denelian, in the spirit of sharing, wrote a comment that made my vagina lock up so tight I may never have sex again (thanks!), including something I thought was just me:
THEN the doc told me i'd be a fascinating case study on how treating a person's pain like it didn't matter produced a person who ignored their body's warnings [pain] until their body just QUIT.
That's not just you, denelian. I do that, too. I end up in the hospital with kidney infections, or a spleen the size of Nebraska, or severely dehydrated, or with a fever so high I'm risking brain damage or an ear infection that's spreading to the bone. Each and every time, the ER doctor scolds me. How could I let it go that long? Why didn't I call my doctor earlier- like a week earlier? You almost died, don't you care what happens to yourself?
Of course I care what happens to myself, I just don't pay much attention to my body. I used to. I used to call the doctor every time something weird happened, which is pretty much every day. I've had two doctors dump me for doing just that. So I stopped paying attention to my body. Pain? That's not important. It must not be, nobody cares about it. So why would I pay any more attention to the pain in my left flank than I do to the far worse pain in my knees- until I start peeing blood, that is.
I tried to tell doctors about the tachycardia and palpitations. They did a couple of tests and politely told me to fuck off. So I stopped paying attention to my heart racing so fast I couldn't count it- until I passed out at Dunkin Donuts.
Honestly, I can never tell if I have a fever. I frequently feel like I do when I don't. I'll be miserably hot when it's 20F (-7C) outside, or shivering when it's 85F (29C) and it's no indication of what my internal temperature is. I've mentioned it to doctors and basically been told to stop being melodramatic. So, no, I didn't bother to check my temperature when I had a fever of over 104F (40C)- until I started hallucinating, that is.
Then I get to have an argument with an ER doctor because it's all my fault. I must be psychologically disturbed. The fact that my problem is a direct result of substandard care. Actually, my real problem is that this care is not considered substandard. Undertreating pain is the goal of modern medicine as far as I can tell. And me? I still have to get through my day, so I just ignore my body. I pay no attention to the most alarming things until my body starts to shut itself down.
I recently went to the doctor because my toes keep turning a dark greyish purple. It's really an alarming color on your skin. It's not related to cold or much of anything else that I can figure out, and here's what the doctor said to me: Does it hurt? No, there's no additional pain when my toes turn purple. Well, then, it's really just cosmetic, isn't it?
Yeah, I'm betting it's not just cosmetic. I'm betting I end up in the ER, again, suffering from something horrible. Again.
The above list isn't everything that's sent me to the hospital in the last 10 years. Not even close. The issue isn't infections or dehydration or fevers, the issue is that I push myself to the limit every day. Some days, with the pain, walking five steps is the limit and I have to go way past that. I don't sleep more than five hours a night because of the pain and no more than two hours are uninterrupted sleep. I frequently don't eat because of the pain. I'm not surprised when my body shuts down. And I can't really figure out why doctors act all shocked and appalled by it. Or why that's my fault.