When You Hit A Wall With Medical Professionals

I wanted to write this as I know a lot of you feel frustration with medical professionals, and can be left feeling totally done and wiped out. It’s a place I’ve been before, numerous times, myself. It’s a place I’ve been in recently. I think many of us will sadly be able to nod along. I think hitting that wall is an important stage to address in advocating for our own health because things often don’t go smoothly the way we’d hope.


Patients all too often have to fight for their health during GP visits, hospital trips and specialist appointments. This is perhaps more so the case with invisible illness as its subject to greater uncertainty and scepticism.

We fight to be heard and to be taken seriously. To be adequately diagnosed and appropriately treated. The wall hits us when lots of small frustrations build up, or significant issues arise. It could be a variety of things:

Being fobbed off or discharged from care without answers or help. Receiving insulting comments or ridiculous, even damaging, ‘advice’. Referrals and test results being lost. Diagnoses being given or retracted or not made at all based on narrow-minded criteria. Red tape preventing adequate treatment.No help given by narrow-minded doctors who don’t seem to listen to what you’re saying.

The list is endless. The result, potentially devastating to our mental illness and stress levels, not to mention our physical health.

So, what happens when we hit a hit a wall and what can you do?

Step 1 : Rant. Vent. Excessive use of expletives not discouraged.

Step 2 : Anger and frustration gives way to exhaustion, feelings of hopelessness. Saying “I’m done” and vowing to never go to a medical professional ever again. Feeling that you don’t want to keep playing this stupid game any more, thank you very much. You’re shattered and reality kicks in that you need a break.

Experience these stages. They’re important. Feel whatever you feel, because we’re all entitled to our own feelings and ways of dealing with things. It’s okay to not be okay. Give yourself some time out; get enough rest, do something enjoyable, get a change of scenery or distract your brain with Netflix, art, reading, knitting, whatever works.

These steps should be satisfactorily wallowed in but not for too long. You’re not giving up yet.

Step 3 : Lift your head up. Dig deep and find your resolve. It’s there. It’s just hiding. When you’re ready, dust it off because you’re not done yet.

Step 4 : Take a step back to look at what’s happened more objectively, see what needs to be done, what’s missing and what possible options there are

⤐  Can you be referred to another specialist, speak to a different doctor, or ask for a second opinion?

⤐  If there’s been a significant breach of care, should this be reported? Could it affect other patients, and will you regret not speaking up? This can usually be done formally or informally, such as to the GP surgery’s Practice Manager or the hospital’s Director.

⤐  Are there local charities you can contact for assistance or advocacy support? The Patient advice and liaison service (PALS) may be worth contacting for a chat as they can offer advice and support on health-related issues. You can find out more via the NHS website here.

⤐  Get your ducks in a row. If you’re fighting to be heard when it comes to getting a diagnosis, treatment or further help, get organised. List your symptoms, make a note of what you’ve already tried or explored, jot down possible things to be looked at. What is it you’d like the doctor/specialist to consider? Brush up on your knowledge and arm yourself with information so you know what your argument is and what to ask for.

⤐  If you find yourself struggling with appointments, especially when being fobbed off, you may want to work on being more assertive, which I’ve posted a few tips on previously. It’s also worth considering whether enlisting some backup, maybe a friend or family member, could be useful for moral support during your next appointment.

⤐  There is a slight caveat here: Know the line between searching for answers and when there perhaps aren’t any. There may come a time with certain issues where there are no suitable, adequate answers, at least for now, and that’s when we need to swallow the bitter pill of having to accept that. It can take time to figure out whether this applies to your situation or not; reach out and speak to others, you don’t have to go through this alone.

⤐  Can your GP/specialist be educated a little? They’re only human and they don’t know everything, and some can be willing to listen and learn. Get some facts from reputable online sources or other trustworthy medical resources to present to them. Sadly, not all doctors are open-minded and there will be cases where you’ll be wasting your time trying to get them to see new information, thoughts that are different to their own or anything that involves thinking outside of the tiny box.

