This is a candid post regarding the consequences and challenges of chronic pain and illness. As I’ve had some issues with petty little children who think others aren’t allowed to also have mental illness or chronic pain if it isn’t as severe as theirs or someone they know, I’m going to be blunt:
Mental illness and chronic pain isn’t a competition. If your thought process at all involves, “Well, $this_person has it worse,” that makes you a dick.
Good. It wasn’t up for discussion.
I have anxiety and depression, both of which have been generally crippling as of late. Essentially, my doctor wanted to do a complete physical. My doctor has proven he’s a prejudiced-against-women dick. Hooray.
Enter the anxiety. For the past 1.5-2 months, I have been hit with crippling anxiety. It is the kind of anxiety where it takes a huge amount of effort or willpower to get anything done.
I am literally behind on everything. I managed to get SOME stuff done on the kickstarter, but I have a mountain of things to do… and the “This is so much work” paralysis, which was created by the doctor-induced paralysis, is very real.
For over a month and a half, I basically lost a lot of base functionality.
Then, from left field, came the surprise bathroom renovations. Which turned out to be just faucet/showerhead replacements. It took five minutes. It shut me down (cleaning, etc) for a week. But we got cleaning done and then we kept what we got cleaned cleaned, which is basically a miracle for me and my spouse.
Then we got surprise inspections. We had 72 hours of warning.
They decided to invoke the “we can evict you if the place isn’t basically home-selling condition worthy.” Mostly targeted at those who weren’t paying their rent at COVID, but… yeah.
Talk about more stress that I did not need.
We had a lot of knick-knack based clutter, and we were informed we had a week to clean it up/get rid of a bunch of stuff or we might be evicted. (Ugh. It wasn’t like my boxes, which I was trying to keep for the kickstarter as shipping containers, or my knick-knacks, which are just STUFF I LIKE, was causing anyone any problems.) But their property, their rules.
The inspection happened at the same time as the anxiety-inducing doctor appointment from hell, in which the asshole doctor basically suggested I should just stop eating because you know, 1,500 calories a day for a 180 pound female is grossly overeating. (He just assumed all I did all day was eat apparently.)
If finding a doctor here wasn’t a living nightmare, I’d just fire him and find someone else in network, but there’s basically no one else to find, so I’m stuck with the doctor someone else fired because he’s a complete and total jackass.
Let’s just say it took two doctor’s visits and repeatedly showing him I CANNOT STRAIGHTEN MY ARM to convince him MAYBE I needed the physical therapist I requested the first time.
He refused to look at my diet, after telling me I should stop eating, so… yeah. I’m STILL struggling with that doctor’s visit to say the least. Can’t figure him because I have medications that keep me alive. Can’t deal with him because how so very dare me for eating any food at all.
He’s one of those types who doesn’t even think writing is a legitimate career, so obviously I have plenty of time to do everything he thinks is The Way.
Yeah, I am not precisely pleased with my doctor.
Oh, guess what. I had cramps and hormonal imbalance problems. That automatically meant I Definitely Had PCOS, y’all.
Guess who does not have PCOS: me.
PCOS is not mystically completely and totally cured with a hormonal controlling birth control. I had a basic imbalance issue coupled with Slavic genetics. A few symptoms overlap with PCOS, but GUESS WHAT, no PC on the O, ZERO evidence of there ever being that… No PCOS.
But it was PCOS, y’all.
Fun fact: he did the ovary PCOS test TWICE because he couldn’t believe there were no PC on the O… so he’s basically trying to eject my goddamned ovaries through my spine, and of COURSE it doesn’t hurt (because I do not have PCOS), and let’s just say yay, doctors who don’t listen.
If you are a doctor, and this offends you… perhaps tell your fellow doctors to start learning to listen to their fucking patients.
I directly told this gentleman no, I do not have PCOS, so what you’re doing is utterly pointless…
Yeah. I’m STILL trying to mentally and emotionally recover from that shitshow. I’m just starting to get back on my feet. Barely.
