The first time Ibby Hanlon felt the pain, she was working at a grocery store in Houston, Texas.
Out of nowhere, she was hit with an awful, throbbing sensation in her back and a deep pain in her stomach. The pain was so intense that Hanlon fell to the ground in the middle of an aisle. The next day, Hanlon went to her doctor’s office.
“He’s like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. What you’re describing to me doesn’t make any sense,'” Hanlon recalls. “It felt like a brush off.”
Still, this pain kept randomly returning. Hanlon grew used to calling in sick to work, missing plans with friends and bailing on dates. Instead, she’d be curled up in bed, sweating from the pain.
Desperate for a solution, she went from doctor to doctor. No matter how many doctors she saw, she says she couldn’t get a straight answer and felt the doctors weren’t taking her concerns seriously. Studies show that women’s pain is often not taken as seriously as men’s.
“I felt like, well, are all these doctors in on the same club or something? Am I just being a hypochondriac?” she said. “Why am I having to go to doctor, after doctor, after doctor?”
Trust is at the heart of any good doctor-patient relationship. You trust they’ll take your concerns seriously. And you trust that, even though they’re the experts, they’ll give you a say in what happens to your body.
This week, we’ll look at the steep costs that come when that trust is shattered.
Hanlon is a listener, and she wrote to us to share her story. To tell us what you thought about this episode, this season, or anything else, drop us a line at 347-RING-TIU (347-746-4848), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below.
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