Remember …

  • You know your body & how you feel better than anyone else. Trust that; if something isn’t right, persevere and be your own advocate.
  • You have dealt with enough struggles in the past and you’ll deal with the current ones you’re facing. You’ve haven’t got this far to give up.
  • Doctors, surgeons and specialists are only human and they can have their bad days, their errors in judgements and their mistakes, too. If it’s not a one off and they’re just ignorant, that’s their problem, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting the help you deserve.
  • Medical professionals have a duty of care and you should expect to be treated with fairly and with respect.
  • There are always other avenues to explore, other things to try, doctors out there who will listen.
  • Your health and your life are worth fighting for.

How do you deal when you hit a brick wall & feel exhausted with it all?

Caz  ♥

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42 Comments

  1. May 14, 2019 / 4:15 pm

    Thank you for this post! I feel so done with medical professionals at this point after multiple misdiagnoses, appointment mess-ups, and finally them not being able to help my condition after all. It’s tough. Thank you for these tips.

    • May 17, 2019 / 5:27 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve had to go through it all too, it’s beyond frustrating isn’t it? After a while it gets so tiring & disheartening. Please don’t give up. Take the time you need, but then keep going because your health is worth fighting for.  ♥

  2. Ashley
    May 14, 2019 / 4:45 pm

    As a health professional, I’ve seen this from both sides. I hate it that some health professionals are dismissive of patients. It’s unprofessional and unkind, yet they get away with it. On the patient side, though, the system is stacked against you. If there is a mental health diagnosis on file, there will always be those that use that against people. I wish it wasn’t like this.

    • May 17, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      Good point about the mental health diagnosis. I’ve found this, too, where it can be used against you or as a reason to lump everything onto that. I’m with you in wishing it wasn’t like this. Thank you for sharing your view from both sides xx

  3. May 14, 2019 / 4:55 pm

    Over the years, I have changed doctors for various reasons. From moving to a different state to not being happy with my doctor, I have researched and found different doctors. If I had not been persistent in asking for a mammogram in 2005, my breast cancer would not have been found until too late. My family had a history with breast cancer and lung cancer, yet I was told I didn’t need a mammogram. I fired that doctor and found one who would listen to me. Insurance can play a role in finding a doctor. But, be sure to listen to your body and if you are not happy with a doctor, find another.

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      I am so glad you persisted, even though it must have been tiring & frustrating changing doctors so much. It’s worth it, as you well know from finally getting your mammogram. Well done on getting rid of the doctor who said you didn’t need one, they should be ashamed of themselves. Thank you for sharing this, Melissa  ♥
      xx

  4. May 14, 2019 / 5:16 pm

    wonderful post, i just wish everything wasn’t so darn complicated. you get to the point where you just don’t want to deal with all the headaches from health care “professionals”

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:40 pm

      Exactly, it gets exhausting and disheartening, that’s why I thought this post was necessary, because we need to keep fighting, our health is worth it. Thank you, Wendi  ♥
      xx

  5. May 14, 2019 / 5:34 pm

    Good post Caz, and you are so right. It’s our body, our and we know exactly how we are feeling and that something isn’t right. Shouldn’t be so difficult. X

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:41 pm

      It really shouldn’t be so difficult. It’s heartbreaking that so many people struggle to be listened to or taken seriously, it’s not right. Thank you for your comment – I hope the weekend treats you kindly! 🙂
      xx

  6. May 14, 2019 / 7:10 pm

    This happens to so many and knowing what steps to take is most helpful. Thanks for the great tips.

    Have a fabulous day and week, my friend. ♥

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:41 pm

      I’m glad you liked the post, thank you Sandee! I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead 🙂
      xx

  7. May 14, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    I think what I love most about this post is that you’re not saying to jump straigh to “find your resolve.” Instead, you allow for the anger and frustration. That’s healthy. So many people are scared of so-called negative emotions but they exist for a reason and can be healthy. Hugs.

