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Aster's avatar

If you have been given various diagnoses from many different doctors, did it harm you?

Asked by Aster (18806points) January 19th, 2011

I hear of people who go to many doctors in a desperate search for a diagnosis. They may receive various “educated guesses” by each doctor , none of them agreeing. If this is the case, what does that tell us about the medical establishment? Of course, there are many people who are given an accurate diagnosis with the first doctor but they are not the subject of the question. Have you been mis-diagnosed and how did that harm you, if at all?

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10 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

2 Chiros and one very expensive MRI couldn’t figure out why my back was just about killing me until a 3rd Chiro told me I might have MS. Finally an Orthopedic Surgeon realized the 2 radiologist and Chiros all missed my herniated disc! 4th opinions are worth getting.

Harm me? Perhaps….2 months of Holy Hell pain and agony though made me appreciate pain and suffering like I never did before. I now know I can take anything life chooses to throw at me!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Medicine is not an exact science, although I did think it was a bit excessive that 5 different doctors couldn’t diagnose a kidney ailment I had in the 70s. Yeah, it was a problem because the kidney deteriorated further because of the delay, but then it got fixed and I’m fine now. It was an unusual problem and difficult to diagnose.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

When I have been diagnosed with something,I make it my business to find out as much as I can about it,rather than just take their word or medication for it.

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t believe doctors really do much “guessing” at all. There are simply a lot of diseases and disorders for which there are no definitive lab test or scans, many diseases share similar symptoms and not all people get all the symptoms associated with ever disease or disorder. They don’t guess. They have to work through a process of elimination, testing for what is the most likely cause of your symptoms and ruling out that it’s not this or that. I think there are certainly cases of misdiagnosis but it’s not common. Some things are difficult to diagnose and sometimes people will have to go to different doctors and sometimes it can takes years if the disorder is difficult to diagnose or perhaps extremely rare, something not on every doctor’s radar.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I’ve had breathing problems for almost 3 years now. I’ve gone to 3 different doctors for it, mainly thinking it was going to be asthma because I have some history with it. The first guy said it was something called bronchiospasms, and said to call if it got any worse. Well, it got worse, but since then he had retired, so I went to the guy who had taken his patients. He said it was mild asthma and gave me an inhaler. That did zilch. I made do for a while, then it got really bad, so we went to urgent care. The gal there said it was allergies and gave me some $100 pills. That did zilch, too. We’re going back in a couple of days, and I’m not very optimistic that it’ll make any difference.

Harm me? There’s definitely absolutely no good side of having sharp pain in my ribs, extreme dizziness, not being able to exert myself at all, and the uncontrollable coughing. The social effects are pretty bad, too, because hardly anybody believes me that this is serious. People just give me comments like “Wow! You’re in really bad shape!” or “You need to work out.” But, seriously, how in the world am I supposed to do that if I start coughing like crazy when I run for a tiny bit of time?

Aster's avatar

@ChocolateReigns, I’m sorry; that sounds just terrible. Do you have a history of smoking? I do hope you find a correct diagnosis!

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@Aster Well, I’m 14. But that is what the doctors ask first – do people in your home smoke? But no, no body does. If I walk by someone who’s smoking in the grocery store parking lot, though, I’m coughing horribly for 20 minutes. I really hope we figure it out, too.

Aster's avatar

It could be gastric reflux or post-nasal drip?

Mariah's avatar

@ChocolateReigns That sounds dreadful, I hope that gets figured out soon!!

An ER doctor’s misdiagnosis almost killed me once. I went to the ER because I had horrendous pain all over my body. The doctor, without bothering to do any tests, assumed it was a side effect of my medication.

It wasn’t. It was sepsis. It wasn’t caught until it was almost too late.

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