When you are just another hysterical woman, where does that leave you? When you have an illness and no one wants to believe you, where does that leave you?
These are the facts of life that many of those with autoimmune diseases face.
For years, hell, for centuries, any time a woman had an ailment, from a stubbed toe to a migraine headache, they were treated as hysterical crazy people. Attention seekers. This is how diseases like Fibromyalgia get classified as psychiatric disorders and, after all this time, with studies proving the existence of these diseases, more often then not, we are left to still feel like we are making it up.
Have you ever felt so defeated that you can’t even function? That is what it feels like to be in constant pain. To be fighting the hardest battle you will ever fight every day for the rest of your life. To be dying inside and to still constantly be treated like it’s all in your head.
If my pain were all in my head, then why do they always find something? I have now pushed my doctors three times about pain that was so unbearable I couldn’t function. Each time, a medical reason was found. Twice it was osteonecrosis (dying bones) in my knees. Once it was the degenerative arthritis in my back. All three times, I was told that the problems weren’t severe enough for me to be able to feel them. And yet, I was able to feel that pain, I was able to tell them exactly where it hurts, even though it’s both all in my head and what is there shouldn’t even be felt by me.
And yet, as I sit here typing, just yesterday, I was told to seek psychiatric help for my pain that “has no evidence of systemic disease or functional reason for my disability.” I was literally told that what I need is mental help, not medical.
As I sit here, typing these words, I am just two weeks away from the third anniversary of waking up unable to walk. I’ll be starting my fourth year of fighting to be independent again. And when you have diseases like seronegative arthritis and fibromyalgia, the very definition of the diseases is the absence of causal factors for the pain.
And yet, in a new millennium, more than a hundred years since fibromyalgia and migraines were classified as female hysterics, as psychiatric disorders, I am sitting in my home, housebound and still being told that it’s all in my head.