And my designer had COVID, so she was sidelined. Hooray. So, if you’re wondering why I’m behind… this is why I’m behind.
I’m trying to get back in the saddle, but… it hasn’t been going well. But I’m trying.
Oy, oy, oy.
I’m hoping to have the first wave of kickstarter stuff going out on Sept 17. This should include most single book orders, all dropcard orders (They’ve been found/recovered, etc.) I have to write the story this week for the exclusive kickstarter story, and I’m JUST getting back in the saddle on getting any writing done.
At least I’m up from zero ideas of what to write up to like three ideas, but they’re all pretty quirky.
Wish me luck. I need it.
So, here’s wishing you all the luck possible. And always remember what the old Romans (didn’t) say: Non Illegitimi Carborundum
Sorry you have such a dick for a doctor. I hope you can find one who will listen to you.
I’m sorry that you are dealing with so much $##& and very much admire your tenacity. I’m lucky enough to not have chronic health issues and still have to push through my daily work load. Thank you for “digging yourself from under that mountain”. We, your fans, truly appreciate your dedication and your amazing stories – long or short, well-plotted or off-the-cuff. So, as long as you keep pushing through, we’ll keep buying, reading, chortling, sniffling and snickering. So sorry you have to deal with such a misogynistic, arrogant doctor. No one deserves that. Take the best care of yourself you can. You do matter.
Oh lady, we all hear you and understand as best we can. Your writing brings joy and laughter to us in a world that is tilted. Loads of hugs and caring for you, stay in the fight and know we care.
OMG what a nightmare. I’m so sorry you can’t find another doctor. This was one sounds like a nightmare… and a total dick. And to add insult I imagine you had to pay him a good sum
Flat inspections: here in Australia they must give you at least 7 days notice in writing. It’s to check if there are any unreported issues like a busted draw in the kitchen or cracks in the walls. And that you aren’t using it as a crack house 🤣They have no right to tell you to get rid of possessions or even to tidy up. I had mine yesterday. Took less than 5mins, mostly in the lounge asking if I had any problems and a single glance in the other rooms. And THAT was enough stress 😩 I can’t imagine how stressful it would be for you.
I’m so sorry things are crappy for you at the moment…
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
He’s 100% covered by my insurance so far through my husband’s work, so that’s something.
Which means we pay about $300 a month for this. 😐
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Update: Ah, no, the insurance decided he was not fully covered after all. And the doctor’s office doesn’t disclose how much anything costs up front… It’s literally surprise billing every time…
I cancelled my appointments. I’m legit done with this for a few months. I am D-O-N-E.
I have 9 more months of my meds, so i will look at a future appointment after my trip to Australia…
Could you go to the Doctor while down here in Australia? If your insurance will cover it you may then be able to prolong your time between visiting your regular Jack-Butt(😁). Love you
I hope you have fun! If you don’t have a planned adventure yet, take in Tasmania! Cradle mountain is beautiful , Strahan is lovely too and there is a beautiful river cruise you can take as a day trip from there. If you like railroad stuff not far from there is also a small gauge rail adventure that is small but beautiful. And Russell falls at Mount field national park is beautiful 😍. If not. Enjoy your intrepid adventure, wherever it may take you in my beautiful country. 😘 you and Hubby deserve it!
This is absolutely no business of mine…..but as a psych therapist for people with symptoms like yours……you might want to find an EMDR provider, s/he might be able to give you real relief. Feel free to ask if you want details, if this isn’t something you’re interested in no worries – you are my absolute fave author!
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Nah, I’ll pass. When I don’t have doctor’s appointments, I’m generally doin’ okay. I just need the meds they control. I’m medicated, just… stacked my particular problems against each other.
I have PTSD around doctors due to a childhood illness. Adding more doctors will not help the problem. If I didn’t need them for my BP medications… I would just not go unless absolutely necessary. And my headaches are muscular-skeletal, so a psych dude ain’t gonna help me. I KNOW what causes my problems, and they’re treated.
But the little orange pill that fixes the general anxiety can’t cope with PTSD.
