The medical event I am choosing to write about is one that I experienced personally as a patient. Last year I started to have severe pain in my lower back and I started to pee blood. Before I changed my career I studied as a nurse at Michigan State. Though I had never experienced them before I knew that this being caused by kidney stones, I had experienced a urinary tract infection in the past but this felt very different. When I went to Urgent Care the male doctor dismissed my claims and repeatedly (three times) asked me if I was sure that I was not about to start my period. I left the urgent care with only a prescription for tylenol two and instructions to rest and lay on a heating pad. This was very upsetting to me, it was like he was telling me I am just crazy. I understand that doctors have very limited time with tier patients (especially after watching The Vanishing Oath), but I think there is something to be said about the person who is living in the body telling you their diagnosis. I think many health care professionals have this weird bias that believes that the patients diagnosis is always wrong because they are just “WebMDing” there symptoms. As someone who studied as a nurse, I found that listening is such an important skill. Even if their diagnosis is off if you are listening to why they came to that conclusion because “it feels like this, but not this” or because “this symptom started before that one,” you will get a wealth of insight into their condition. This is usually much more informative than going through a list of questions that are usually hard for them to answer.
The pain persisted and got worse and worse. I made an appointment with my primary care physician. I told her about my concerns and that I truly believed it my condition was induced from kidney stones. She also seemed dismissive of my diagnosis, she also asked me about my menstruation cycle, and believed that it was more likely to be a bad urinary tract infection. She ordered a urine sample, it showed that there was blood in my urine but no sign of a bacterial infection. She then told me she would order the CT scan, but told me that it would be very unusual for someone in their early twenties to have kidney stones. The CT showed that I had 5 kidney stones and she ordered me medication for the pain and some to help me pass them.
This was a mostly negative experience but I am very glad that my primary care physician at least ordered the CT scan for me because the Urgent Care doctor just sent me home. At times I wonder if my gender had anything to do with how they treated me. I know that the lower back pain could be from menstruation, and I could see how they could think I could be mistaking the blood to be in my urine, but I also think this shows what little knowledge they thought I had about my own body.