Musings of a Heretic Patient: Floxed and Fed Up

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fluoroquinolone toxicity
After mulling it over for quite some time, I wanted to comment on something we all encounter much too frequently in our floxed lives. That is, specifically, the negative experiences we are often forced to endure with our doctors. As patients, harmed by a widely over prescribed drug, we are often dismissed whenever we propose a connection between fluoroquinolones and the adverse side effects we experience as their patients.

I cannot even begin to quantify the level of frustration and anger I feel whenever I’ve been confronted with this in my doctors visits. It’s demeaning and demoralizing to be treated as if I am a complete moron for broaching the subject whenever they come up empty on their diagnosis.

At first I chalked it up to ego because after all, THEY are the “experts” and I am just one of the great uneducated with the audacity to question their expertise and search for answers beyond their own. I know what it feels like to be sneeringly, denigrated for my research. To be called a GOOGLE doctor for simply not accepting their non-diagnosis as a diagnosis.

Oh, the times I felt like screaming and pulling my hair out in my doctor’s office. The times I became so frustrated I wanted to overturn the tables and rip those stupid charts from the walls are just too innumerable to count on my flox journey.

Laying the blame on ego alone was the simplistic answer but something always niggled at me every time I left the office, depressed and defeated.

Why was I always making excuses for what was so obviously a rude and demeaning attitude towards my quest for answers? Why were all my doctors so hostile to my input and so dismissive of my efforts at educating myself? What lay beneath this dismissal of my pain and the destruction of my body that even they could not deny?

Today it happened again and it sparked me into writing this post.

The Heresy of Questioning a Doctor

I have come to learn that a few of the common tactics used by doctors can be identified. Many of them are being used to work against us when confronting a doctor’s assessment of our specific issues.

The first one is utilizing our lack of a formal medical education to minimize our efforts. It’s the most obvious use of the power dynamic they conjure to silence us. Questioning a doctor is an anarchistic act. It challenges the authority of the empirical medical model, the one we’ve been programmed from childhood to believe has all the answers. The one domain that is so sacrosanct in our society that questioning it is bordering on the heretical and places you squarely outside the acceptable behavior circle.

I have come to accept that I am now a heretic and so is anyone who steps outside the medical status quo in their search for answers. Like any heretic, I need to be prepared for the onslaught of disapproval and derision I might receive for questioning the medical gods. I need to remember to arm myself psychically and mentally for every visit. The fact that I must do this saddens me. It illustrates just how meaningless and hollow the Hippocratic Oath has become to our modern medicine men.

“Nor shall any man’s entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do so.”

Plausible Deniability in Medicine

Another tactic used by physicians to dismiss patient concerns is plausible deniability. Physicians now rely on plausible deniability to explain away their non actions or worse. It is the deliberate and destructive act they use against the very people they have sworn to heal. It’s also known as covering their asses. Knowing this and accepting that this is the norm rather than the exception has been a bitter pill for me to swallow but imperative to retaining my sanity.

And Then There is Gaslighting

Another thing I’ve come to recognize as a tactic is what I call medical gaslighting. Gaslighting is a very effective but abusive form of diversion. In this case, a physician utilizes an established (though questionable) psychological diagnosis as a convenient way of absolving their non actions in your case. It also serves to stopgap any further digging into causal links and diverts attention away from the physicians own culpability. How many times have I been told that my symptoms are all in my head? Too many times to count. And since my symptoms don’t fit any known disease model, I must be suffering from a psychological malady.

This has now become a part of the DSM-5 lexicon of psychiatric diagnosis and poses further harm to people like myself and anyone whose symptoms cannot be easily pinpointed to any one specific disease. If anyone, who like myself has been previously diagnosed with a mental illness (depression, PTSD) these diagnoses further serve to de-legitimize the patient’s experience.

We need to be aware that even when we have the hard evidence of medical research to back up our claims, we will be challenged and possibly labeled. If we refuse to accept this knee jerk assessment or the drugs they will inevitably prescribe to treat our “real” issues we might find ourselves tagged with the non-compliant stamp.