I hate fucking doctors. They are all evil. Except maybe the two or three that give a shit. The rest are out to kill you. Literally wanted my husband to die when he was in ICU from COVID. Pill pusher assholes ESPECIALLY to females. They only like you if you eat like a bird and fit into a size 0. Cuz that’s healthy. Right.
Good luck, I’ve had that doctor I think, never did understand how they get through medical school.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Medical school is what trains them to be like this. It’s highly prejudiced against women.
I am so sorry to hear about this. I recently had my doctor ask me if I had ever considered surgical interventions for weight loss. Now, I do weigh more than you do, am much older, and have severe arthritis in both knees, so I guess it was warranted? But, that was before he mentioned other options that I know are available in the healthcare system? And after several lectures over the years on the wonders of a vegetarian lifestyle? It came out of left field a bit, and having a life long struggle with self image and weight, it was a trigger. Not sure if he forgot that I do read research (I’m a veterinarian) or was just on autopilot. Nevertheless, this stuff is COMPLICATED. The mammalian body and how it works (or doesn’t) is COMPLICATED. To have any chance in putting it together, you have to get data from the patient (or the patient and owner, in my case). There is no ‘phoning it in’ here.
While I can’t directly make it easier on you, you are heard.
Gentle hugs for having to deal with male dick doctor. This is going to maybe seem counterintuitive. Take your husband to every doctor visit that you have with this doctor. He’s your main support and advocate. He can point out to the doctor that you’ve told him you don’t have x or y or even z. Please listen to what my wife is telling you. It’s ridiculous that you would have to do this of course, but if it helps – yay! Love your books!
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
It’s just not an option. He has to work, and he’s coming with me as my emotional support human to signings and things, so he can’t take off unnecessary days to go to these stupid appointments. I wish, though. He DOES go when able, though.
It’s just not an option.
I am sorry that you are dealing with this. Sadly, some doctors really are clueless. I’ve gotten the same thing with I must be eating too much. There is so much that they don’t know. I do eat like a bird, and I am obese and trying to figure out how to fix that. I am always told that I must be eating too much, or so I am told. I’ve been told to eat fewer carbs, not drink, etc. Here’s the thing- I am not a big fan of food, and I don’t drink, nor do I add sugar or salt to food. I drink plain water and plain tea. I’ve been eating 900-1200 calories a day. There are times that I just don’t get hungry at all because I guess I am weird. I’ve discovered intermittent fasting and that seems to be helping, but this is only because I do my own research. I think it’s too easy for many to assume that everyone is eating too much when that isn’t the case.
Hope you feel mostly (anxiety and depression suck) better soon and good luck on the doctor front hope you can either find a new one as you don’t need his obvious disrespect
Good luck and that doctor should lose his license.
RJ, as someone who suffers from depression and chronic pain, I get really angry when people try to compare my disabilities with someone who is worse or, even worse, tell me I’m so much worse off than someone else. Who gives a flying f? I’m not comparing myself just saying I can’t do certain things. I, unlike you, have a wonderful doctor who listens to me and does not blame weight for all of my problems. I wish you had a doctor that cared and listened. But you can rant and vent all you want. I’m not going to judge you because who am I to tell someone else how to run their life. I just hope you are able to get in a better frame of mind and able to get some fun stuff (i.e., writing) done and not worry about the landlords and their unrealistic expectations of how a person lives in their own home or some doctor who thinks he knows all because he’s got MD behind his name.
Can you at least name a villain after that rat-bastard?
And another after the landlord?
I was lucky to find a wonderful female Doctor and it changed my life because she listened to me!
