My Illness Journey Part 3: "Too Pretty to be Sick"

Hi I'm Kayla and according to two separate medical professionals, I am "too pretty to be sick."

So picking up where I left off, I went to a neurologist. Rolled in there in a wheelchair hoping for answers, got condescending remarks (including one that everyone with a chronic illness is all too familiar with: "it's all in your head"), an MRI ordered, and an EMG ordered.  For those who don't know what an EMG is, it is a medical procedure created by the devil himself in which the patient is literally electrocuted and needles are jabbed into the muscles and maliciously wiggled around.  It's supposed to test how your muscles and nerves conduct electricity, but in reality it just tests your pain tolerance and your patience.  Both those tests came back clear which sucked because then the doctor said "you need to find someone smarter than me" and literally pushed me out of his office. No referral, no recommendations for how to handle my life and my pain in the meantime, nothing.

At the time all of this went down with the neurologist, I was seeing a UCI pain management doctor.  This doctor was overall super unhelpful but my mother and I worked our asses off to get a referral to the UCI neurology department.  After lots of bartering with insurance we finally got in, and we put all our eggs in this doctor's basket.  This man was old, experienced, and a medical professor as well as a neurologist, so we had insanely high hopes.

We sensed something was off when we met the nurse, but we never could have predicted the jackassery that was to come.  First of all, that nurse didn't know how to take a pulse.  I'm serious.  A working, registered nurse, did not know how to take my pulse.  He said something about having to count to 15 and multiply by 3... the number he ended up with was like 77 which was neither a multiple of 15 nor 3, and it wasn't even close to what my pulse actually was.  You know how I know that? Because the blood pressure machine took my pulse and said it was 112.  But this asshat decided the technology was wrong and we ended up negotiating that he write down something in the 90's.

Then the doctor came in, looked me up and down, and judged the fuck out of me before I could even speak.  I spent 10 minutes pouring my heart out to that doctor telling him all of my symptoms and how I was getting so much worse so quickly.  I spoke about my quality of life and how I was housebound and nearly bedbound.  Clearly he didn't hear a word of it because as soon as I shut up he said the following: "You're too young and pretty to be sick, you'll continue to improve, stop seeing doctors you're just wasting everyone's time."

I left that appointment absolutely devastated.  I felt sorry for myself, and I also felt disgusted that this man was in a position to teach his fucked up methods to people who were studying to be doctors.  Fortunately I didn't take his stupid ass advice and stop seeing doctors, and I pushed on to get a new neurologist referral, and this time I made sure to request a female because at least no woman would ever tell me I was too pretty to be sick.

PS- There are many more parts of my story to come.  It has been a long journey, and due to this blog being all about candor, I don't want to leave any part of my journey out.  I know for a fact that the little things not only matter, but they're often what people most relate to. However, I am committed to making my posts easy reads. So please bear with me as I continue to try to make this blog as easily readable and as honest as possible.


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