struck off!

"Why would I want to go to the GP again if they won't even listen to the reason for the visit but make it about weight?" Yet if you end up in hospital you'll be told it's your own fault for not treating it earlier! As an aside some peoples whooping cough vaccines have worn off/the infection has mutated apparently so might be worth considering.

Helena - thanks for link to other thread I remember that.

Bearfrills - again so sorry I've witnessed hg it is definitely not normal morning sickness!

BrendasUmbrella Mon 22-Oct-18 20:50:46

I was told that it was normal to feel exhausted all the time with a newborn/baby/toddler/young child. She was an easy child but I was always shattered. Six years and five dress sizes later, and with most of my hair down the drain, I finally got a hypothyroid diagnosis. Another decade after dealing with the same symptoms but slightly milder I finally gave up on doctors altogether and started buying my medication online.

DancingForTheDog Mon 22-Oct-18 20:53:19

Everyone's experiences on here make me despair but they don't surprise me. My lovely sister-in-law died a few years ago at the age of 48 due to the indifference and incompetence of her GP. She had complained of aches and pains for years and it was affecting her mental health. She was written off by the GPs at her local practice as simply depressed and overweight. She died from hyperparathyroidism - basically her organs were calcifying. A simple blood test would have flagged up her raised calcium levels. Tragic and so unnecessary.

Runningshorts Mon 22-Oct-18 20:55:22

Ever since having children I'm acutely aware of how much HCPs dismiss women's pain and any medical issues we have.

HelenaDove Mon 22-Oct-18 20:56:00

I forgot about cocodamol I CANT take it It causes excrutiating pain all over my torso back shoulders and stomach.

Bananas do the same Last time i ate one was 2009

I do wonder if this is linked to my gallstone experience because these allergies to cocodamol and bananas happened afterwards.

redsummershoes Mon 22-Oct-18 20:56:01

gosh this is depressing reading.

but sadly not surprising.

I don't have anything (yet) apart from the dismissive 'of course you are tired with work and children)

OpalIridescence Mon 22-Oct-18 20:59:49

A young women I knew had breast cancer in her late twenties. They took the tumour out. The scar kept weeping and would not heal, she kept telling them but they told her she was understandably anxious. By the time they listened and went back in it had spread to lungs and brain, she died last year at thirty.

53rdWay Mon 22-Oct-18 21:00:22

When I was younger I started to get sudden stabbing headaches. They came on about 5 or 6 times a day, it was like someone suddenly driving a knife into my skull.

Went to GP. Got "just headaches, probably dehydration/stress, they'll go away." They didn't. Went back to GP and said, please PLEASE do something about these, they're really painful and they're not going away and I don't know what's causing them so what if it's something serious?

Well that was a mistake. GP referred me to consultant saying (I saw the letter later) something like: she has headaches, I think it's normal but she's worried it's something unusual like a brain tumour, I think she just needs a bit of reassurance, please check her over and reassure her everything's okay.

Consultant did a quick check, nothing obviously wrong, reassured me I didn't have a brain tumour. I tried over and over again to explain that what I wanted was something to stop the pain or at least explain it. Consultant just didn't listen, nodded and smiled while I was speaking, then told me again that brain tumours are really rare you know so it's very unlikely to be one of those!

Tried again with a different GP. Please, it really really hurts, the consultant just said I was fine but it still hurts, isn't there anything you can do? He looked over my records on the computer and said "ohhhh... well... I don't think you need to worry about that, ha ha. Are you very stressed at the moment? How's work?"

I gave up in the end. Headaches got much better by themselves after about 6 months and now I only get them rarely.

AlphaBravo Mon 22-Oct-18 21:00:42

@HelenaDove fellow gallstoner here, when I get that pain it's from phrenic nerve irritation. Some foods set mine off too post surgery, as the irritation does something to the diaphragm and then spinal compression sets of the nerve pain (something something science info here*) normally foods that increase your acid reflux which is extra common post gallbladder removal.

Afternooninthepark Mon 22-Oct-18 21:04:48

Don’t get me going on the IBS thing! I’ve has digestive issues for years and it’s getting worse, I saw a gastroenterologist a few months back he said my symptoms were IBS. I requested an endoscopy and I said I’d had one before. He asked when? I said 15 years ago. He said Oh that’s ok you won’t need another then. WTF!!??
My sister was palmed off with an IBS diagnosis for years, always in pain. Last year she insisted on a scan. They found a massive tumour and were worried about OC. When she had the ovary removed, it turned out to be endometriosis.
My MIL was unwell with severe stomach pain 2 years ago, she is 75 and never in those 75 years has she ever suffered from any digestive issues. GP kept telling her it was IBS, palming her off with IBS meds. After so long in pain she went to A&E. Turns out to be a bowel tumour!

