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amber3212 (@amber3212)

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)

Brain & Nervous System | Last Active: Nov 8 6:36pm | Replies (123)

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Hello Colleen @colleenyoung, I read the various tips provided by many members. ALL super great! One mentioned "avoiding the use of medical language" (or words to that effect). I found that it is true at times, less so at others. I have had both experiences.

I remember a doctor I was seeing about a sinus infection; when I explained my symptoms, I mentioned a "purulent discharge". He asked me: "And how do you know these big words?". I wasn't a child and it wasn't a compliment, it was stated in a very ironic and demeaning voice and a body language to match! Didn't go back.

But, I have met a lot of doctors who are the total opposite, so I would like to recommend the following: Don't change yourself to "adapt" to the doctors you will be seeing. Being prepared for your medical appointment is a positive thing, and if your vocabulary includes "Big Words", good for you! It only means that you know medical terminology that applies to your condition(s). If you find that your doctor is not receiving your information with a positive attitude, you can choose a different doctor. I did, and never regretted any of those changes.
A hug to all!
— Dee

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Replies to "Hello Colleen @colleenyoung, I read the various tips provided by many members. ALL super great! One..."

I wanted to compliment you on this post. I too have encountered problems with doctors and their offen highly inflated egos. I chose to take three of my dads doctors to court and I prevailed. Once involving his heart, another cancer and Alzheimer’s. I have great respect for people with outstanding vocabulary skills. My brother has an excellent volcabulary but I’d never expect him to be less than he is. He frequently uses words I don’t know and that’s fine, I always ask what something means. Always be all that you can be. Many doctors act like their patients are or should be subservient.

@danielad @jakedduck1 I think I was the one who mentioned not using medical language, but the context of that was with spine surgeons. I think that is a different ball game with higher stakes where confusing symptoms can scare the surgeons right out of helping a patient and it happens a lot. It happened to me 5 times over 2 years, and that is why I came to Mayo where they did listen, and they recognized what I was describing. That was my prior experience before I came to Mayo in describing my symptoms to a surgeon's nurse and it caused issues. She was attacking my credibility, and because all the communications to the surgeon were filtered through his staff, I wondered if she told him at all. It didn't seem that she knew as much as I did about the real symptoms I was having that were caused by my spine injury and she was refusing to make follow up appointments for me. After 5 months of complying with their requests, the surgeon decided not to offer surgery. It wasted my time and my deficits increased because of increased pressure on my spinal cord from the bone spurs that were digging into it. No doctor wants a patient to diagnose themselves from the internet, and then tell them how to do their jobs. I think that is what the nurse may have thought, but they missed understanding the cause of my symptoms, and missed the real diagnosis. In my search for help, I also ran into very arrogant surgeons who didn't want to take the time to answer questions at all. If I wasn't important enough to be permitted to ask a question, they probably didn't want me to try to match them with my understanding of medical terminology. If cases are simple without additional complexities, perhaps the response would have been different, but mine was not one of those cases. I was a helpless patient on my way to becoming disabled, waiting to be rescued, and the doctors were putting their needs for stellar surgical success rates first. They didn't understand my case and wouldn't take a risk on me. It isn't easy to look for new surgeons as there are not a lot of them, and they can booked for months. A patient shouldn't really present themselves as an expert at their consultations because they are consulting an expert, and I think if correct medical terminology is used, it should be posed as a question to the doctor, not a diagnosis type statement of this is what I have, now you can fix it. That probably isn't the intent of the patient, but you don't want a provider to interpret it that way.