There are so many reasons for why I won’t stop fighting.

I won’t stop fighting until we stop treating symptoms and start addressing problems.

Why I Won’t Stop Fighting

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These stories will come full circle. They always do.

Why I Won't Stop Fighting via

The rashes around my nose, on my chin and on my cheeks were prevalent from middle school until I went completely gluten free. I reviewed (on Friday) all my medical records from ages 11-18. From ages 13- 18, I was seen by a doctor for these rashes. On four different occasions (ages: 13, 14, 16, 18, not including all the dermatologist visits), they sent me home with a topical treatment or medication. As I got older, I stopped settling for the treatments and medications. I wanted answers.

Fast forward to 2008, when I was 24. I was diagnosed with Colitis. I was immediately given suppositories, and if I became severely distended I was told to go to the pharmacy, grab a bottle of liquid calcium-magnesium-citrate and chug it. I stopped seeing my GI. I told him I didn’t want anymore medications and false bowel movements. He said “food didn’t matter.” As I learned more, I never looked back (and in the process have nearly healed myself).

Bounce ahead even more: January 16, 2012: The Scariest Day. I ended up in the position only because the dentist told me I had roughly 6-7 cavities to fill (about a month earlier). They “fixed” a few, but in the process “overfilled” and made other mistakes which landed me back in the seat to fix them. Only that time, they put too much Novocain in me and I couldn’t swallow….go ahead, read about what happened. Immediately, I switched to a new dentists. First visit, “no cavities.” I went for my 6-month cleaning again this past week. Still, “no cavities.” I knew there was something wrong with my first dentist. Doesn’t it seem odd that one dentist says I have 6-7 cavities; the next, none?

Here I find myself today, July 15, 2013. I am fighting another battle. Too early for me to talk about it here. But I will say this….I have fought this for over 4 years at this point. This is not a pain that has anything to do with running. Yet, a year ago I was told, “It hurts. You stop running. Simple.” <- NO, that is treating the symptom, not the cause. This cause is not running, since I have the pain on random days, during other workouts, etc.

I switched doctors – yet again – she tells me on Friday,“You don’t have XYZ. But here, if you want to take care of it anyways/stop the pain, I will give you X or Y. Give me a call when you decide what you’d like to do.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

She never once asked to have my medical information sent to them. She barely listened for 5 minutes to my story. She looked at me, fairly topically only, and said, “You look great!”

If I didn’t have XYZ (which so many suspect I, in fact, do) then why would she just offer up nasty medications – just ‘cuz? And furthermore, she assumed that I am naive and uninterested about my health. She gave me the wrong facts about a procedure and diagnosis, when I knew that what she was telling me was misinformation. I called her out on it. She denied. I confirmed with the Mayo Clinic when I got home. I was correct.

I spent a lot of time crying on Friday night. I messaged friends, and of course my mom.

But then I simply got angry (well first I actually got a foot massage:) ).

Our medical system is so off. We value drugs and medications, masks and temporary relievers. I have YET to meet a doctor who will simply LISTEN. (<– caps are critical there.) We teach children the art of listening, paying attention, getting facts, making sound decisions, attempting compassion. So why is it that the medical system (whom we pay thousands and thousands and thousands to) can’t get it right?

I will not stop. This current battle, like the rashes when I was a child, Colitis and dentist, will be won.

I won’t stop fighting until we stop treating symptoms and start addressing problems.

p.s. In 2014, I finally found a doctor who listened and who figured out much of what was going on.This post documents the beginning to that journey.


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    and you know I get the rashthing.
    until I finally went gluten free…

  2. Wow…just wow. That makes me angry for you. And because I know this situation all too well. It’s the same that I deal with, with suffering from chronic insomnia. Instead of treating me, I get passed around and told to just take X, Y, and Z and when that stops working, start back with A, B, and C.

    Keep fighting! If you don’t advocate for yourself, no one else will.