Please take care of yourself first. We can wait for your next books!💐
My mom and I have the same degenerative joint disease, and when I was young I wouldn’t tell her I was struggling because ‘she had it so much worse than me’. When she figured that out A. she was furious I didn’t tell her and B. she told me something I’ve kept close to my heart and shared over the years. She said her pain wasn’t any more or less important than mine, that it wasn’t more or less valid than mine. If I was hurting, I was hurting, and hurting wasn’t a contest to see who was most miserable. So, yeah. Your struggles are 100% valid, and I’m hoping that venting is helpful and that you don’t attract jerks in the comments. I hear you, and I see that you’re hurting. I can’t fix it, but I’m wishing you the best possible improvements so that you’re happier and healthier. <3
Ghost hugs and prayers for you. Been there and still have the private anger management issues from “doctors “ who are not worthy of the title. I wish I could help you. Not even counting that you are one of the best authors I’ve read.
Many, many hugs. Doctors can be complete dicks, and it’s a crapshoot trying to find a decent one. And yeah, the whole invalidating garbage of “Well, but so-and-so has it worse…” I’ve let that get to me a few times, and I’ve regretted it. No one’s problems get to supersede your own. You feel what you feel, and you deal with what you deal with. It’s not a contest – it’s life and we’re all just doing the best we can. You take the time you need. More hugs.
I’m so sorry things have been so hard. Take time and take care of yourself. I have ongoing physical and mental health issues. However, I’ve been lucky with the doctors I’ve had and the people in my life who provided emotional support (especially my baby sister-we take care of each other). That has made all the difference. That and not giving two f*cks about those who opinions have no bearing on my life. Hang in there, I know it’s tough, but the only constant in life is change. It’s cliche, but remember, this too will pass.
I’ve been depressed since I was eight (I have complex PTSD) and suffer from anxiety and depression and cannot concentrate well and have little energy. I am obese and nearly 65.
I am SO SORRY you have been mistreated by your doctor. At least my doctor treats me decently;. I’d like to think he treats women patients well.
I hope you are able to find a new doctor soon. I was lucky, and my psychiatrist helped me to get SSD when it became obvious I could no longer work. He’s been with me for 20 yrs.
Whatever you do, remember your health is very important, and please take good care of yourself. Best Wishes, Randy LaPlante
One of my sisters has had severe back pain since her motorcycle accident as a late teenager. When I felt like I was complaining because I had strained my neck and she’s had surgery on her spine because of the accident she said: ‘Pain is pain, we all have a different threshold, we all deal with it differently, and just because she’s had hers longer doesn’t make mine less valid’. (My mum played nearly a full basketball game on a broken ankle and when I broke mine I was laid up, but I’ve been walking around on broken toes for a month and last time she did that she had to be off her feet for ages. You literally can not tell what will make someone unable to function properly people) I think it’s important for me to remember that. I have the same problem with anxiety when something happens and I can’t fix anything or feel like I can’t. Please work at your own pace. I wish and pray that you are able to find another doctor who is more appropriate and accepting.
Funny thing about doctors mentioning about health issues, I always stare back at their bodies with a scrutinising eye, because nobody is perfect, we have seen pictures of you, you are normal, not obese, it was silly of him to suggest otherwise.
Also, Without Authors, he wouldn’t have his doctorate because there would have been no texts to study and memorise. (So there to him!) I hope you have a blue sky day and a beautiful mind space moment at some point in it. Xx
Even the good doctors don’t always get it right I kept at my doctor for 5 months before they got rid of my ovarian cancer (17 cm how did they miss that ) but you still have to have find one that understands you and is willing to help best of luck. Also just so you know I listened to your audio books during chemo and it helped take me away from what was happening. I’m sure other people can say the same, so for damn sure writing is a real job! Lots of hugs take a moment and breathe and know that you are loved.
RJ, I’m sorry the medical industry has quit practicing medicine in favor of corporate medicine, and the fact, your doctor is a moron. You take care of you whatever it takes. We will cheer you on! You are one of the kindest spicy ponies I know. I love your determination and resolve to do what you want/need to do in spite of difficulties. Your books are some of my favorites, and you are an inspiration.
You’re still there, still breathing, still determined, still spicy as ever ;). We love you and hope things improve from here, but either way, what matters is that you’re here.
Can I join your week, month, year from hell club. Stick to your guns, do not let idiot doctor dismiss your anxiety or other issues. If you can change doctors find some with nurse practitioners they will aide you a lot better.
