Can you imagine what it’s like to live in pain for a whole year without knowing what causes it? And despite the development of medicine, such cases really do not happen rarely, I will tell you about one of them today. 16-year-old Hayley loved swimming very much, she was engaged in this sport literally “from the cradle.” But one day during a regular workout, the girl noticed that she did not glide through the water as easily and gracefully as usual.
And then there was a sharp pain in her side, which forced her to get out of the pool. The girl thought that maybe she pulled a muscle, and soon everything will pass. Athletes often experience discomfort in their bodies, so Brian and Beth – Hayley’s parents – advised her to get some rest. But the next day Hayley woke up and screamed in pain and fear: she couldn’t get out of bed. Excruciating pain occurred even with the simplest movements. Brian and Beth realized that something very serious was going on with Hayley.
On the same day, they took her to the hospital for examination. The results of the examination stunned both Hayley and her parents: Ultrasound did not show any ruptures or other pathologies. The doctors said that everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about! They simply recommended that the girl take a break from swimming until the pain disappears, suggesting that it is caused by excessive strain on the muscles. “You must have missed something! The pain is unbearable!”– Hayley insisted, barely holding back tears.
But the doctor just showed the ultrasound results, repeating that absolutely nothing unusual was found. Haley refused to leave the office without first hearing adequate explanations about her problem. In the end, the doctor said something that caused outrage among all family members: “Her pain and agony are all just in her head.” “I’m not crazy!” cried Hayley, bursting into tears.
Although she was a teenager with typical teenage problems, there was no reason to believe that the physical pain she was experiencing was of a psychosomatic nature. Hayley’s condition only worsened: any movement caused her suffering. Putting on a backpack or using a hairdryer, the girl cried in pain. Brian was furious that the doctor claimed that all this was only in his daughter’s head. And Brian did what any loving father would do: he took Hayley to another specialist.
But another doctor also said that everything was fine with the girl’s physical condition. Hayley was in a lot of pain. And it was even more painful because no one believed her. It was very hard for my parents too: they saw how their child was suffering, but there was nothing they could do about it. They searched medical websites, trying to find an explanation there, but found nothing. And the doctors did not stop claiming that Hayley’s pain sensations have a psychosomatic origin.
Only after a year of torment and searching for a specialist capable of understanding their problem, the family met Lisa McMahon from Arizona, who recognized the symptoms of the disease. Dr. McMahon was able to quickly diagnose Hayley’s condition, and she was sure she had found something that all the previous doctors had missed. As it turned out, Hayley suffered from a rare rib dislocation: the cartilage surrounding the lower part of her rib cage was not stationary, as it should have been, and caused pain.
Dr. McMahon reassuringly said that an operation was needed, and then everything would be fine. How was Dr. McMahon able to discover the cause of Hayley’s suffering very quickly? It’s amazing, but when Liz McMahon was Hayley’s age, she herself suffered from this disease! The symptoms described by the young patient prompted her to investigate what none of the previous doctors who examined the girl had noticed. But the diagnosis is only half the battle.
Hayley and her parents were very worried about whether the operation would be successful and whether the pain would go away after it. Fortunately for the girl, the operation really solved her problem. Now Hayley lives a normal normal life, and no movements make her wince in pain. “I definitely feel much better. It’s nice to just live a normal life again!” she says. Many people claim that our medicine has stepped far ahead and can work wonders.
Perhaps. But often the biggest problem of medicine is indifferent specialists who cannot, do not know how, and do not want to find the cause of the patient’s disease, but act according to a proven scheme. Doctors, of course, cannot know everything, but their task is to check all the options and, if it is not possible to find the reason, then do not hesitate to send the patient to a more experienced colleague.