Insensitive professional

Morning all, hope you are all ok (or as ok as you can be).

Thought I would share this with you, I was livid after this conversation and just shows the ignorance towards this disease.

I own a shop and had a customer in yesterday who asked me how I was (she didn't know I am hypothyroid). It was the end of the day, I ached all over, stomach was bloated making my back ache, I was exhausted and made the stupid mistake of telling this woman that I wasn't brilliant and couldn't wait to get home.

"What's wrong?" She said "come on, spill the beans, I might be able to help" she told me her occupation which I didn't quite catch but it was something to do with the medical profession.

"Well, I'm hypothyroid and...." I said but she cut right across me

"Yes, well you have been diagnosed, that's good now you can take your tablets, lose some weight and you'll be fine" she said (cheeky cow, who gives anyone the right to tell someone you don't know to lose some weight??)

"Er, it's not that simple" I tried to explain " I've been diagnosed a year and Im actually getting worse" - "and little do you know you old bag, I've eaten less than 600 calories a day this last couple of weeks, I've given up alcohol, gluten and sugar, I'm starving and haven't lost an ounce" was what I really wanted to say!

"It takes time" she cut across me again.


"Well, I've had full blood counts done twice and areas are out of range, my MCV & MCH counts are very high..."

"Ignore that" she cut in. *What??!!*

"Well, I'm vitamin d deficient too and...."

She cut across AGAIN "most people are vitamin d deficient"

"Yes but when you are taking thyroid medication your vitamin & minerals need to be optimal. I'm also iron deficient..."

She pulled a face as if to say big deal!! "So, take tablets"

"I AM!!!"

"Look, sorry to be straight with you but you're not dying are you? Think positive. I deal with people that are dying. What you have can be fixed" and with that she left!

I immediately burst out crying with this cold, harsh persons attitude and realised that from now on I'm going to shut my gob over how I feel to people that aren't experiencing this. Yes, she has a point, I'm not dying but that doesn't mean to say I'm not suffering every single day and it's dragging me down and down. Yes, I can be fixed but I've been diagnosed for a year, know for a fact I was suffering for 2-3 years before that and I'm still not sorted. How dare she patronise me with "it takes time". Right now it feels like people get shorter prison sentences and suffer less than I have done. (Perhaps a bit dramatic, but you get my drift!!!)

What upset me was she is in the medical profession and she just about sums up their cold attitudes. Everything is about "ranges" with them, but then even when your ranges are out, it's nothing to worry about!! Then if your lucky "take this tablet" and get on with it. There is no compassion or understanding.

Sorry for long post, just thought some might relate and it might help. We are so lucky to have this forum where we can be amongst people who are going through the same because people who don't have this have no idea!! xx

36 Replies

  • You're quite right to put your thoughts down as I find that's helpful. It helps release your pent-up anger/frustration.

    Unfortunately, all of us on this forum now understand what it feels like to be diagnosed and medicated but maybe even feeling worse than before with the same cold and unfeeling attitude of some medical personnel. Take the pill, your bloods are in range so whatever else now ails you is 'nothing to do with your thyroid gland'. We all know better now and at least some are able to do something about it, although we would prefer to be under the care of a professional who knows what's going on in our bodies.

    That very woman may herself eventually have a health problem which takes over her well-being and then the 'battle' begins and she will be told 'there's nothing wrong with you' have an anti-d you must be depressed, menopause, children left home, marital problems etc etc etc.' She will then know what 'compassion' should mean when she looks up a dictionary.

    I hope you feel better today Derbysdoorknocker

  • Hi Shaws, I missed out the bit where she said "oh and of course, you're at that "certain age"". I actually wanted to punch her!!! Ha ha, I do not of course condone violence and would never hurt a soul, but you know what I mean!!

    I wanted to say to her "do you love your job? Have you worked hard to get where you are today and feel accomplished? Well just imagine that you ended up with a disease that hampered all what you had achieved in life, so much so that you seriously had to question whether you could carry on. This disease reduced you to a shadow of your former self, one where you couldn't cope with the stress you could once deal with, one where you burst into tears with frustration and anger over people's ignorance. A disease which in the end makes you feel you would be better retiring, resting most of the day and staying in avoiding people. If that ever happens (and I genuinely hope it doesn't but if it did) come and see me. I'd like to tell you to keep taking your tablets and remind you it isn't killing you" Then see how you feel!

    But of course, she was a customer, spent £40 so I had to be polite ;-)

  • Just because the woman was a customer who spent £40, it does not give her the right to be so bloody rude to you! I'm not sure whether to admire your self-control or whether to curse you for letting her get away with her obviously idiotic ignorance intact, feeling smug about having doled out some more excellent health advice to someone who was feeling sorry for herself (in her opinion, not mine!)... Sometimes it should pay to let them have both barrels full-face! It might just serve to educate them.