53rdWay Mon 22-Oct-18 21:05:42

oh, I had HG dismissed as well although that was by two midwives. "Yes, it's nasty, we all have to go through it though! Is this your first baby, dear? Have you tried ginger biscuits?"

Then the one at the hospital who told me over the phone that I wasn't dehydrated and "we're only here for women who are REALLY ill." I put the phone down and burst into tears. (And ended up in hospital 12 hours later anyway, with dehydration...)

MrsRachel85 Mon 22-Oct-18 21:05:45

Went to GP for the 3rd time in 3 weeks after having breathing difficulties and chest pain, temperature and severe aches and pains. I felt so sick that I burst into tears in the GPs. GP (female, if relevant) asked if I suffer with anxiety. I pushed for further tests and I had pneumonia.

ConfusedMum82 Mon 22-Oct-18 21:05:47

I've been de-registered by not one but two GP surgeries before due to my raising a complaint regards disinterested GPs. Majority of them male but I had one Midwife and one female GP who were atrocious.
First time was when I was 19 and had mild depression. Had had to move back in with my mother and she made my life miserable. I had left home 3 years before but was waiting for my flat to be sorted by a landlord so had a month where I had to stay with her.
She went to my GP (also hers), without me, and persuaded him I was severely depressed and needed medication. He gave her a prescription for me- remember I was 19, no previous history. She then tried to force me to take the bloody things. Luckily I didn't. Made a complaint to the practice manager, I received a letter back telling me to go somewhere else and my removal was reported to NHS England to be placed on file. No right of appeal. That was 2001.
In 2008, found out I was unexpectedly pregnant with DS, just as DD turned 1. I had complications when having DD, was told I wouldn't be able to conceive. Mentioned this to GP. In my old town, new mums were not given our medical book from pregnancy/birth, but new town used to expect Mums to have them. Explained my situation to frankly ignorant GPs (2), and midwife. Fobbed off and told to be taken "seriously" on my "concerns" I would need my notes.
Contacted my previous healthcare authority to request them, to be told no. A request would need to be made by my current surgery.
I was given 4 appointments with Midwife before DS was born. 4. She forgot to book my scans twice. She forgot I had had a section with DD, so forgot to send me to clinic to check I was OK to give birth naturally. When I was sent the wrong scan results (a woman who was older and a completely different area to me), she told me i was lying for attention until I brought them to show the Secretary.
Thought when I went to the clinic about my previous section, I would bring the complications up then.
Male Consultant reduced me to tears. Firstly he started off by reading the wrong blood test results to me. Pointed this out and he shouted at me! His nurse leant over, took them from him, looked in the pile for mine and handed them over. No apology from either.
He then wanted to see my section site. Asked when my last section was and then commented that as I was unmarried I wanted to stop being "a little tart" and getting pregnant. Was dumbstruck.
He then wouldn't let me speak regards complications, patted my leg and said I should "shut up and let the experts get on with it".
2 weeks after my water broke and DS was born at 28 weeks. Even then I was told off for not mentioning possible complications.
Made a formal complaint to the authority's it took 18 months to receive a response, basically blaming me. Totally rewrote the entire pregnancy. Told me I had caused his premature birth by smoking despite midwife repeatedly telling me not to (I have never smoked. Not once. I told her this. I told the one who took over when DS was born. It is still on his records). Told me I had had 16 appointments booked with Midwife but had failed to show up.
With all that happened, nearly losing DS, nearly dying myself, I had a breakdown.
I had approached different GP in surgery. He told me i should take exercise. Went to another and was given anti depressants.
After over a month I knew they were not working, in fact I was suicidal so I went back. He refused to help.
I ended up being arrested as I was sitting in the middle of my road waiting for a car to run me over.
Turned out the pills were used to wean alcoholics off booze. He said when DP asked, he gave me them because as I was 26, so no doubt drank lots and partied. I had two under 3. I hadn't had a night out in 4 years. I certainly hadn't had a drink. He just assumed.
After getting the right medication, I raised it with the practice manager. You guessed it- deregged and another note sent for my file to NHS England. No worry that I could've killed myself. He had ignored me. He assumed I was a drunk. Nope.
Currently in a better surgery in a new borough. Still have one GP I avoid as she's a disinterested cow. But better than before.
These are just the worst incidents, but there have been others. Even when going to appointments as DS has health issues due to being so early, male consultants fob me off, call me overly worried and neurotic. Yet if DP brings up the same issues, word for word, they listen and look into it.
But I do question what can be done? The NHS is so desperately underfunded and staffed, I can't see the NHS removing these people. They know misogyny is rife, but even when twice now I've been chucked from a surgery and a note has been placed on file, NHS England have never intervened or questioned their behaviour.

