Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by HeavenlyRN, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    I'm currently reading a book by Jeri Neilsen, MD. She was the doctor who was spending a year in Antarctica and diagnosed herself with breast cancer. This happened in the late 90's. Sadly, she died recently.

    I came across a couple of paragraphs in there that I thought were interesting, and timely, based on some of our discussions here. She was describing her "recovery" following a car accident on her way to her very first clinical rotation in a hospital. She ruptured 4 discs and it wasn't discovered for many years. The discs were compressing her spinal cord.

    She describes her frustration with symptoms and the difficulties she had being believed and finally being diagnosed.

    ***** "The accident that debilitated my body humbled me at a very important time, right when I began medical training. I learned that a person could lose everything in an instant. It made me realize that all these people who were sick or hurt weren't that way because they hadn't tried hard or willed themselves to be better. It was that they'd had bad luck.

    I know the experience made me a much more compassionate physician, because I was in the same position as many patient with undiagnosed conditions. I dropped things, I had terrible pains shooting down my arm, I developed urinary problems. I knew I wasn't making up these conditions, yet my doctors couldn't find anything wrong, and some of them implied that I was imagining symptoms. The doctors' assumptions changed my whole way of looking at people and their complaints. Just because I couldn't help them didn't mean they didn't need help. As one of my professors told me, there is no such thing as a crazy patient, just a dumb doctor." *****

    That struck a chord with me.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/17/2010]
  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    That should be reprinted in the Sunday magazines, People magazine, etc!

    There was a study some years ago that showed something like 60 or 70% of people dx'd with psychosomatic disorders got a disease dx within 5 years of the "psycho" tag, that correlated to a physical basis for their problems....