  • Eating less than 600 calories is the wrong thing to do, your body will go into starvation mode and you won't loose anything.

  • I know :-( I was just desperate. I'm off to a 40th party on Saturday and refuse to buy a "bigger" dress so was trying to reduce the belly as nothing else worked. But you are absolutely right, I'm not doing myself any favours.

  • I just put this link elsewhere. Don't know if it works

    but worth a try:-


    ‘When you have an Epsom salts bath, magnesium and sulphate are absorbed through the skin,’ she says.

    ‘Because our skin is porous, reverse osmosis takes place, which means toxins and excess fluids are drawn out of the skin as the goodness goes in.’

    The end result is a flattened tummy. No wonder, then, that an Epsom salts bath is popular with models the night before a bikini or lingerie photoshoot.

    Read more:

    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  • Off to buy some Epsom salts.......

  • BUT I shan't be doing a bikini photoshoot, heavens forbid!!!

  • We are all expecting to see a 'before' and 'after' pic.

  • I had to laugh a bit at 'Victoria Beckham' taking one to make her stomach flatter. She's skin and bone to start with.

  • For goodness sake! That woman is crazy!!

  • I think the "correct term" is "emotionally fragile"! :)

  • She does sound a terrible bossy boots!

    Years ago Alan Bennett had a series of monologue plays on TV and the one that reminds me of this was the one with Patricia Routledge ill in hospital, and her attitudes changing as her illness progresses. I know that is no real help, but it is about 'walking a mile in someone else's shoes'.

    I am sorry you had this experience, I would have been in floods for ages. Just write her off as a stupid bossy boots.

  • Im not sure I have seen that sketch but I can imagine what it was like!!

    "Walking a mile in someone else's shoes" - gosh, how I understand this saying now!!!

    This illness has indeed taught me many things, top of the list is you never know what other people are going through so don't judge them!

  • Yes you are so right it deffo makes you a far more compassionate human being

  • It was very profound - Routledge was superb.

  • as a thought why not , the next time this pleb comes onto your shop , invite her to lunch and provide a sandwich with a tablet cocktail filling ......and then state that as all the tablets that she may need are in it 'she will be fine ' ....because that is what she is stating to others and then smile sweetly awaiting her reaction .......that would be game,set and match ......she may even think about her attitude .....alan xx

  • Lol Alan!! I just feel sorry for her actual patients, just hope I don't end up having to see her for a medical reason!! Hope you and your good lady are as well as can be xx

  • we are all , as I say 'like tower bridge ' ---- it goes up and down every time a boat goes through --- just imagine if you had to give 'her ' a suppository ==== what fun you could have ....and how she would realise the errors of her ways [ at least it would give you a wry smile all day ] you I cannot suffer plebs / snake-oil salesmen or ostriches .....alan xxx

  • Strange mix of things you dislike Alan! I dislike plebs, salesmen and camels!! x

  • many people have said that I am a 'little strange'---- cant see it myself though !!!!

  • If you see her on the other side of the consulting desk just run!!

  • God you poor thing getting a scary monster like that gobbing off her condescending platitudes. She should be locked up as a danger to society not practicing medicine lol! All I can say is just cos someone is a doctor does not mean they don't spout utter rubbish, trouble is they are dangerous too - look at what Shipman got away with. You should ban her from your shop and tell her to take her custom elsewhere or keep her trap firmly shut!

    You should not cry over the heartless cruel words of such a sad excuse of a human being, you should pity her - zero empathy, badly informed and completely arrogant, give me me, hypothyroidism and the lot any day that being as grotesque a person as that. I will get my Buddhist friend to chant for her -her karma must be very poor she needs all the help she can get.

    Good people here are the ones to get support from - than goodness for this site ;-) I hope my rant makes you feel a lot better - big hug from me :-)

  • Awww, thank you and yes, you have made me smile and feel better! I completely agree with you, she was very arrogant and I would much rather walk in my shoes than hers. I love this site, it makes me feel so comforted :-) I have a collection tin on my shop counter for Thyroid Uk, Im just going to empty my loose change into it, don't know what I would do without this forum xx

  • That is so cool you can shake it at her next time she comes in (40 quid is 40 quid and not to be sniffed at) do you think you might have to momentarily disguise it with a British thyroid foundation sticker so she coughs up? Lol!

  • How unbelievable - as if you would not know which disorder you had!

  • Ha ha ha! That's a good one! I'll remember that. I'm sorry that you keep encountering the same old issue with your condition , it must be so infuriating for you :-(. xx

  • Ugh, sorry you had that unhelpful conversation.