MrsLettuce Mon 22-Oct-18 21:07:45

There was this thread earlier in the year OP. Might be of some interest.

greatgreenroom Mon 22-Oct-18 21:12:48

I went to the GP in pain and barely able to walk (with young children to look after) and was told I had pelvic girdle pain. I was then dismissed, with them saying there was nothing they could do to help. I knew it wasn't PGP as I'd had that during pregnancy and this was different. It was over a year later that I was finally taken seriously by a different GP and sent for scans, where they discovered numerous hernias that required surgery, two of which are more common in middle aged men. I've since had seven repaired, one of which needed emergency surgery (they were all caused by an awful cough I had during pregnancy). Before surgery I could only walk a short distance before ending up in a lot of pain, so it really affected my life and I spent the first years of my children's lives unable to even take them to the playground myself.

Bearfrills Mon 22-Oct-18 21:12:55

I have so many instances of not being listened to. When pregnant with eldest DD I kept telling the MW I wasn't feeling a lot of movement, even when I was really far on, and not a single kick ever. She kept telling me I was busy with almost-2yo DS so probably wasn't noticing the kicks because I didn't get time to pay attention to them but she was moving, good heartbeat, etc. Went into slow labour and popped along to the MW drop-in clinic to ask for a sweep to help things along. MW there had a feel, asked me about movements, raised an eyebrow at the no kicks ever and confirmed what I suspected. DD was breech. Off to MAU where a scan confirmed complete/classic breech, wrapped in the cord, barely any amniotic fluid, and a loop of cord directly under her bum/legs between her and the exit. Emergency section. My community MW on her postnatal visit had the nerve to ask "what went wrong for you to need a section? Everything was fine."

DD2, I had awful rib pain and felt like I could take a full breath. The only thing to temporarily relieve it was to rock on all fours and even then it would start again as soon as I stopped. I was told baby was sitting on a nerve and the breathlessness was pregnancy. At 36wks I had a horrific MW appointment where she couldn't find a heartbeat anywhere in my mid to lower bump and at the top of my bump she could only pick up my heartbeat. No movements from DD. Sent straight to hospital where they found that she was in a high transverse position with her head wedged into one side of my lower rib cage, her bum into the other side, and her arms/legs facing towards my spine, cord hanging free underneath her. She was so high up that the sound of my heartbeat was drowning out hers on the MWs Doppler, CTG picked her straight up though.

Both times, up until I was sent to hospital, my concerns were dismissed. With DD1, if I'd stayed at home to labour until it was time to go to hospital then the first I'd have noticed a problem would have been when the cord prolapsed once I'd dilated far enough. With DD2 i had to be admitted to hospital and given steroids for her lungs due to the risks associated with transverse presentation.

redsummershoes Mon 22-Oct-18 21:14:16

any research into 'go away' disgnoses?
- growing pains in children
- tiredness is normal
- ibs

NicoAndTheNiners Mon 22-Oct-18 21:15:33

Oh god yes.

I have had this happen a lot due to a chronic UTi. I know in the grand scheme of things a UTi is noticeable serious, but I’ve had it for five years. Pain, pressure, etc.

I’m a health care professional myself and knew I had an infection, I get positive dipsticks for leukocytes and nitrites when I’m having a flare but it doesn’t grown anything in the lab. However antibiotics sort it. Consultant urologist told me it was all in my head, that I didn’t have an infection and that “you need to stop thinking about your bladder”.

I asked my GP to refer me to a specialist in London who immediately said I have an infection and that hospital tests miss the majority of infections. He does a different test which shows I have an infection.

I’m in a FB support group which is full of similar stories from women. Women told they’re neurotic, etc. One woman was actually sectioned and I’ve known another in the group who killed herself. Time and time again I’ve heard women say the frustration of not being believed is as bad as the condition.

HelenaDove Mon 22-Oct-18 21:16:20

@AlphaBravo Thankyou thanks

QueenOfCatan Mon 22-Oct-18 21:29:44

Interesting topic!
Mine is nowhere near as bad as others but I also spent years being dismissed. I have had a pathetic bladder since my teens, to the extent that it caused [what I now know were] anxiety based panic attacks whenever I was in a situation away from a toilet, so a walk of more than 15 minutes, a bus ride, a train journey where the loo was closed, etc. Had to pay for hypnotherapy myself to get rid of the worst of it and it had slowly improved over the years (now almost 30).

