I just finished talking to a woman about her experience traversing our paternalistic medical system. She’d been having very strange symptoms for months — dizziness, numbness and tingling in her head and hands, blurred vision. After a particularly scary episode, she went to the emergency room where the ER doctor, in her words, basically dismissed her by telling her she had none of the risk factors for a stroke — she was only 40, in good health, a nonsmoker. “It’s probably anxiety,” he told her. “Of course I’m anxious!” she said. “I have two little girls in the waiting room scared to death because they’ve never seen their mother like this and I’m scared because I don’t know what’s going on!”
Nonetheless, she left without any idea of what was going on, convinced it was all in her head. Another visit a week later to another emergency room, where this time the doctors performed a battery of tests, including a CT scan, MRI, blood work, etc. Again, nothing.
A few weeks later, with the symptoms now so bad she had to hold a coffee cup in two hands, she saw a neurologist. Again, a battery of tests. Again nothing. By … Continue Reading