Your writing is fantastic!!! Do not push yourself too hard. A little at a time, your health is more important.
Didn’t that asshat requisition blood tests? If he didn’t that already makes him a fecking moron – as someone who actually HAS polycystic ovary syndrome (aka chronic anovulatory hyperandrogenism) I can attest that diagnosing PCOS absolutely requires blood tests to a) evaluate the levels of male hormones in the blood, and b) evaluate the ratio of follicular hormone to luteinizing hormone. Sounds like your family doctor is fantasizing that he’s an endocrinologist (snort).
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
and just having male traits doesn’t mean you’re going to develop any cysts. Just having androgenism doesn’t even mean anything in terms of PCOS. The ovary test is a pretty valid way of testing the cystic part of the diagnosis. (Surprise, surprise… no cysts. No discomfort at all even lol.)
Human gender is a sliding scale, and just because I’m closer to neutral on the female side doesn’t mean i have PCOS, either. I think people forget just being closer to not-male/not-female does not mean you have a very specific disorder.
Absolutely frustrating as hell, because all I needed to fix me was birth control, because my body just fails to produce certain hormones, mostly due to my Slavic genes. My sister also has it, because genetic, but she stopped taking birth control after she reset her hormones / the medicine basically taught her body what to produce.
Like…. bleh. Maybe if I *WANTED* a diagnosis, it might have mattered more, but with birth control I have precisely zero negative symptoms of anything, and the one trait I have is genetics because I’m closer to the neutral side on the sliding scale than the true female slide of it.
Genetics are fun.
Yeah, PCOS itself has a genetic basis and is considered to be part of the insulin resistance spectrum of disorders… and there are people who have PCOS who don’t have cysts. I did… but even though the ovaries were removed years ago, that doesn’t change the fact that I have that syndrome.
Glad to hear the BC pill helps you. Funny, that’s why it was developed in the first place, to regulate off-kilter hormones. Too bad your condescending dolt of a family doctor can’t dredge that simple fact out of his teeny-tiny brain.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Mostly, the point is, PCOS has become a catch-all for “every time a female has male traits.” And doctors just default to “oh, you had cramps? PCOS!” Everything is PCOS now. That’s just the default diagnosis.
Which is stupid AF.
There MUST be a different doctor you can see – I have fired several of them for a-holeness myself. You do not have to tolerate A-hole (male) doctors …
It is very hard to find a doctor you can tolerate, but trying to deal with a bad one when your health is not good must be agony! Be bold and fire the jerk.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Uh, okay… so, what do I do when my bp meds run out? It’s a six month to year long wait to MAYBE see a doctor right now in network.
It’s hundreds per appointment outside of network, not that my area has many doctors available.
Sure, I can fire him, but there’s no one else to hire.
It could be worse *joke* you could have COVID too and be pms’ing while having your anxiety and not having the stupid doctor listen to you about your mental health and medical issues. Anyhow I just wanted to say keep your spirits up and hope you feel better soon because even tho you may have setbacks, those of use who are fans of your work still appreciate your books for the gems that they are because sometimes that’s all that gets me through the hard times myself with a lot of giggles and fun rereading my fav hero/heroines having a sassy good time with their quirky personalities! Stay strong and hopefully a new doc will come to your town soon so you can get rid of the donkey you have now.
Good luck. God bless.
You are loved! Screw the idiots.
Best of luck
Any chancy you can get a female gynecologist? Some of my friends use them for everything. Since they are going there for their annual Pap smear, they also get their other regular prescriptions renewed at the same time.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
Zero chance. Because of COVID, the local ones aren’t even taking new patients unless it’s an emergency with a referral or an established pregnancy. They aren’t even doing annuals right now.
Pamela D Hoesing
Depression alone can be crippling. You are in good company, though. Edgar Allen Poe had severe depression. It did not diminish his incredible talent and creativity. His productivity suffered as did his personal life. Your issues, physical and mental, do not diminish you, at all. I breathlessly await your next offering, no matter what non de plume you use!!
