Receiving medical attention as a woman can be difficult. From doctors who quickly dismiss women’s worries to hastily made diagnoses, women seeking medical care have seen it all. Not to mention, doctors’ behavior can be rude, condescending, and unprofessional. Ugh! These women share the most ignorant and ill-mannered things their doctors have said to them. Content has been edited for clarity.
“Nobody Wanted To Investigate What Was Wrong With Me”
“One time, I explained my migraine symptoms to a former doctor of mine. She got a confused look on her face, turned back toward her laptop, and typed in, ‘migraine symptoms,’ right in front of me.
Then she said, ‘Oh, yeah. The internet does say migraines are a symptom.’
Another time, I went to my gynecologist about horrible hormone issues I had. I had migraines, heavy periods, a bloated lower abdomen, and severe cramping. I told my gynecologist something was wrong, but she didn’t believe me.
She simply replied, ‘There’s nothing wrong with your hormones. You are just sensitive to their fluctuations.’
The way she said this, her inflection, insisted I was being sensitive and that there wasn’t anything wrong. The gynecologist didn’t do any tests and was quick to dismiss my concerns.
Three months later, I went to the hospital for groin pain. The medical staff found a one-pound tumor growing straight through my uterus, destroying all of the uterine walls. However, the hospital didn’t find the issue right away. Beforehand, I met with a doctor who insisted I had a bladder infection. However, my analysis was negative for this type of infection.
The doctor put me on an antibiotic anyway, claiming, ‘Sometimes tests are negative because people drink too much water.’
One week later, I went back and demanded a more invasive investigation. After a couple of weeks, I also had an MRI. I took the antibiotics for nothing! Nobody wanted to investigate what was wrong with me. Nobody listened to me. Not only was it frustrating to have to keep going back to the hospital, but it was also extremely expensive.
The tumor wound up being so large, it had created its own circulatory system. I had to get a hysterectomy. When the surgeons removed everything, the tumor was three times bigger than my uterus.
I’m sensitive? Yeah, right.”
“You Just Need To Deal With It”
“After I had my c-section, I experienced intense itching on my entire body.
When I requested allergy medicine from the nurse, she told me, ‘I can’t give you anything for random itching. You are breastfeeding, which will cause drowsiness for you and your baby. You just need to deal with it.’
The nurse picked up my son from his crib, handed him to me, and said, ‘Skin on skin is best,’ then left the room.
I was burning up, and my son, while content, wasn’t interested in eating. The nurse placed the crib just far enough away to where I couldn’t move over enough to put him back. Every part of my skin burned like stinging nettles.
Just forty-five minutes later, my entire body was covered in hives. I cried from the hormones, and my pain levels were off the charts. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something. My son fell asleep on me while I scratched my arms until they bled. I rang the bell beside my bed, hoping a different nurse would arrive and help me.
To my surprise, a different nurse walked into the room and said, ‘Oh, no! You’re reacting to something. Poor thing, you look so uncomfortable! Let’s get you sorted out.’
I asked the nurse about breastfeeding and she replied, ‘Baby won’t starve, and you won’t be feeling much like feeding if you’re reacting, now will you?’
The nurse gave me allergy medication in my IV, plus a bit of extra pain medication. I had some weird immune response causing me to break out in hives. The nurse took my son and dressed him in a couple of outfits I brought with me to the hospital since he was born on Halloween. She kept him at the nurse’s station while I rested.
When my husband came to the hospital later after picking up my son from daycare, the nurses were all taking turns holding my newborn son. I slept a solid three hours. When I woke up, I felt like a million bucks.
I didn’t see the nurse who denied me medication again for the remainder of my stay. She was a total witch.”
“Your Pain Is Just In Your Head”
“When I was thirteen years old, I went rollerblading and dislocated my knee. At the time, I didn’t have a cell phone. I lived in a secluded residential neighborhood, and I was alone. It was 1:30 in the afternoon on a weekday, and it was an early release day at school. So, I lay there for a couple of hours until an adult got home from work and called my grandma.
