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    • #17057
      Jenny Livingston

      In recent weeks, I’ve been part of several conversations about medical gaslighting. Medical gaslighting happens when healthcare professionals downplay or blow off a person’s symptoms, blame their illness on psychological factors, or deny a person’s illness entirely. Gaslighting is sometimes referred to as “crazy making” as it can cause a person to doubt their experiences and themselves.

      There have certainly been times when I’ve felt medically gaslighted — like the time I knew I had developed a blood clot and was told it was impossible for that to have happened so soon after a line placement, or the time I was having a severe allergic reaction to a drug and it was suggested that I was just experiencing a bit of anxiety. I could probably think of a dozen more times I’ve been told my symptoms didn’t exist or that I was just being a bit dramatic. Fortunately, these things have always been resolved as soon someone who knows me (my CF doctor, for example) has stepped in. No lasting damage was caused and I was able to get to the bottom of the issues.

      But what if my doctor hadn’t stepped in? What if I had been at a medical center where nobody knew me? What if I wasn’t believed and something more serious happened as a result? I’ve been fortunate, but many others aren’t as lucky.

      Have you been the victim of medical gaslighting? Have you ever known something is off, but haven’t been believed? How have you been able to resolve those things and advocate for yourself in the face of medical gaslighting? 

    • #17073
      Timothy Bransford

      As much as I respect the medical profession, I do not worship at its feet.  Like most CF patients, I do my best to know my disease and how it impacts my health.  I advocate for myself.  If a doctor is unable to handle my micro-management then I find a new doctor.  Fortunately,  I live in Seattle and we have a major CF clinic at the University of Washington.  I’ve been seen at the same CF clinic for the past 35 years.  My GP consults with my primary CF doctor for my care.  I could not have a better situation and I’m very thankful for that.


      I have been in a hospital where they had no idea what was wrong with me.  while in the depths of a full on CF crisis (before diagnosis) a nurse in Germany even suggested that, since I had been living in Africa, I might have AIDS.  I replied that was not possible unless there was a new way to contact AIDS.


      I am militant now with regard to my regular medical care.  I apply the same technique that I use for the CF side.  Educate and advocate.  My theory is that the loudest voice usually gets the attention because it is so annoying 🙂  In these situations, I may not be particularly liked but I am listened to…



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