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:42 pm

      I think giving yourself that time & space is important. We’re not machines, and it can help us build the resolve to keep going. You’re right about the negative emotions too, they exist for a reason. Thank you so much for the great comment!  ♥
      xx

  8. May 14, 2019 / 7:26 pm

    I had to fire my GP after repeated attempts to get on the same page. He never believed my level of pain. 🙂

    I’m still not able to comment on WP, it fails to send.

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:44 pm

      I’m sorry you had such a crappy time with your GP, but I’m glad you moved on to a new one because you deserve to be listened to, treated fairly, and taken seriously. I’m sorry you’re still having problems commenting.. I got this one okay though so hopefully it’s resolved 🙂
      xx

  9. May 14, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    Great post. It’s such a difficult situation to be brushed off by health care providers.

    • May 17, 2019 / 4:19 pm

      It can be as frustrating as it is disheartening. Thank you, Viola – I hope you have a positive weekend ahead 🙂
      xx

  10. May 14, 2019 / 8:56 pm

    A great post!

    • May 17, 2019 / 4:14 pm

      Thank you lovely, I’m glad you thought so! Have a lovely weekend ahead 🙂
      xx

  11. May 14, 2019 / 9:29 pm

    Thanks for the great tips! Yes, you are absolutely RIGHT!

    • May 17, 2019 / 4:12 pm

      Thanks, and I’m glad you liked the tips, Richa! 🙂

  12. Jeanne Foguth
    May 14, 2019 / 10:56 pm

    I think your post encompasses the way may feel. My husband totally believes on ‘modern medicine’ and while I think that works great for trauma, it is my opinion that ancient Eastern medicine is better at preventing illness – after all, we are what we eat/drink/breathe and think. Fasting is even a proven method – used appropriately – for healing some things. You might want to research that.
    On a slightly other note, do you realize there are 2 types of doctors? MDs= medical doctors and they are the most common. My personal preference is having a D.O. Osteopathic doctor, because they are generally open minded about alternative procedures and even herbal treatments. IF you’re looking for a GP or specialist in your area, https://www.healthgrades.com might help you find the one you’re looking for.

    • May 17, 2019 / 4:01 pm

      Really good points about the different types of treatments, as well as the different types of doctors. Thank you also for the link; although I’m in the UK, that could be really helpful for those in the US! A brilliant comment, thank you for sharing Jeanne. I hope you have a good weekend ahead 🙂
      xx

  13. May 15, 2019 / 1:52 am

    This is becoming so common these days and the frustration and venting is but natural .Really wish it wouldn’t have been so tough .Great tips and you have covered in detail!

    • May 17, 2019 / 3:58 pm

      It really is too common, that’s why I want to try to encourage people to keep going and keep fighting even when they’re fed up with it and discouraged because our health is important and worth fighting for. Thank you, Nisha, I’m really glad you liked the post! 🙂
      xx

  14. May 15, 2019 / 7:09 am

    At my age, 87, most doctors gloss over complaints as “old lady grumbling” and pass over it. I have finally (for 10 years now) found a doctor who listens to me, takes me seriously, and we work together to keep me healthy and as pain free as possible. He treats me as a useful and equal co-worker in my health. I know your frustration, but I also know sometimes a change in doctors makes a very great difference.

    • May 17, 2019 / 3:56 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve found doctors to be like that, it’s absolutely awful. They get paid to help people, not brush people off. I’m glad you’ve found a doctor that listens and treats you as you should be treated. I went through all the doctors at the surgery I was at in the town where we used to live; it took moving and a new surgery to find the first doctor who took me seriously. You’re right, a change in doctor is sometimes needed and very useful. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences, Barbara, it’s much appreciated. I hope the weekend treats you kindly xx

  15. May 15, 2019 / 9:40 am

    Aaaaahhh, the medical profession. I’ve seen some very good ones and have experienced some not so good ones. One of the latest docs I saw gave me medication that stated the possible side effects could be: Death, stroke, heart attack, etc. When I argued the case against taking such meds he told me that he was taking the same medication – not because he needed the meds, but, as a preventive measure.
    We learned, some six months ago, that he could no longer work due to having had a stroke!!! Coincidence maybe?