Since I had been laying on the ground for a few hours, by the time I got to the hospital, I was still in a lot of pain but had pretty much calmed down. My knee had immediately popped back into place, so it was not visibly dislocated.
The doctor took my blood pressure, and it was normal. Between my not crying, my normal blood pressure, and my swollen knee, the doctor thought everything was normal. He refused to do any imaging and insisted nothing was wrong with me.
The doctor harshly told me, ‘You know, coming in here and faking an injury is wasting the emergency room’s time. If you truly suffered from a dislocated knee, I would be able to see it. You would be howling in agony, and your blood pressure would be elevated.’
It was three hours before I even got to the emergency room, and I could only cry for so long.
I kept going to the doctor to have my knee looked at because it continued to hurt. Every six months for two years I went back because for ‘nothing’ to have happened, I was surely in a lot of pain. The doctor continued to refuse to do any imaging and just kept telling me there was nothing wrong.
At the year-and-a-half mark, the doctor looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but you’re never getting your hands on the pain pills you are so obviously desperately seeking. You need to see a mental health therapist for your drug-seeking, attention-seeking behavior. Your pain is just in your head.’
As it turned out, I had a connective tissue disorder making injuries like mine more common, and also causing me to have low blood pressure. This meant my ‘normal’ blood pressure in the emergency room was an elevated one for me.
I was fifteen years old when I finally got the doctors to see if something was wrong with my knee. Finally, I was referred to a physical therapist. My knee never recovered to normal after the injury, and the physical therapist told me I could have regained all of my strength if I had pursued help right away.
To this day, I can’t believe how the doctor treated me.”
“I Left The Office And Never Went Back”
“When I was seventeen years old, I found a lump in my breast. At the time, I was terrified.
My mother took me to her gynecologist because she didn’t trust mine, who she had never met. The doctor examined me, and he told me I had something called fibrocystic disease.
The doctor explained, ‘Hormones make the condition worse.’
I, worried, asked the doctor, ‘Should I stop taking the pill?’
The doctor coldly replied, ‘You shouldn’t be on the pill in the first place,’ and walked out of the room without saying anything else.
The doctor didn’t give me an explanation of what fibrocystic disease was and gave me no further care instructions. I waited for about twenty minutes for someone else to come back to the room, then I just got dressed. This included putting on my winter coat.
Fifteen minutes later, a nurse came in, barely looked at me, and said, ‘You can get dressed now.’
I replied, ‘I AM dressed.’
The nurse looked at me again, turned around, and walked out without saying a word.
I left the office and never went back. I ended up researching fibrocystic disease at my college library, but I couldn’t tell how bad it was or what I could do.
I ended up going to a different gynecologist. I didn’t have a fibrocystic disease, I had fibrous breast tissue. I ended up having the lump removed because it caused so much pain. I haven’t had any lumps or pain since then.
The first doctor was awful.”
The Cold And Condescending Doctor
“A few years ago, I hurt my hip pretty bad. I went to urgent care, and the doctor told me it was a strained lap band. I relayed the diagnosis to my sister who worked as an athletic trainer. She told me to lie on my side with a pillow between my legs, and it would help with the pain.
It did not.
It hurt terribly, and every muscle in my body locked up. My husband had to push me onto my back. So, I made an appointment with another doctor the following Monday morning.
When I arrived at the appointment and explained the issue to the doctor, she rolled her eyes and said, ‘It’s just a strained lap band. You’re overthinking this. It will be fine if you just rest.’
I repeated the bit about what my sister ordered me to do, and the doctor implied my sister was out of her league in dealing with an injury, and that my sister was simply causing me to act paranoid. I fought the doctor on this, and finally, she agreed to examine me.
I have no idea what the doctor did, but whatever it was, it wasn’t gentle. It hurt so bad, I yelled and started crying.
Then, the doctor had the nerve to look at me and say, ‘Oh. That’s not your lap band.’
No way, lady.
Then, the doctor wanted to immediately get back into examining me. I was so angry, I put in a complaint.
As it turned out, I had torn several connective tissues and chipped off a few pieces of my bone. I ended up on medical leave for almost four months. But I was ‘being a hypochondriac.’
Sure I was.”