Friday, April 6, 2018

Why I Don’t Immediately Trust Experts

I’m constantly in pain. Karma, I know, considering what I am for other people’s asses, but it is problematic none of the less.

I experience constant headaches, including migraines. Sometimes I have extreme light sensitivity and have twice gone blind in the last five years. It was for only several seconds, each after sitting in a dark theatre programing the lighting for many hours, but still scary. I’ve recently started to wear sunglasses when in a fluorescent lit room at night, not bothering to explain why to my somewhat disbelieving friends. I’m often nauseated and have no appetite. I often have terrible insomnia, especially when I sleep alone. Yet I am fatigued most of the time. I am constantly thirsty, but when I drink I just end up going to the bathroom excessively, and will sometimes even get a headache after too much water. I itch everywhere, especially on my scalp. I’m always freezing. Up until recently, I would experience this extreme pain in an unmentionable place many times a month. It continued for several years. I haven’t felt it within the last few months, but I have no idea why not.

It feels like I’ve always been like this, but I know it hasn’t. It has been several years now, but in the recent weeks it has all gotten worse. I have finally scheduled an appointment with a doctor.

But that’s what happens. I am in pain, but I tolerate it. I avoid getting medical advice like doing taxes. Then, suddenly, it worsens. It gets so out of line that I know I have to do something about it. I go to an expert, I get some tests, they smile and nod, tell me they have no idea what’s wrong, and suggest I go elsewhere. I do go elsewhere only to find the same reaction.

They might speculate. “You were clearly sexually abused, try masturbation.” They might argue with me. “Peeing after drinking a lot is normal.” If I get upset, it’s proof of my lunacy. “Why are you going to so many doctors?” asks the fifth one my G.P. referred me to. “Because you’re not getting the answer you’d like?”

Any answer at all would be great. Thanks.

I have already been tested for diabetes, treated for a urinary tract infection, and told that thyroid problems weren’t the issue. The doctors didn’t seem to care much. A lot of times, I felt like you had to go to each doctor twice to really jumpstart the process, once to introduce the problem, twice to prove you were serious. They didn’t know what to tell me. They sent me to other experts who also didn’t know what to tell me. I never got an answer, so I remained in pain.

I avoid going to an expert until I really need one. Then they can’t help me.

My cat, a few years ago, got very sick. He stopped eating, lost a lot of weight, and couldn’t go to the bathroom. I took him in for a series of expensive tests. They found nothing. His hair, shaved off for an x-ray, didn’t grow back. I got the feeling my vet didn’t really care, ready to retire, but when I said so, my mother exploded at me in a surprising amount of rage. Later on, when discussing Dimitri’s problems with friends, many of them agreed that that specific vet didn’t really seem to care.

When I got another vet, she did work her ass off to find out what was wrong with him. She took his files, came up with several tests, told me she would discuss his case at a conference, and seemed genuinely concerned. She too couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

They told us it might be cancer. The method of determining that was invasive and he might not survive, plus the pills he was taking were the only option anyway, so we decided to forgo the test. They put Dimitri on an anti-depressant, gave him a steroid to give him more of an appetite, and that seemed to be all we could do.

Then, after months and months, magically, he got better.

One night I wake to him playing, racing around the room like the lunatic he is. His fur grew back, he put on weight, he started eating again. I took him off the anti-depression food and he has been happy and active ever since. Still a little wimp, but that was always the case.

I, to this day, have no idea what was wrong.

My car, a Honda, decided that it wasn’t always gone to accelerate when I asked it to. Sometimes it would, but then, usually around a curve or up a hill, the gas just stopped working. I took it to a Honda dealership. They put it in a machine. The machine found nothing wrong with it. Probably nothing. I took it to a mechanic. The mechanic solved a whole slew of other problems for a whopping 600 dollars. He didn’t fix the acceleration. I took it back to him. He said, “Well, it didn’t do it for me.” I looked it up online. Apparently this was a common problem for the make and model I had. I took it back. He did something. It still did it. I took it back again. Finally he was driving it and it obliged me by showing him. He came back and said, “I can see why you were scared.” Finally he fixed it.

Last year, in attempts to solve my fatigue and depression, I changed my diet to a high protein one. I ate a lot of nuts, eggs, red meat, and protein shakes. I also stared to eat more greens and fruit. My throat closed up and I couldn’t project air at all.

I started dating a guy who wanted to go to karaoke. I explained I couldn’t speak louder than what I was at the moment. Because he didn’t know me before he didn’t realize how hushed my voice was. He argued with me.

After about four weeks I finally made myself go to the doctor. I told him my problems and he smiled and nodded, bringing out a machine to test my breath. After trying it several times, he looked at it and said, “Wow, you really can’t breathe!”

When I asked him what I should do, he told me to just “wait it out.” I told him I had changed my diet recently, could it be an allergy? No.

I was supposed to come back in two weeks if it hadn’t gotten better. When I waited the designated time and, surprise, surprise, nothing had changed, I didn’t go back, but just stop eating the protein bars and shakes. A few weeks after that, I could breathe again.

I go to these experts and they seem not to believe me. It’s disheartening when you avoided them in the first place, tried to solve the problems on your own, and then finally got yourself to admit you need help only to turn to someone and have them brush you off.

I don’t immediately trust ‘experts.’ In a business like mine, where subjectivity is so thorough and posturing is common, you can see why it takes me some thorough analysis before I can decide how sincerely to take constructive criticism.

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