Who’s Afraid of a Little Chronic Illness?

The answer may surprise you… Doctors are often afraid of chronic illness. How do you treat someone when their symptoms change daily, even hourly? Who is supposed to have the answers? Doctors. Do they? No, not for chronic illness. This is frustrating for them! They are incapable of curing fibromyalgia and this is upsetting; to them, to us, to our families … what are doctors to do with a person who is chronically ill?

The fear usually boils down to the medication prescribing. What is appropriate for chronic pain varies from patient to patient. Can they ‘justify’ what they prescribe? Should they refuse to prescribe and send you to a pain clinic? Should they track down alternative therapies for you? Should they have you enrolled in physical therapy? Send you to a psychiatrist? Often, it’s a toss of a coin to make a decision what the best treatment for their patient will be.

Have you ever seen a frightened doctor? No? I bet you have. Have you ever seen a frustrated or an angry doctor? Then you have seen a frightened doctor! Often, it is not that a doctor doesn’t want to treat you, they do, they want to fix you! The truth is they do not know how. It frustrates them, scares them a little, sometimes a lot!

What do you know about your chronic condition? In the beginning, not much, none of us do. Educate yourselves! Take notes! Bring in the information you want your doctor to read! They will appreciate it. Better yet, mail them information … then they can be prepared for your visit. Don’t be afraid to say, “I want to discuss this with you on my next office visit which is on Tuesday the 15th of June.” Or let them know you just came across an article about your condition and you’d like their opinion. Doctors are willing to learn! However, if your doctor rejects the information, find a new doctor.