All my tests are negative but I know something is wrong.
🙋🏻♀️Have you been there? ALL NORMAL! But you still feel unwell. 🤷🏻♀️Perhaps you’ve been told it’s all in your head, you’re depressed, that you need to see a therapist.
👩🏻⚕️As the doctor trying to solve the puzzle, I can tell you that this situation can be extremely frustrating for patient & doctor alike.
💡Some advice that may be helpful for you & your doctor...
1. Find the right partner in healthcare. Make sure your primary care doctor is someone you trust, who will listen, who understands & supports your approach to wellness, who will direct the ship & keep track of the workup so that tests aren’t being duplicated.
2. Make sure that once you have found that doctor, that you follow up & listen to her recommendations. If you & your doc aren’t on the same page, chances are you will both end up frustrated. Make multiple appointments if necessary. Figuring this out may take some time & require you both to think outside the box, see new specialists, do different tests or even try to investigate yourself. She may ask you to try lifestyle changes because there are plenty of things we can’t test for. For example, if you have low back pain but have tried meds & PT, perhaps it’s something that you’re doing ergonomically, like carrying your toddler on your hip. We can’t go home with you to figure some of these things out. But a lot of untestable symptoms arise from things you may not even be aware you’re doing.
3. Don’t search the internet. It will send you on a wild goose chase, make you fearful & mistrusting, & may cause you to expect certain things based on the experience of others. Every body is unique. Your doctor will guide you, not Dr. Google.
4. Optimize your health in the meantime. Take it upon yourself to change your diet, exercise, sleep, stress management. Making small changes will help you feel better overall & will certainly help you manage the stress & anxiety of uncertainty.
5. And most importantly, do not give up. We are investigators who love nothing more than solving the puzzle & seeing you thrive.
👩🏻⚕️If you‘ve been in this position, I’d love to
hear your thoughts & experiences!