1/ I have been sitting on this rant for awhile now-at least a few weeks, and (as I reflect), for more than a few years.
This is for every medical student, resident, fellow, nurse…and a few physicians/surgeons regarding #IBD patients.
Please read on if interested.
2/ My trigger was this year, when a physician-trainee said to me, “there just seems to be a lot of personality disorders in general in #IBD. They are always such difficult patients.”
This was not the first time I have heard this.
3/ If I think back carefully, I have heard it every year since I was a medical student.
What every single person who said something like that didn’t realize was: *I* was a patient with #IBD.
And it was incredibly difficult to hear that & hold my tongue.
4/ (you may ask-why did you hold your tongue? Well, in some situations I was a medical student, hearing people who evaluated me saying this; in other situations, I overheard discussions by nurses at nursing stations; etc. Mostly, I feared confrontation. I suck, I’m sorry.)
5/ One thing that I have noticed: every single person who says this appeared to have never themselves faced adverse physical hardship.
This is important. It hopefully speaks to a lack of empathy, rather than callousness.
6/ Because, as an #IBD patient, I was hospitalized for 2.5 months & nearly died several times. I was in unrelenting pain & on drugs that fucked with my head. And believe me when I tell you: I was NOT a pleasant patient.
7/ (In fact, the most pleasant I was was probably when I staged a multi-day silent treatment of everyone involved in my care purely because I was pissed as hell. Even then, if looks could kill, I would have scorched my care teams.)
8/ People with #IBD go one day from having normal plans for achievements in their life to the next day being told they have an incurable illness & grave uncertainty about everything from risks of disease to risks of treatments.
They are in pain that cannot be seen but is felt.
9/ Patients with #IBD have daily embarrassments-accidents, pain, inability to participate in normal activities.
And fear of all of the above.
Believe me when I tell you that eats away at your mind and your soul. It kills confidence & instills panic.
10/ so medical student, resident, fellow, nurse…and a few physicians/surgeons: please stop perpetuating this stereotype of the angry/difficult/personality disorder #IBD patient. We are just PEOPLE. Let’s start there.
Last: At the same time, do not question for a moment that your #IBD patient can be suffering from depression. Ask them. Offer referrals for care. We all need someone in our corner to help us through the dark times.
End. Thank you for letting me rant.
You can follow @DrsMeena.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: