Chronic Monday: More On Dr. Scherger and his "Get Over It" Fibromyalgia Blog Post
We wish getting over it was as easy as Dr. Scherger makes it sound; or as this pole vaulter makes it look!
This post is a sequel to Chronic Monday: Be Well Not Medicalized 4 FM...?.
I have to admit that I decided at the last minute to take it easy on Dr. S. I found a much more in-depth description of his career (on RevolutionHealth.com, who would have guessed?), and in addition to his medical degree he also has a Masters of Public Health (MPH). His first job after school was as a migrant health physician for two years in California. Now he may have had to do this to pay off a student loan or something, but still he did it. And the rest of his record seems rather stellar and exemplary. I kinda hate to drag him through the mud for one blog post, no matter how inaccurate, insensitive and insulting it is. So I'm just going to pull some sound bites out of the 25 or so comments that were made to his post and to my review of his post, all of them negative, then in a future post I'll briefly analyze the circular logic he uses in his responses to our comments and we'll be all done with him!
Sound bites from comments to my post:
"Thanks for showing people they need to keep looking for someone who will care and can say they don't have all the answers. YOU DON'T (Dr. Scherger) nor does any one doctor so you get over it."
"What a frustrating situation! Unfortunately, it is one that is all too common for FM and related conditions, and something patients continually have to combat. That's why dialogue is so important, and that's what your post has enabled. What an eye-opening thing to read."
"I'm of the same opinion as you regarding this "so-called" doctor. He is rather condescending in his comments and I question his opinion in light of his area of expertise. Yes, women are more stressed than men. Stress does exacerbate the FM condition. I do not believe from all of my research, readings and talking to other doctors that it is the leading cause of FM. I would also not be inclined to read material from an agency that utilized someone who made this kind of observation. He is basically saying it is all in our (women) heads and we should just lighten up. My final opinion is that he is a pompous ass."
Sound bites from comments to Dr. Scherger's post:
'The tone of this whole editorial is quite disrespectful and insensitive. As a journalist who has suffered with hypoadrenalism/hypothyroidism, I hope Dr. Scherger is not unlucky enough to suffer from any physical maladies and end up being treated callously by medical professionals who tell him to "get over it.""
"I agree, Dr. Scherger, that I feel I have no purpose and that I am angry, both of which occurred as a result of my being unable to "get over" having fibromyalgia."
"As someone who attempted several times to "get over" a fibromyalgia diagnosis provided by five physicians, not only did my existing symptoms worsen but I developed new ones that proved nearly fatal, resulting in frequent hospitalizations."
"Where have you been keeping yourself? In a cave? For a medical doctor not to know that Fibromyalgia is a real diagnosis with its own very real diagnostic medical code (since 1987) is ignorant at best. I would expect much better from Revolution Health and I'll be sure to tell them so. And you should take care to do the required research before posting such drivel about people who have already had to put up with far too much insulting behavior in their lives to take one iota more from an apparent quack such as yourself."
"May you never have to face a doctor who "pooh-pooh's" your very real problems because they are not educated enough to realize there could be really something behind your ailment, that he or she just doesn't want to have to deal with it."
"OH MY GOD!! Thank you SO much for letting me know that this disease (it IS now classed as a disease by the AMA after all) that I have had for going on 12 years now is not really happening after all."
"It is very difficult for me to believe that you would find anyone with Fibromyalgia willing to be your patient. Fibromyalgia is VERY real and VERY disabling as SSDI will agree. To see in print such misinformation as is given out by this doctor is very distressing as it could leave those with very real problems without the proper medical attention. This doctor should seek another career!"
"This article is absolutely insulting. I spent years trying to convince myself that I do not have "a condition". I do not want to be medicalized. But I have done everything recommended by the medical world to "get over it", including regular exercise, reducing stress, a regular bedtime, and changing my diet. For someone that truly has Fibromyalgia, there is no way to "get over it", there are only ways to "get through it". I do what I can to get through each day and try and live a normal life. I am educated, a counselor, a sunday school teacher, a mother. By no means is Fibromyalgia a lifestyle. My prayer is that doctors who do not believe in this condition will come to realize it is real so they can help the people wh are depending on them."
"Well now, aren't you cute? I am so relieved to know that, as a mis-diagnosed fibromyalgia patient, all I have to do is reduce stress and get some sleep. Now why hasn't someone mentioned that to me before? But hey, I am so pleased to read that I am ahead of the game, because I already have a "positive and meaningful focus to life" and I get "regular physical activity." ... I feel sure that you have done years of in-depth studies involving hundreds of mis-guided FM patients to come to these conclusions, right? Of course. You would never carelessly state these things because you and Dr. What's-His-Name--Hadler?--have decided that we are all unhappy, depressed, and under too much stress. I have always said that I would not wish fibromyalgia on my worst enemy, but I've just changed my mind. I think that you might need to suffer from this unfortunate ailment for just a little while--maybe a month or three--to clear up your ignorance. Then you can get over it.""
"So glad you appreciate the dialogue now will you please sign off. You are one of those people that every time you open up your mouth you show how much you don't know and your mouth is full of your own stuff."
"I am a nurse that has seen knots appear on pts that are suffering with fibromyalgia. The pain is real and people suffer... People are sad because they are suffering...not the opposite."
"I cannot believe this article ... really I can't... How could you rule out a cause for people with fibromyalgia -- and say "get over it". I am sure everyone who has it would love to find the trigger - and it's not as easy as sleep and stress reduction and a positive attitude."
"Well wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all "just get over it". Drs like you are one of the reasons so many of continue to suffer with this awful condition. Like high blood pressure, diabetes, or depression (chemical inbalance), or a host of other illnesses. They cannot be wished away."
"I hate to say it but sometimes I wish people who have this opinion regarding the suffering of others, would someday get to experience the fatigue, reduce cognative ability, pain and the disregard for litteraly having major parts of life taken away. I bet you'd be stressed too if you lived in a foggy world of pain and sleep deprivation. It is especially disturbing educated person who takes an oath to help people, is doing so much harm. I really wouldn't wish this on anyone. I'm disappointed that this site would even would have a member with such an opinion. It makes me question the information you provide.
One more post on the doctor's responses to the comments to his blog post should wrap this series up.
On a lighter note...
I'm apparently a yellow crayon. What color are you?
|You Are a Yellow Crayon|
Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.
You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.
Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.
While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.
Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.