aside Surviving a misdiagnosis

A deficiency of a simple vitamin B12 can be deathly, literally a killer! Who knew? Not me…Until I had to understand it to save my life

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June 15th 2015.  I had an appointment to see a specialist, one I held responsible for my current health dilemma.  When  I say dilemma, that’s maybe a bit weak, I’ll explain.  I had waited 6 months for this moment, 6 weeks was the guidance but 6 months had become the reality. Is this normal?

Armed with a book I had researched (in English, visiting a Spanish doctor…..I’m digressing)

I searched a trusted translator locally so there would be no confusion in what I had to say as I remembered my specialist had struggled to understand me in either Spanish or English, mind you in the moment I had misunderstood myself quite alot and now it makes sense.  Imagine now, writing a letter to relative stranger knowing the impact it will have on her and trusting you don’t become talk of the village.  Crazy but true!

The letter went along the lines of…..”Dear Doc, please help me. I have waited 6 months, I feel unsafe, I feel very unstable, very confused,  very worried, extremely distressed and seriously,  I repeat I am not safe and I can’t explain it right now”. Can you imagine?  An admission of this kind is like saying ” I need locking up! ” It’s all about trust in yourself I realise, the ability to articulate your feelings without sounding like a nut job!  In a nutshell, I was desperate, the pain, the neurological problems that were indescribable  (largely due to word finding issues in my own native tongue).

“I’m breaking down, physically, emotionally,  mentally and non of this is depression,  I’m not depressed,  of course I have worries…. no more than most other folk I know but my doctor has prescribed me drugs after drug after more and more based purely on how I’m feeling…..medication I do not want nor believe I need.  I survive, I work, sleep and with a new unhealthy penchant for gummy sweets gaining kilos upon kilos, excercise sets me back and i don’t know what i can do unless you help me!   Anti depressants help someone, but they’re not going to help me.  I need B12!  I need it like I need water everyday!”

I was surprised not unpleasantly to find the doctor was not there and was replaced by a different specialist who although he appreciated my efforts in the letter in his mother tongue insisted on speaking in mine so I as the patient would be in no doubt at what he was about to tell me.  I had a very good friend at my side who was able to describe my demise (in their language) over the past few months but how my determination and honesty in how I was feeling and reaching out for help had kept me going, waiting for this moment. Physically I was a complete train crash!  My hands were numb, my spine was twisted, inside felt like a constant boiling kettle, dressing took 30 minuses.    Can you imagine explaining to friends why just meeting for coffee was like planning a world trip in 2 days?  Imagine your young (ish) friend explaining to you that just putting on her pants takes 10 minutes of considered yoga being unable to reach your feet!   No, my friends didn’t get it and the loneliness had krept in.

This man, Miguel his name, he took the prescriptions, the anti depressants, the lyrica and the pain killers, threw them in the bin and said “you need B12,I’m prescribing a shot every week for a year and In this time we’ll explore the cause”  He saw my book which I had felt was important to have ready with some corners folded on important and relevant pages and said he knew this book and did not scold me for researching as many doctors might.

I could have kissed that man!  That was the beginning of getting my life back.

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6 comments

  1. Thanks. I’m glad you’re finding it interesting. For more on this subject please search B12 in my page. I’ll be adding more in time, demonstrating a true story I hope helps others before its too late to recognise.

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