Your Dr. is a disgrace. Keep looking for an alternative and don’t allow yourself to be subjected to unnecessary tests. The tests can damage as much as the problem. It is YOUR body not some dickhead doctors. You have to live with the results, not him.
Know that no matter how dark it gets, you have people out here who genuinely appreciate and value you!!
I am so sorry you’re going thru this hell. Keep looking for a real doctor. No one deserves to pay someone to abuse them.
praying for you. I can’t stand doctors like.
Empathy is trained out of doctors, on purpose, in medical school. I am so sorry you have this hell to go through. And no, my doctorate is not in western medicine. HeHe
I’m sorry you had such stress in your life. I’m sorry for your doctor struggles as though having depression and anxiety isn’t enough and when you are depressed and anxious, you don’t need anything on top of it. Hugs
Just sending you virtual hugs and support however you need it.
I am so sorry about your doctor battles. I have been having some myself, but I am fortunate enough that I can change as I please. Birmingham, Alabama is a medical metropolis.(Though I hide in my room for weeks because of my anxiety over it.) I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired and in pain. I’m trying a new biologic, Tremfya, and so far so good.
Saving the dragonfly was amazing!!!
I am super excited about Hypnos on the schedule, and for the new books under new pseudonyms.
I saw Jesse Alexander on a previous list, MY FAVE, but I know it doesn’t sell as well. I do hope to see it in the next few years, however it works out.
I am jealous over the Australia trip, and I hope the trip is magnificent.
I am wishing you well.
Dearest Bec, I just received your latest newsletter. I am devastated for you. Life is hard enough without having to contend with so-called ‘professionals’ like your twat of a doctor. I just wish I could scoop you and your hubster up (the kitteh’s and truck too) and bring you all home to Australia for good. Yes, we still suffer from twats like your doctor too, but we can find replacements easily.
Like all your fans, I love your work. But guess what? Your health and life is wayyyy more important. So please, please know that we have your back. Like completely. Not going anywhere and will wait until you’re ready and you can. Your work is as beautiful as you are – there’s no point pushing it, because your best work flows from you when your happy I’m guessing. For you to end up hating your work is not something anyone wants for you. Just keep on being you please.
Sending white light, and all the love in the world your way.
Gahhhh… typo’s suck. Just sayin’.
Good Luck. I hate doctors. I still remember the one who told me that a) I needed to drink a glass of water with lemon every night to stay slim, and b) told me I shouldn’t be getting birth control because I shouldn’t have sex before I was married, and should be ready to have kids right away when I got married in 6 months.
Or the one later in life, when I finally decided to go in for the high blood pressure meds I knew I needed, and I said – “I have high blood pressure, but not as high as it’s going to read here in the doctors office. I have severe white-coat high blood pressure issues. Also, I have a heart murmur, and because I’m having a lot of anxiety about this visit, it’s going to be banging.” Guess what she did. Yep, put in for a bunch of tests with a cardiologist, and the first day I took my BP meds she OD’d me, and I ended up in the ER. The ER doctor just shook his head and told me I should change doctors. The good thing was I got my heart all checked out and it was fine. LUCKILY I belong to an HMO with a lot of doctors. But I get it. Sorry you have to deal with such an asshat. And they wonder why we women hate to go to doctors.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
First rule for those with White Coat Syndrome… you buy your own BP cuff / unit for at home. Second rule… do not let them base your prescription on their numbers. I’m sorry you didn’t have your numbers, the doctors were stupid af, and they didn’t listen to you 🙁
I send you peace. I send you strength. I send you calm.
Argh. Doctors. My favorite was when I developed hives while dealing with a spine fracture and the idiot doctor asked me if I was experiencing stress! Doh!
As much as I love your books, I can and will wait as long as necessary for your next one, because YOU COME FIRST. Take care of yourself, fire the billing-lottery-hates-females-claims-he’s-a-doctor, and then, take care of yourself again, FIRST. Hope things get better :-).