  3. It shocks doctors when you take control of your own health.
    My own example: due to my “womanly” issues, the third OBGYN told me a certain “drug” would be the best thing for me, women everywhere love it, it works great, you don’t have to worry about a thing once it is in place, blah blah blah, and there might be some pain (which I was trying to get under control at the time) and there’s a chance your body might reject it…she was such a cheerleader I was beginning to think she was getting a kick back from the drug company. I mean, it was like she was selling me a new car!
    So I thought about it, did a TON of research on it from the drug company who makes this thing, read blogs by women who had it and either kept it or got rid of it, and decided it wasn’t for me. I was so stressed out about it my gut was completely out of wack, I couldn’t sleep, eat, nothing. That’s how stressed out I was.
    Thing was, I didn’t really need it, I was already on medication to take care of the issue, this device just made things so much easier, according to my Dr. She could have sold ice cubes to a polar bear, but I didn’t buy it. I guess it was her enthusiasm that literally scared me off. As well, the thought of the pain involved did not sound good, since a week previously I was transported by ambulance (my first ambulance ride, the EMT’s were super cute but they would NOT go thru the Starbuck’s drive thru for me) to the ER due to hideous pain.
    So I made up my mind, I was not going to put myself through this, the medication I was on was working and I was fine with it. So I called my Dr, spoke to the nurse. I told her I was canceling my appointment. She was horrified! She asked if I needed more information, was there anything I could do to make me change my mind…NO. I told her I was totally informed about the risk/benefit ratio, and I was not impressed. She canceled my appointment, no problem.
    Seriously, not three minutes after I hung up the phone with the nurse the OBGYN called, concerned like you wouldn’t believe. I read off to her all the stats I had come across, and then asked her if she was getting a kickback from the drug company, because she sure sounded like she was getting $$ for putting this monstrosity in as many women as she could. That was an interesting conversation, in the end she said I totally educated myself, she accepted my decision, but if I was even thinking of going off the pills to call her.

    Sorry for the long ramble, but just wanted to show my support. You did a brave thing by standing up for yourself and your body, there are so many others, especially women, who just go with what the doctor says. Solutions to our issues are not always as easy as a prescription.

  4. My father was a doctor and he was the best! I know that I am biased, but he had amazing bedside manner and was loved by his patients, nurses, and other doctors. It is so sad to see how medicine has changed these days. I am so glad that you had a beautiful weekend and a nice foot massage. 🙂 Stay strong woman! XOXO

    1. Trust me, I understand that there are still good doctors out there. I’m sure your father was one of the best:) You are very fortunate. I can’t wait to find one like that.

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more on the awful careless doctors! I was diagnosed with MS in 2007 and have been from doctor to doctor since. My latest doctor didn’t even review the MRI and blood work that SHE ordered..instead she rsn into the room with exciting news about the newest drug on the market which was just approved by the FDA. I very abruptly declined her persistent offer and left disgusted and with a $1200 MRI bill for labs that I never even saw the results of. They care about themselves and the drug company that they are supporting.

    I have been off of all drugs since 2009 and have remained symptom free. I take great care in the food that I eat an choose what I know will keep my body running its best. No gluten or other inflammatory foods.

    I appreciate your story and am glad to see others have the same viewpoints that I do. I am not alone 😉

  6. Yes! I am so sick of treating symptoms. I thought I had finally found a doctor that was listening, but sadly it seems she didn’t really hear me. I’ve been bouncing around from specialist to specialist (I see yet another on Weds.) In one way it is nice to know I’m not the only one this happens to, but at the same time I wish it didnt happen to anyone else. I hope you find your answers soon!

  7. And doctors wonder why we as a society turn to “Dr. Google” when we have medical issues. I struggle with my PCOS on a daily basis& have learned more by doing my own research & talking to those in the PCOS community than I have from any doctor that just gave me a prescription.
    Sending you love & hugs!

  8. Oh, this is too familiar. I lost a baby because doctors wouldn’t listen to me for years! After it happened, I was finally referred to a perinatogist only because at the time I had cadillac medical insurance- usually you have to have a minimum of three miscarriages before you get referred to him! It was the first time I felt like I was being heard! He listened and acted and basically saved my life and never even touched me. Amazing what actually listening can do!
    Since then, my insurance has been terrible or like now, nonexistant, so treating myself using food as medicine is my only choice- and it works far better. I wish you a good outcome to this latest battle. You know your body better than anyone.

  9. “Dr. Google”…love it. I have heard, and I have heard from others, how doctors are frustrated with the “WebMD” society they now have to deal with, because everyone is trying to self-diagnose and self-treat.

    I guess we were never supposed to look into our own health and wellness. The drug companies don’t make their money when we care for ourselves. Personally, I hate taking medication, and I hate there is a pill for every problem. The amount of commercials on TV these days for medications is staggering, and the side effects are as scary as the symptoms the drug is trying to correct. I laugh at the new disclaimer: “Your doctor has prescribed the medication for you because the benefits are worth the risk of side effects” or whatever it is. Side-effects from medications are no fun at all.

    We need to educate, and realize doctors are not the be-all to end-all solution. There are alternatives to taking high risk medications.

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  11. I could not possibly agree more. I have several chronic medical issues that require constant attention and vigilance. If I had blindly followed the instruction of every doctor I saw regarding these problems, I’d be even more screwed in terms of my health than I am now. As it is, they have contributed more to the problem than to the solution. People need to arm themselves with knowledge and research so that when they see doctors, they are informed and active about their own health and treatment. Do not blindly trust your doctor and just passively follow whatever they tell you to take or do. PLEASE – be an informed patient. Take chare of your own health! This is so important and I get on my own soapbox about this problem with the medical profession.

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