As many of you know, I have had my share of run ins at the doctors office.  It started many years ago…at around 14 years old when I had my first bladder infection.  I was in extreme pain, didn’t know what was going on and told my mom something was wrong.  She took me to a “specialist” who proceeded to ask me these types of questions:

Doc:  “Does this hurt here?”

Me: “Uh-yes”

Doc: “How about here?”

Me:  “No.”

Doc:  “So, are you having sex?”

Me:  “Uh…no!”
(very embarrassed cuz this dude was a bazillion years old…he had to be at least 40!!!! And I wasn’t having sex!)

Doc:  “Well, you have a bladder infection and these are caused by having sex.”

Me:  “Uh…ok.”

Doc:  “So, since you are having sex, make sure that you pee after wards.  Even if you have to drink a pitcher of beer…make sure that you pee after wards.”

Me: totally mortified that the dude was even talking to me about any of this; “Uh…ok.  Can you make the pain go away?”

Doc:  “Yep.  But, remember since you are having sex, make sure that you pee afterward!!!”  Then, he grins at me.

I just wanted to crawl under a rock and die.

But, the story ain’t over.  He then went out and told my mom that I had a bladder infection because I was not going to the bathroom after sex.  Guess what happened on the ride home in the car? Remember, that I am still in intense pain.  Let’s just say the car ride home sucked.  I think that time I was grounded for about 3 months.


About 4 months later I had more pain.  I still was not having sex.  I told no one.  I got a book from the library on natural remedies and took some sort of something that was supposed to help…it didn’t.  The pain went away on it’s own in a couple of weeks.  This pain showed up on and off for a couple of years.  Finally, a friend of mine told me about Planned Parenthood.  She had gone there for birth control pills and she said that I could go there and no one would know.  I went.  They were so kind and helpful.  No shame.  No blame.  Just some help. They were unsure what was going on but, did not blame me for the pain.  They said that they didn’t know what was going on.  They were honest.  I appreciated that!

Move ahead some more years.  Visits to emergency rooms.  Doctors saying that the pain was “all in my head.”  Me thinking… is in my bladder and urinary tract!!!!  A few times I was told that I  needed to see a psychiatrist.

The sad thing about all of this is that my story is not unique.  I have heard these same kinds of stories from friends and many of the folks that I have worked with over the years.

Years later, when I was in my 30’s I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and Endometriosis.  I did many different things to try and help heal these issues.  Some of them helped, some did not. I did a procedure that I thought took care of my endometriosis…thought it was all gone…man was I wrong.

I went from urologist to urologist, from integrative treatments to integrative treatments…tapped on myself (which really helped settle down my fear and the intensity of pain).  Every time I went to someone new, there was a hope and a fear.  Finally the hope started dipping down and I stopped going to doctors. I stopped trying new alternative treatments.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I ran out of stream!

Then last year hit.  I had been basically home bound for some years when some symptoms started getting bad again.  I was having trouble with bleeding (I won’t get into details here!) and nothing helped.  Again.

Now, jumping ahead to last March when I was sent to another new doctor.  This new doctor was awesome.  She believed me.  She said that she would try to help me.  She said that she would figure it out and if she couldn’t, she would find someone who could.  We decided that surgery was the way to go.  As I prepared myself for a Hysterectomy, I realized that my biggest fear was not a botched job, or pain, or the recovery, or how my body would respond to not having a uterus…my biggest fear was that she would get in there and find nothing wrong.

Talk about PTSD!

Shockingly, when she came to talk to me after surgery, she said that I had a hole in my uterus and had been internally bleeding for years.  She said the damage was the worse she had seen in many years.  I started to cry.

She saved my life.

I know that this is a long post.  I just want to affirm all of you out there who have suffered with health issues.  It ain’t an easy road.  Just going to the doctor can be a scary event.  It can be humiliating.  It can be costly financially as well as emotionally.  Every time you bravely try another doctor, another treatment…you do so with courage and guts.  In all of these years, I have never met anyone with health issues who hasn’t gone through intense trauma trying to find support.

I am not sure how to end this post.

This is just the surface of a complex conversation.

I just wanted to offer some support to those of you who have health issues.

You are not alone in this.

Sending you oodles and oodles of warm and cozy vibes:)

6 Responses to “PTSD and the doctors office~”

  1. Thank you! I just had to go and visit the “lady doctor” for my annual today. And I have to schedule my first mammogram-not looking forward to that.

  2. Oh, I am so sorry fun! And a mammogram to boot! Good times…good times.

  3. Everyone should hope and pray for perfect health, or at least hope and pray that if you do get something, it’s a textbook case of something that can be diagnosed and cured.

  4. Thanks for your comment Square Peg…I have met very few people who have had easily diagnosed cases…rarely open and shut. We are complicated beings…that’s for sure:)
    How is your wife feeling these days?

  5. Thanks for asking about my wife. She is improving along with the weather. The longer, brighter days are helping.

    I do think we should go south next winter, or at least for the two school vacation weeks.

  6. I am so happy to hear that she is improving. What a scary experience you have both gone through! Are you back east? Weather seems to effect people in pretty substantial ways! Enjoy the sunny days!

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