Went to numerous different doctors at various practices between the ages of 19 and 25 (I moved very often so had lots of options!) because I was massively fatigued (could get to and from work and do my job and that was it, home time was spent resting), had brain fog most of the time, joint pain, bladder issues still, bowels were not great either but always passed off as not enough fibre, etc etc etc I was convinced that I had cfs or fibromyalgia as I just couldn't function like a normal 20-something, a late night out would knock me out for a week. I was constantly dismissed, told none of it was linked and couldn't be linked, never tested for anything beyond iron levels and told that my diet was the problem (vegetarian).
Eventually I gave up gluten in desperation, on the suggestion of a friend whose kids were gluten intolerant, I didn't believe for a minute that it would work but I had been bugged about it for months by friend and I was utterly desperate after another doctor had fobbed me off at my worst point with it all. Lo and behold most of my symptoms reduced dramatically within weeks, the bladder being the first major improvement along with the brain fog.

Around the same time I finally saw a sympathetic doctor who scheduled actual tests and found out that I was vitD deficient but everything else was absolutely fine. I did pursue other options after that with that doctor but after giving up the gluten and looking up the symptoms of coeliacs and intolerance I realised that they should have investigated that from the fucking start and I probably wouldn't have spent so long trying to compensate for my constant exhaustion.

LadyFlumpalot Mon 22-Oct-18 21:30:03

My mum was repeatedly told that her bloating, abdomen pain, change in appetite, change in bowel movements was just because she was an old lady and was certainly nothing serious.

The Ovarian cancer killed her in July. It was so advanced it had blocked her bowel by the time anyone took her seriously enough to even give her a scan.

Before she passed away she lodged a complaint with the doctors surgery. She asked for a copy of her notes.

They'd all been wiped. There were records of the appointment times, but no notes associated with them.

explodingkitten Mon 22-Oct-18 21:32:10

My mum was against most medicine and all painkillers when I grew up and I wasn't allowed to go to the GP more often than absolutely necessary (twice a year was too much, so was every year). I called them once when I was 20 that I needed an appointment the same day because I suspected that I had diabetes. "No, he can see you next week". I told them that I hadn't eaten for 9 days, was drinking more than 8 litres of water a day and was losing a kilo per day in weight and I felt like I was dying. "No same day appointments are for emergency only". I went to a different GP, who didn't even charge me, he sent me to hospital asap where I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, starting kidney failure, severe dehydration and all kinds of body functions starting to shut down. They got me on an insulin drip before they had a bed for me because they didn't want to wait theextra half hour (mind, this was 20 years ago)

I don't understandwhy they didn't take me seriously, they never saw me so you'd think that if I say it's urgent than it's not something simple. When my brother called him three or four years later that he was thirsty, he had an appointment the same morning (and yes, diabetes too).

GoopWrithing Mon 22-Oct-18 21:32:33

These stories are all so horrible. flowers to you all.

I've had my own minor issues with health care at times, but on the broad strokes must have been lucky. I have a host of old mental health diagnoses, IBS-like vague stomach history and present anxious. But when I go about my asthma, they check and treat my asthma; when I've gone about stomach issues, I got throroughly tested on stomach issues; when I've had ovarian pains and PCOS symptoms I've had scans, a diagnosis, medications and advice; when I've had a breast worry, I've been sent to the breast clinic, and when my back flares up I get checked and treated for my back. They might ask about my well documented anxiety, but so far I've not noticed that being used as an excuse to fob me off. More HPCs like mine into the world, please!

Ollivander84 Mon 22-Oct-18 21:33:00

I've posted this before but anyway. Constantly at the doctors with infections. One chest infection ended up with 6 nebulisers
50+ blood tests. All "normal"
Went to the GP, saw a locum female GP as I was having bad night sweats, they did bloods. 5hrs later I get a call saying where am I, I need to ring the GP immediately
She opened my recent bloods and saw I had severely low white cell count. So she went back and opened the rest. My neutrophil count was 0.3 which is so low I would have been isolated in hospital

I was sent to haematology as an emergency and diagnosed with autoimmune neutropenia and am on bone marrow stimulants for life, I inject myself once a week. I cried because I was SO glad something was actually wrong and I wasn't just always sick

I have a print out of bloods from 2008 (I wasn't diagnosed until 2016) and I was neutropenic on those. "Normal" they said

On the plus side when I herniated a disc, got cauda equina and needed emergency surgery, they never once questioned my pain level, threw all the drugs at me and moved everything to get me seen ASAP even down to waking a neurosurgeon up

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