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It’s Not In Your Head

Posted Aug 17 2010 4:49pm

I know I’ve touched on this topic before, but I think it’s time we revisit it.

It absolutely breaks my heart to hear from all of you and to hear how difficult it has been to get a correct diagnosis.  Without exaggeration I can tell you that I know exactly how you feel.  The numerous trips to the ER in the middle of the night… the incredulous looks from doctors… the disbelieving family members.  Been there; done that.

While all of that is bad enough, what is borderline dangerous is when those of you with valid heart trouble are referred to a psychiatrist.  Although perceived as an attempt to help, what this actually does is discourage you from further pursuing a diagnosis.  Are the doctors to blame?  That’s hard to say.  How can you blame a doctor who hasn’t been trained to diagnosis the heart conditions specific to women?  He (or she) can only diagnosis what they know.  What, though, if what you are experiencing is outside of their area of expertise?  Then the burden of proof falls to you my dear.

So, what do you do now?

DON’T GIVE UP

Yes; I meant that to be in all caps.  It’s not that I’m yelling at you… I just really want you to get the point.  Nobody knows better than you when there is something wrong.  I don’t care if you’ve been to the ‘best’ cardiologist in town.  Find a better one in the next town over!  Travel further than that if you have to.  Just don’t give up!

So many of you write to me and tell me that, if it wasn’t for your loved ones, you would have given up a long time ago.  Remember them the next time your heart hurts.  Find the answers you deserve for them.  While they may not fully appreciate the lengths you are going to at present, they’ll thank you when you are on the road to recovery. 

Written in honor of Catherine.


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