I write this as a warning to everyone who finds themselves on this page. You might hit some very daunting, brick walls along this journey but know that you are not alone. One day we will be vindicated, this crime will be exposed, and Big Pharma and all colluding physicians and corrupt governmental agencies will be brought low.

For those who have been blessed with that one special physician who listens and learns, I am grateful to see that ethics still exist. It’s heartening to know that there are doctors out there who can put ego and material gain aside and remain open to their patient’s body awareness and desire for healing. Sadly, those doctors risk becoming medical heretics too, banned and derided by the more conventional experts, the same experts that employ the tactics listed above.

In the end, I know we will win and a big part of that victory comes from the massive amount of support and experience we find on our support pages. Thank you to all my fellow floxies. You are the vanguards of this battle and close to my heart.

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This post was published originally on Hormones Matter on October, 2015.

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6 Comments

  1. Pure truth explained about the medical profession. I feel this is story of mine . But what is the solution and can we came out from this trouble.

    1. The solution lies in the power of numbers and public awareness, Dashmesh.
      The more we make ourselves visible and tell our stories the harder it will be for doctors to stay in denial. The more information we garner that proves our assertions the more power we gain.
      Educating the public on the dangers of these drugs through our own social networks is number one. Posting articles and personal testimonies of our experiences and our healing journeys far and wide brings awareness.
      Sharing any medical research and any articles from the handful of brave doctors speaking out against fluoroquinolones is another way to spread the knowledge.
      Inviting people to join our support groups helps our numbers grow and numbers equal strength.
      It was public pressure that forced big Pharma to black box the warnings on Fluoro’s and it will be public pressure in overwhelming numbers that will bring this drug to heel and the Pharma giants who push it like candy.
      If the public becomes aware that there are safer options than fluoro’s they will boycott them more readily. We need to make people aware of their options and choices and how to avoid the risks that this class of drugs poses. It’s all about getting the word out on the street.

  2. EPIDEMIC OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN DOCTORS

    The emergence of Medically Unexplained Illnesses has revealed an epidemic of behavioral problems and personality disorders in doctors.

    Patients expressing unfamiliar complaints to their physicians often induce the “It’s All In Your Head” (AIYH) or the “That’s Impossible” response in doctors suffering from these behavioral problems and personality disorders.

    Physicians fixated upon the metaphysical belief system of “If we don’t know about it, then it doesn’t exist” are suffering from a mental defect or psychological condition known as “Doctors with Unexplained Medical Beliefs”: D.U.M.B.

    DUMB doctors are comprised of subgroups characterized by opportunists who are feigning to be DUMB for monetary gain: “Medicalingering” or of those doctors who are not in possession of sufficient information to render an intelligent diagnosis: “Factlessitious Disorder”.

    Physicians who are suffering from DUMB disorder place an inordinate emphasis on theories of psychological causality for virtually any unfamiliar complaints that are presented, and manifest a distinctive lack of observational skills when confronted with obvious abnormalities. Doctors who exhibit obsessive preoccupation with psychosocial etiologies should be regarded with extreme caution: “Psychosomatization Fixation Disorder” or “Psychologizing” is a distinctive characteristic of mental illness, and should be considered a warning sign that the individual is not rational and may in fact be dangerously DUMB.

    DUMB disorder may be concomitant but should not be confused with “Signs of Thoroughly Unmistakable Physician Intelligence Deficiency” : “S.T.U.P.I.D.”,
    as a STUPID physician is uniformly incompetent, while a DUMB doctor is only mentally paralyzed into “psychologizing” by unfamiliar symptoms and complaints.

    An immediate investigation is warranted to assess the prevalence of DUMB and STUPID doctors, and to determine the detrimental impact that physicians suffering from these mental defects are having on their patients and the health care system.

    1. Eric, can I copy and paste your comment to Facebook and give you credit for writing it? Just an amazing comment you made, and I want to share it with everyone I know,–but I want to ask your permission first. Honestly, it is brilliant. You are my hero of words! Thank you. I couldn’t stop shaking my head and laughing out loud.

      Oh my, the truth hurts!!!

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