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Your Treatment Of Hypermobility Is Making Me Hypertense

, , , , | Healthy | October 31, 2019

(This story has taken about five years to come to a close. When I was seventeen, I started having awful fatigue problems, sleeping up to fourteen hours a day, and being constantly exhausted. I’ve always been fairly healthy, hiking for fun and rock climbing on a weekly basis, but after a while, I became so tired and my joints and muscles started hurting so much that I couldn’t exercise anymore. Because of this, I put on some weight. At nineteen, I go to the doctor because I’m in constant pain and believe I may have hypermobility.)

Doctor #1: “So, what’s the problem today?”

Me: *explains the last two years of problems, and how a friend showed me a list of hypermobility symptoms which seem to match up with what I’m experiencing*

Doctor #1: “Okay, well, I’m actually the hypermobility specialist for this surgery so I’m going to take you through a series of tests.”

(He takes me through the tests, including touching the floor with my legs straight, bending my fingers and arms, etc.)

Doctor #1: “Right, well, you definitely don’t have hypermobility; I don’t know how you got that idea in your head. You just need to lose some weight and you’ll be fine.”

Me: “How am I supposed to do that if I’m in pain all the time?”

Doctor #1: “Oh, just take some painkillers, exercise more, and eat less junk food. You’ll be fine.”

(Miserable, but believing him, I spend the next three years in increasing pain, eventually unable to work, socialise, or do any of my old hobbies because I’m so exhausted all the time. I fall into a deep depression, believing that I’m making it up and that I’m just lazy. Finally, after counselling and heaps of support from my friends, I get an appointment at the closest rheumatology clinic.)

Doctor #2: “All right, how can I help you today?”

Me: *twists my neck, making three to four loud pops on each side*

Doctor #2: *blinks in surprise* “Oh… are they all like that?”

Me: “Yup. I can crack pretty much every joint in my body, including my elbows and my kneecaps.”

Doctor #2: *after she takes me through all the same tests for hypermobility as the first doctor and a pressure point test to check for fibromyalgia* “Well, you’re definitely hypermobile in your upper body — anyone could see that — and the swelling around your knees is particularly concerning. I’m going to send you off for some tests and give you a prescription for an anti-inflammatory painkiller tablet. If it’s not enough, come back and I’ll give you some more. I can’t believe you’ve been dealing with this for five years!”

(Now, after a year and a half of unemployment, I have a job I love and am able to do with energy left over for twice-weekly climbing sessions and plenty of socialising. Thank you to the second doctor I saw, and to the first doctor? F*** you.)

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