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Why do doctors and my family treat me as if I am imagining things?


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Old 12-01-2017, 12:25 PM   #1
nignag
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Why do doctors and my family treat me as if I am imagining things?

Hi, I've got some really bad chemical sensitivities going on which have wrecked my life. But my worst problem is that people seem to think I'm imagining it and that it's all in my mind. Just because they don't get affected by smells or pollution they can not understand that I do.

It's got to the stage where just a small amount of perfume smell, or car fumes, clothing detergent, will affect my lungs, give me a headache, make me confused and irritable, make my eyes hurt and run, cause running nose and mucus and cause me to have strange pains in my liver area and stomach.

I've argued with my mother many times over her using hair spray or perfumes. Also frying foods especially frying chips in the house, without any ventilation, or baking in the house can hurt my lungs all day and it seems to affect my mental well being a lot.

The one thing that the doctors and other people really can't understand is the pollution from a steel works that is 10 miles away. it's a huge coal burning steel works and when the wind is blowing from that direction, no matter if all the windows and doors are shut I suffer really badly from it. If the winds are low and blowing from that direction, there is a big smog build up in the city and the air gets thick, the coal fumes mixed with all the car and household heaters around me it becomes a nightmare for me.

I argued with my doctor today, I was trying to explain about the steel work pollution and she was certain that it is much too far away to cause me any problems, she said that out of the 100's of thousands of people in my city why should only I be affected by it. When I told her that perfume smells were causing me problems she asked if I felt unwell today, I replied no I am OK today, then she said that there is a lot of deep heat smells in her surgery room today so shouldn't I be affected by it.

I was made to feel that I am imagining my symptoms and at one point I got annoyed with her and started to argue with her about it. On my previous visit with her, she had told me that because I had smoked many years ago my lung problems were my fault. But today she was saying that all my lung tests are fine and that it must be gastronomical problems that are causing the lung and chest pains.

When I left I told my mother that I will never ever see that doctor again, and all I want is to find a doctor that can actually diagnose me and understand me.

But as i say, my own mother and brother don't fully understand or believe all my symptoms are real, they often ask me 'could it just all be in my head'.

It is depressing me so much, I've gone from super fit to having to wear a face mask whenever any environmental irritant starts affecting me. I have become very withdrawn.

 
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:57 PM   #2
danabarb
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Re: Why do doctors and my family treat me as if I am imagining things?

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Originally Posted by nignag View Post
Hi, I've got some really bad chemical sensitivities going on which have wrecked my life. But my worst problem is that people seem to think I'm imagining it and that it's all in my mind. Just because they don't get affected by smells or pollution they can not understand that I do.

It's got to the stage where just a small amount of perfume smell, or car fumes, clothing detergent, will affect my lungs, give me a headache, make me confused and irritable, make my eyes hurt and run, cause running nose and mucus and cause me to have strange pains in my liver area and stomach.

I've argued with my mother many times over her using hair spray or perfumes. Also frying foods especially frying chips in the house, without any ventilation, or baking in the house can hurt my lungs all day and it seems to affect my mental well being a lot.

The one thing that the doctors and other people really can't understand is the pollution from a steel works that is 10 miles away. it's a huge coal burning steel works and when the wind is blowing from that direction, no matter if all the windows and doors are shut I suffer really badly from it. If the winds are low and blowing from that direction, there is a big smog build up in the city and the air gets thick, the coal fumes mixed with all the car and household heaters around me it becomes a nightmare for me.

I argued with my doctor today, I was trying to explain about the steel work pollution and she was certain that it is much too far away to cause me any problems, she said that out of the 100's of thousands of people in my city why should only I be affected by it. When I told her that perfume smells were causing me problems she asked if I felt unwell today, I replied no I am OK today, then she said that there is a lot of deep heat smells in her surgery room today so shouldn't I be affected by it.

I was made to feel that I am imagining my symptoms and at one point I got annoyed with her and started to argue with her about it. On my previous visit with her, she had told me that because I had smoked many years ago my lung problems were my fault. But today she was saying that all my lung tests are fine and that it must be gastronomical problems that are causing the lung and chest pains.

When I left I told my mother that I will never ever see that doctor again, and all I want is to find a doctor that can actually diagnose me and understand me.

But as i say, my own mother and brother don't fully understand or believe all my symptoms are real, they often ask me 'could it just all be in my head'.