    • May 17, 2019 / 3:15 pm

      Yike, that’s an awful irony. I’m not sure what to say to that..! I do feel bad for the guy but at the same time a patient can’t ask about possible side-effects and just be told he takes the medication without even needing to so it must be fine, that’s not good enough. xx

  16. May 15, 2019 / 2:37 pm

    I can relate to all those situations too Caz. Thankfully, I seem to be getting somewhere at last. However, it has taken all of 16 years! Learning to speak out has been a huge part of learning curve but I wish it had been easier…

    • May 17, 2019 / 3:12 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve been through all of this too, but it’s good you’re finally getting somewhere, even if it has taken 16 years! Yikes. I’m so angry for you, it should never, ever, take so long. I feel like with a lot of my things it all became a case of ‘too little too late’ with the damage being done, and there are still problems now that I’m not getting anywhere with. I want to encourage others to keep fighting and never give up. It’s the same for me with speaking up being a learning curve. But you’re more assertive and knowledge now than you were all those years ago, so you’re in a better position to be your own advocate. ♥

  17. May 15, 2019 / 8:16 pm

    Very good advice. I thank you. Will keep these points in mind as I have to interact more often with doctors concerning my dad’s health.

    • May 17, 2019 / 3:08 pm

      How’s your dad doing? I hope he’s getting on as best as he can. Fingers crossed the medical professionals overseeing his care will be compassionate and helpful so you won’t need these tips, but it’s handy to feel a little more empowered when dealing with them because it can be a very difficult and trying time. Wishing your dad all the very best, Darnell xx

  18. Mama Duck
    May 16, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    Dealing with health care professionals, hospitals and clinics is often a hurtful, frustrating experience. I know this first-hand and have watched loved ones suffer through ridiculous comments and utter dismissal. This is a well explained post with valuable information everyone should heed. Make sure you are heard and understood. If not, move on until you find someone who is actually helping you, not hindering you further.

    • May 17, 2019 / 2:54 pm

      I’m sorry you’ve experienced it and had loved ones go through it all, too. It’s so important to keep pushing, to find someone else who will listen, even when you’ve been so put off by your previous experiences. Our health is worth it. Thank you for the wonderful comment  ♥
      xx

  19. May 17, 2019 / 7:12 am

    during my public health career i strongly advocated to patients
    just what your are successfully preaching.
    society needs a healthy relationship with medical professions,
    especially licensed practitioners, where they are seen as highly trained people,
    and not super human, all knowing, all powerful gods.
    i’ve recently changed providers to receive care and feedback as i’d prefer.
    wishing you moments of feeling well 🙂

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:46 pm

      It sounds like you were excellent in your role, we need more people like that in the health services. And you’re right, the relationship with medical professionals is so important, and it needs to be a two-way street, too. I’m glad you took the initiative to change providers because you deserve the care you need and to be listened to and treated fairly. Thank you for the great comment! 🙂
      xx

  20. May 17, 2019 / 11:00 am

    YES!!! I love this post! Excellent advice, Caz. You really explained the frustrations and offered solid steps to regaining some control over uncontrollable chronic illness. Well done! xo

    • May 18, 2019 / 2:46 pm

      Thank you lovely, glad you liked it!  ♥
      xx

  21. May 18, 2019 / 4:52 pm

    This is an excellent post, Caz. So often, patients are fobbed off and sent away without getting the necessary tests or treatments. It’s so important for us to learn as much as we can about our own health and advocate for ourselves. I had a GP at one time who apologised for not knowing enough about one of my conditions and asked me to tell her if I ever read of anything helpful. It’s not a common condition, so it was understandable that she didn’t know much. But I admired her admitting that and appreciated her asking me to share anything I learned. Not all doctors would do that. There is still a big, “I’m the doctor, you’re the patient,” attitude.

    • May 19, 2019 / 3:24 pm

      That GP you had sounds like one I would have liked years ago, and even now, too. They can’t know everything but that ability to be open, to admit you don’t know and to talk to the patient about it and find things out is so, so important, yet frustratingly rare. Thank you so much for the great comment! xx

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