I have to admit I am the queen of ignoring symptoms so I need to start following this advice myself. I read an article by a Fibromyalgia patient who also is guilty of ignoring symptoms. She found out that by ignoring her symptoms, she almost died. She was diabetic, didn’t know it,and wasattributing her symptoms to Fibromyalgia, until she had one symptom, extreme thirst, that is not typical with FM. You can read Karen Richard’s story in her article True Confession Time.
How many of us with ME/CFS, FM and other chronic illnesses are guilty of the same thing? I know my hand is raised. What struck me as what Oprah would call an “Uh Huh” moment after I read Karen’s story is that as patients we often contribute many of our ailments and symptoms to our chronicillness. But when a doctor does the same thing, we get defensive and upset -right? Do we attribute all of our symptoms we experience, even new ones, to our chronic illness because that is what we have become accustomed to hearing in the medical field? (Doc says, “Oh, I see you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You will experience a lot of weird symptoms with that. I’m sure that is what this symptom is coming from”.) Or is it because we just don’t want to find out that there may be something else wrong with us? I think it is probably a little of both.
I tend to be the type of patient that probably gives the doctor a headache. I will put off going to the doctor for as long as possible, then I am at her office several times within a few weeks because everything happening comes to a head and catches up with me at one time. I am also one who will brush off incidents (like a bad fall down the basement stairs) and then a few months later figure out that maybe symptoms I am experiencing might have had something to do with my sudden increase in back problems.
What about you? Are you the type who attributes symptoms to yourME/CFSor Fibromyalgia, or are you at the doctor at the first sign of a problem or symptom?