Saturday 12 March 2022

Trauma. Why don't Doctor's listen?

I mean I don't have a good track record of Dr's listening to me. They all but dismissed my brain tumour as anxiety and stress and offered me Diazepam. 🙄

Decades ago they told me the antibiotics I was taking hadn't triggered my bad gut issues, only for me to find in a medical book they certainly were linked - and when I stopped them the symptoms eased significantly. I've also been told over the years that other issues were not linked that were later proved correct. With each of my kids I was told in labour my opinion of my own body and instincts were wrong, that I wasn't near birth...and each time I was again proved right. With one child I actually said 'I'm waiting in the car park if they don't admit me as I know I need to be where I'm giving birth'... despite them saying I wasn't even in labour. He was born 40 minutes later. 😬 The two following home births they told me again I would be ages, yet both were born within a couple of hours from the first twinge. With the youngest the home birth midwife even left! She arrived back less than an hour later, moaning she had just put her dinner on, to basically catch the baby. 🤭

So when in 2019, I finally got a neuropsychology appointment for what I'd asked my neurosurgeon for help with - in testing my cognitive function and if my hand, vision, speech or coordination could be improved? - I was thinking I would get somewhere at last. It had only taken over 3 years since my surgery, which was long enough.

But... I saw this neuropsychologist, and while she was vaguely understanding and helpful at the start, once she started typing my history into her computer and realised I had previously been diagnosed with anxiety and depression her attitude changed. She then implied it was just this reoccurring again, and basically what did I expect as I had refused to take anti depressants for it. I was just causing my own problems!!! 🤬
I was livid. 
Yes I know I have had issues in the past  - because of TRAUMA!!! I had a boyfriend drown in an accident, a week after telling me he would be dead within a week 🤯 and past abuse that had caught up with me. But at the time they happened I was told to basically forget about my thoughts, never allowed to actually get help with processing them. 
However, in 2016 on dealing with the trauma of being told I was fine, when I wasn't,  then urgent brain surgery,  feeling dizzy and not with it for weeks... this subsequent trauma had brought to the surface all my past traumas.
So with this information, and the fact she thought I seemed OK at my appointment, she decided I didn't need any cognitive assessments that day as planned, and thought I had Functional Neurological Disorder -FND (where there is no physical cause for the issues, although they agree the symptoms are real) & I just needed psychiatric help.
Now if she had spoken to me and explained she thought that psychiatry sessions would help me - that they would help address the traumas, explained why she thought I had FND rather than brain injury from either the hydrocephalus, my tumour or the surgery; understood and accepted my reasons for refusing antidepressants and also said she would still test me for the cognitive assessments either as planned, or in time, I could have accepted it easier.  
But she didn't, she basically insulted me, laughed at me and then dismissed me.
Anyway.. a lot of fuck ups and time later (not helped by the covid bollocks of them stopping all but urgent medical treatment) I finally saw a neuropsychiatrist last year, had regular follow up psychiatry sessions (although again stopping with more silly covid restrictions over Christmas) and while he helped loads in that he validated my feelings that had previously been dismissed, reminded me of techniques to help with stress and to not feel so bad about myself when I simply have times I can't find the correct words and was a lovely, helpful person. We agreed that my hands, vision, speech etc hadn't changed much.

Then after going to a booked face to face appointment with the main neuropsychiatrist, I got to the hospital to find out it was changed to a phone conversation! (And they never notified me of the change in plans) So I sat in a hospital room to talk to her on the phone -  a 2 1/2  hour round trip to use the phone! 🙄
BUT.... she basically agreed the same. Yes, my psychology sessions had improved my being. (Why can't they understand that just someone listening and caring improves your being, much less an 'official' psychiatrist who confirmed that my feelings were right and that I had been treated badly... it wasn't just my failings or weakness.) Yet as my physical issues hadn't much changed she would be referring me back to the clinical neuropsychologist in the main part of the hospital's neurology department - that does assessments etc - rather than just the psychology I had been having in the mental health building on the outside of the main hospital. (This is a whole other conversation as to why one is hidden in the back of the hospital grounds?!😬) I now have my diagnoses changed to 'an element of FND', as well as 'delayed grief/adjustment disorder/PTSD component'.  

Could this not just be..?
 'Still struggling at times from the trauma of being ignored and then needing a life saving, but life changing, surgery'

Yet with this confirmation, I honestly didn't know whether to laugh, cry or scream.
 "Why don't you fucking listen to your patients?" 
No, it couldn't have been that my brain got injured!? 
... that having hydrocephalus before the op, needing my surgery to be brought forward as urgent due to this issue, taking a 3cm lump out of my brain along with the intermingled brain tissue, 6 hours of brain surgery, having 40 staples in my scalp to hold it all together, or that I was told would kill me if they didn't treat soon ... 
Of course these wouldn't cause any fucking issues would they? 🤯 
It had to all be me and my psychological issues, as I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression in the past... 🤬
Then literally the day I was told that I am being referred back I saw this video from Dr Jessica Taylor on how women with mental health disorders are flagged up on their medical records. This might explain a lot.
Is this why over the years they have ignored me, tried to drug me and blame things on any other problem than what it is?
Be it emotional trauma from situations that I couldn't cope with, ones I had tried to mentally block out so I could keep functioning, or physical trauma in that my brain had been actually opened up and pulled apart! 
Yet for the second time is as many months I have been given confirmation that I was right all along...
I have just got my letter for my assessment again in May, 2.5 years from the last time I was supposed to get this done. 
Before someone decided to not listen to me.
You'd think they'd listen as I know when the issues started and what I feel about them.
It would save a LOT of time.
I also have bought Dr Jessica Taylor's new book  Sexy But Psycho. I'm looking forwards to reading it.
"Angry, opinionated, mouthy, aggressive, hysterical, mad, disordered, crazy, psycho, delusional, borderline, hormonal . . . Women have long been pathologized, locked up and medicated for not conforming to whichever norms or stereotypes are expected of them in that time and space. Sexy But Psycho is a challenging and uncomfortable book which seeks to explore the way professionals and society at large pathologize and sexualise women and girls.

Utilising decades of research, real case studies and new data from her own work, Dr Taylor's book will critically analyse the way we label women with personality disorders. Why are women and girls pathologized for being angry about oppression and abuse? How have so many women been duped into believing that they are mentally ill, for having normal and natural reactions to their experiences? Sexy But Psycho argues that there is a specific purpose to convincing women and girls that they are mentally ill, as the world avoids addressing violence against women and their centuries of ignored trauma."