    My theory about the nhs in particular is that there is very little preventative, health-retaining action and much (most?) health care is quite awkward to access, so the gps only see people who are either really very ill (dying), feel very ill (chronic health problems) or who may have a lot of time and motivation (what they call 'worried well, which is a whole other story, as in: at what stage do you change from 'worried well' to 'finally diagnosed'?). They're not really interested in people who are well and want to stay well or people who aren't obviously, demonstrably unwell.

    In order to qualify, doctors tend to be type-a and they see others through that lens. If you're not running a marathon you must be lazy/fat etc.

    It's not good news for the rest of us, that's for sure.

  • ...and if you are running a marathon they think you are a nutter who deserves to get injured and be left untreated - you can't win...sigh.

  • Yes of course - I forgot that.

  • As Neil Nathan explains in his book - Healing is Possible - medical schools in the States are full of the best brains the country can produce. His opinion was that at the end of the training they were mostly shadows of their former selves - completely drained. They had been bludgeoned with scientific facts and figures with no attention to developing personal skills linked to empathy or people skills. Big Pharma has a great deal to answer for. It seems that diagnosis by getting to know and understand the patient is something that Doctors or Medical professionals only learn later when they realise the existing model is not working.

    I also heard this from friends connected to the world of Medicine when they decided to only take students with 5 straight A's - some 30 or so years ago. Once they had qualified they did not want to meet the patients and lacked communication skills - and so it was back to the drawing board. Perhaps that is why we are suffering at the hand of GP's today....

    It is so very sad that you were spoken to in this manner - however I am sure that your experience in suffering a chronic condition enables you to give many of your customers an excellent listening ear. From past experience in retail - I know that will be much appreciated....

    Tomorrow is another day....take good care and think of the lovely people that cross your threshold....

  • Very interesting Marz. I went to the doctors today and have had a pretty useless 10 mins with a doctor I could of given birth to. I knew more than she did. She did admit she didn't know what to say to me, said she wanted to discuss with another doctor and would call me at home. She duly did and I now feel like I am going crazy (I shall post separately)!!

    And yes, I have some lovely customers, my door and ears are always open for them :-) x

  • When my third child was about a week old and clearly going rapidly downhill, a very young locum did a home visit. He looked at my son and asked if I had any other children. I answered that I had a 20 yr old and an 11 year old, and he replied, well I believe that you obviously know more about children than i do, and if you believe he is seriously ill then I accept that. I'll write an emergency hospital referral right now. How wonderful was that. I wish he was my GP now - listening to patients, and respecting that they know when something is not right.

    I certainly would have been less accommodating of your customer, it would have been worth £40 to grab the goods back and show her the door. Perhaps as far as her at total lack of understanding and empathy goes, we can only hope that what goes around comes around.

  • I think we can all relate to the arrogance and lack of caring of many in the medical profession. My first initiation was when I went back to my Dr with a long list of Hypo symptoms (no meds) and was off work and he looked at my blood results and said "well isn't it great that you're nearly fine now?" then looked at me as if to say "now is the point where you agree with me". I promptly burst into tears through shock, frustration and feeling awful, got the "Ahhh woman of a certain age...obviously hormonal and hysterical"...and promptly got offered anti-depressants. Interesting how when the Docs don't know what to do next with continuing symptoms it becomes your fault-ungrateful, depressed, not dieting/exercising enough etc, etc. This attitude that it is not possible to continue to feel unwell seems to be generally accepted in society.

  • Please don't say that 600 calories are not enough to keep you going, if you have a broad range of different foods, spread throughout the day it is plenty enough and does not out you into starvation mode. I have just seen a surgeon for my Hernia, he does Bariatric surgery (he puts in gastric bands etc). He told me that I needed to lose a bit of weight, what a surprise.....!! I told him that it wasn't anything that a tiny bit of T3 wouldn't put right! He replied "T3, you have to be very careful with that, it's very dangerous". What an arse! I said OK then, what are your suggestions to get some weight off? "Skimmed milk" he said, "all my patients have to do the skimmed milk diet before surgery, you drink only skimmed milk for one week and you will lose a stone"! I said "OK, you have a deal, I will drink and eat nothing for a week except skimmed milk but I WILL NOT lose a stone". I did the diet and it was HARD, just drinking a small glass of milk whenever I felt hungry. I lost 9lb!! My partner who did the same diet drank gallons of skimmed milk and put on 5lb !!!

  • I'm sorry you had such an awful experience. It's her attitude at fault... but please don't stop talking about thyroid issues completely as the message needs to get out there. I had never heard of hypothyroidism and suffered in silence because I knew nothing - I wish I'd known about it. I talk about it to everyone when it's appropriate, in the hope others will be more prepared - but I've developed a thicker skin now and I don't talk about it if I'm feeling vulnerable or having a bad day. I hope you're having a better day today :)

You may also like...