I had the same doctor for over 10 years.
He was Indian and my parents felt comfortable with him, so they signed us up at his office at a young age and insisted on going back to him every time. To start with this was fine. I guess when you’re young you don’t really pay much attention and accept what you’re being told without question.
For years I went and complained about feeling dizzy and faint. Every once in a while I would see black dots dance around in my vision. He just told me to eat better and sleep more, but at the time I didn’t have a problem with either my sleeping patterns or my diet. He made it obvious that he thought I was being overdramatic. But these symptoms kept on occurring, and I just accepted that I couldn’t do anything about it.
The day I signed up with my new doctors they did a blood pressure check and told me it was because I had low blood pressure. It was really just that simple, but he never took my blood pressure. Not once in all of those years.
As a teenager I discussed acne with him numerous times, as I grew older I would also mention the hair growth and my fluctuating weight. My acne spread to my body and made my life extremely uncomfortable. It was only after a few years of dealing with these symptoms, that he agreed to do a blood test because I’d done some research and insisted. That’s how I found out I had PCOS.
I had to repeatedly go to him about a sore throat and fever before he took me seriously and agreed that I had tonsillitis. It was like I had to constantly convince him that I was actually ill. I would lie about smoking shisha and other things because I didn’t trust him not to tell my parents about it even though our check-ups were supposed to be confidential.
The final straw came when I went to see him once because I had bad stomach cramps and a weak bladder.
It was really affecting my day to day life so I called the office and got an appointment with the first doctor available, which turned out to be him.
The appointment started off okay, but then he started to hesitate when asking me personal questions. It was obvious that he felt uncomfortable asking me about my periods and sex life. An adult doctor was getting shy, whereas my teenage-self had no problem answering these questions. He then asked me why I hadn’t just chosen to see a female doctor instead as it would have been less awkward.
I cannot tell you how angry this made me. I mean let’s be honest, if you can’t handle asking questions about periods and sex, then you shouldn’t be a doctor. It’s a part of my body and I refused to be embarrassed by it. I’m a virgin with regular periods, but even if I was having a damn orgy every day, it was his job to be professional about it. He literally gets paid to talk about these things. I told him that I had requested the first doctor available and assumed that they would be professional.
He continued the session without any more comments but I was absolutely furious.
I moved doctors after that because I was done with his crappy service. He straight up failed to spot a lot of medical issues that I had. I don’t know whether it was because he wasn’t bothered, he felt uncomfortable or he just didn’t know enough. It’s just lucky that none of them was life-threatening.
Knowing that I had things like low blood pressure and PCOS may have been useful to me a few years ago.
I would have spent less time wondering why my body wasn’t normal and feeling unhappy in my own skin. I spent so much time second guessing myself and thinking that I was overreacting that now I have to force myself to not ignore issues and actually go to the doctors.
Luckily, every single doctor I’ve seen since has been great and so professional. Most of the time, the healthcare professional you’re seeing will know better because they have the relevant experience and knowledge. That being said, you know your body better than anyone else. It’s important to acknowledge when you are not being taken seriously and not let yourself be made to feel as though you are overreacting.
I wish I had known this while I was younger. It was would have saved me from having to endure years of awkward doctor’s appointments.