Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not Quite the Inquisition

There is a form of abuse called Gaslighting when the abuser does everything in his power to confuse the abusee. It was made famous by much discussion and counter interpretations of the story, "The Yellow Wall Paper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Yesterday, I was confused.

I went to my new sleep doctor, doctor Policherla, having been told I would be there for a brief consultation, and then I was subjected to nerve conduction tests because I had no reflexes at all in a routine reflex check. I was told the test was nothing, that it was gentle, that it was just a little tingle. I told them I had had it before and found it terrible, and they said Dr. Policherla was gentle and it wasn't bad at all.


It was 45 minutes of receiving electrical shocks and my whole body convulsed and it HURT. It was not gentle (although the technician seemed to want to be gentle and to be apologetic) and it was NOT a little tingle. It hurt. A LOT! Just like last time, with Dr. Michael Bome.

I cried several times and afterwards. I called Keith on the cell phone and asked him to come over, but he didn't make it until it was over (or else they wouldn't let him in.)

On the way home, I was asking myself if there was something wrong with me. Am I much more sensitive to pain than other people? Am I a total wimp? This because they had told me it wouldn't hurt. I was feeling really bad about myself, and then I remembered Tom telling me about it. He described it like the inquisition, like medieval torture chambers. I was happy to remember that. I felt a little better about myself. And a lot worse about my doctors, who lied to me, telling me it wouldn't hurt. They have a sign up in their office about trust. How can you trust someone who lies to you? I think what they did was abusive. It would have been much less so if they were honest about it. Apparently, to qualify as "gaslighting," there has to be malicious intent. I'm not positive about the motivation of the staff at Policherla's lying to me, but my guess is so that I wouldn't leave. (maybe they never had the test themselves and don't know). I'm not sure if that qualifies as malicious or not, but it was still lying.

The artwork I made to represent the experience is not nearly as ugly, confusing and horrible as I felt during and after the experience. I couldn't make it ugly enough. And I don't really have time to be doing artwork or blogging. (Click the image to view it larger).

The problem is, I have neuropathy, or nerve damage, especially in my legs and feet, like a diabetic. Three different people asked me yesterday if I had diabetes. But I've been tested for it several times and the results were negative. But I do have a problem with sugar. Dr. Beeai suggested it might be a form of hypoglycemia. Whatever it is, I wish they'd figure it out before I end up losing my feet and legs like a diabetic. I hope it isn't some horrible debilitating or worse yet, fatal disease.

I have new tests set up in this never-ending cycle if tests and more tests, none of which have been helpful so far. But they have been expensive. I need to make phone calls and set things up. And I need to prepare for my trip and the Memorial service etc. I've "wasted" (spent) too much time on this already!

I will be away through the 15th probably, and off-line most of the time I am gone. Probably no blogging between now and then, or very little. Posted by Picasa


Nadine said...

Ahh! This sounds horrible and awful. Maybe they just didn't want to worry you about the pain to come?

I hope they can figure out how to help.

Sorry you had such a miserable experience.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks, I do hope some value comes of all that! GAK!

WAHN! It was quite wretched. :-(

BerryBird said...

I suspect it was some combination of factors: most people probably haven't had this procedure, so the technicians likely weren't speaking from personal experience. I have had doctors give all sorts of misleading information, like that there are no nerve cells in the cervix and therefore gynecological procedures don't hurt. Yah, I didn't take that one well.

I am sorry for your pain and suffering, it sounds truly dreadful.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I think before any doctor or technician can give a test or even talk about it, they ought to have it--the whole thing.

Thanks, Berrybird, and remember, I'll be gone.

bluerose9062 said...

I love this image! You're right. It's not ugly :].

Gaslighting, huh? Sounds like a few of the guys I've dated, but I wouldn't say they were malicious either. Just manipulative.

A long time ago I was told I have a disorder called Raynaud's Syndrome. It's a circulation problem in the hands and feet, and has been known to cause numbness. I never thought about it being connected to hypoglycemia. In fact, I never really thought about it much at all until reading your post. I'll research it and see what I can find.

I have a client who has lupus, and has numbness in her feet. The doctor's think that I have the beginning stages of it also. My numbness isn't as bad as the aching, though, but fortunately I live in a warmer climate than you.

The test for lupus is a simple blood test. Not as bad as what you just went through. Well, I say simple, but I usually faint when they take my blood. Can you imagine what would happen if I had to go through what you went through?

Hope you're feeling better :]

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I am worried that I may have something awful. I wish the docotors would figure it out, preferably without too much torture. Thanks, bluerose, for your kind and helpful comments!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

And thanks for the vote of confidence on my artwork! LOL!


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