It is depressing me so much, I've gone from super fit to having to wear a face mask whenever any environmental irritant starts affecting me. I have become very withdrawn.
NO ONE will totally understand this until he or she has had it and that includes the medical profession. I also have some of this and it is very difficult to live with. Had to give up my theater tickets due to all the perfume that people wore. I have read that chemical sensitivity is on the rise, so it is not just you and me. I feel for you if your mother keeps on using hair spray, but you are not going to change her. The change in weather as all the chemicals drive me NUTS.

 
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nignag (12-06-2017)
Old 12-03-2017, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: Why do doctors and my family treat me as if I am imagining things?

As far as the doctors and their knowledge about this, they know next to, if not, nothing about this. The sprays do not work and also can upset your stomach.

 
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nignag (12-06-2017)
Old 12-03-2017, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: Why do doctors and my family treat me as if I am imagining things?

My mom was the same way. It didn't start for her till she was probably in her late 40's. Alot of people didn't believe her and her doctor never said he didn't believe her. He just said to stay away from those things like perfumes etc. He basically just blew her off and didn't offer any help. Now my two sisters have the same issues. So that proves it wasn't in my mom's head. It hasn't happened to me yet. I'm 48 so maybe I'm lucky and missed it. But my mom couldn't and my sisters can't have anything that is scented like laundry soap, perfume etc. Chemicals from cleaners make them sick. One of my sisters is on oxygen for her COPD but I think it is made worse by the chemicals. My mom has recently passed away but I remember what she went through and how people treated her. My brother didn't care how she felt and would load the cologne on while he was staying with her. She would get so sick, her stomach would bloat and she'd get bad diarrhea. I feel so sad for you. I'm sorry you're going through this. don't give up trying different doctors to you find one that will listen and help. My thoughts and prayers are with you

 
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nignag (12-06-2017)
Old 12-06-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
nignag
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Re: Why do doctors and my family treat me as if I am imagining things?

Thanks for the replies danabarb and Diboh.

It is a life changing thing, where all of a sudden lots of smells, chemical smells, paint smells, car fumes/exhaust smells, dog/animal smells, baking smells, frying smells, just so many smells affect me. I can't sit around a log fire or barbecue anymore. Last time I was near one I was coughing for ages afterwards but everyone else there was fine.

people can not understand it because it doesn't affect them so they think it could be in your mind. At the doctors when I was explaining the the pollution affects me, she was trying to say 'why are you the only person in the city that it affects'. Well this is untrue. it took me a long time to figure out that a steel works 10 miles away could be affecting me, how many other people in the city are totally unaware of this (as I previously was).

There is a website in the UK that is a government site and they show pollution levels each day for the country, when it gets high they advise anyone who gets affected by the pollution levels (sensitivity to it) who experience sore eyes, cough or sore throat should reduce physical activity, particularly outdoors. https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/forecasting/

When the pollution levels are high (as shown on the gov site) and the winds are very low and blowing from the steel works direction, the air can get so thick with pollution that my breathing is affected, my chest and lungs hurt, and my voice will go hoarse, like I have a bad cold. Eyes will stream with water, nose will drip, lots of continual mucus, headaches, sickness and stomach pains.

how can a supposedly learned doctor imply that my symptoms are somehow not caused by pollution levels, why do I have to have the one thing wrong with me that doctors seem to think is not a real thing. Why can't I have an obvious thing wrong with me that the doctors could easily point out. It's mind boggling that there are no experts/specialists on this disability I seem to have developed (that is ruining my life).

I would even say that the having people distrust my symptoms and doubt me, thinking it must be all in my mind/imagined, may even be worse that the actual thing I have. I just wish I could have an expert diagnose me and not doubt me, someone who could understand what is wrong with myself.

 
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:37 PM   #6
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Re: Why do doctors and my family treat me as if I am imagining things?

I have this same problem and it is not in your head; I also feel that chemical sensitivity, which is what this is, is definitely, on the rise. Many times, it walks hand in had with allergic rhinitis. Had to give up my season tickets to the theater because the women would wear so much perfume that I would walk out like the city drunk. Cleaning chemicals drive me NUTS as well. Mine was made worse when the oxygen was too low on my c-pap machine and I did not know it. The man who was reading the chip from the machine told me all was well when it was not. Just because your doctor sort of questions it, does not mean you do not have this issue. Doctors are far from Gods, although many of them think they are!

 
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