I am listening. As a nurse practitioner with more than a decade of traditional Endocrinology experience, I have heard so many of my patients tell their stories of chronic unexplained symptoms that profoundly impact their quality of life. Many of them passed from practitioner to practitioner with no answers, being told that “there is nothing wrong with you” or “your tests are all normal.” I understand how frustrating this must be for them. I have lived through a similar experience.
As a mother of three young children in my early thirties, there were days I could barely walk down the steps. The muscles in my legs ached so bad at times that I could not even hold my children on my lap. I remember feeling exhausted, hopeless and depressed, feeling like I could barely get through the day. At one point, I reached out to several of my medical colleagues who told me there was “nothing wrong with me” and that I was just “stressed out.” Over the years my reflux was so severe I was told I would need a procedure to wrap my esophagus around the top part of my stomach, a procedure that had a list of potential serious side effects. Not one of my health care practitioners ever asked the question of why a woman of my age would have so many disabling chronic symptoms, but in all fairness, that is not how we are trained in traditional medicine.