'I really wish doctors would take their time to listen to their patients,' she said. 'I was never even tested for the diagnosis I was given, let alone what I really have.'
A 23-year-old woman recently took to TikTok with yet another chilling example of the devastating effects of doctors dismissing women's pain. Melita Stutsman, who goes by @mjgamesalot on the platform, revealed in a video that's been viewed nearly 5 million times that she was misdiagnosed by multiple doctors over the course of a decade. "After 10 years of being misdiagnosed and what I would say is negligent care by different doctors, I finally have a diagnosis to a reoccurring problem I've been having. SPOILER ALERT: IT'S NOT GOOD," she says in the video.
Stutsman then went on to explain that it all began when she was 14 years old. "I had some discomfort one day. I told my mom, she took me to the doctor, who said, 'Oh, it's a UTI. We'll get you some antibiotics and it'll go away.' I took the antibiotics, it went away. That was that," she shares. "Fast-forward to when I'm 20, it came back. It came back but it came back so bad that it was uncomfortable when I walked. So, I went to an actual gynecologist this time. Gynecologist also said it's a UTI, 'It looks like you've had one before so we will just give you a stronger dose of antibiotics because you're saying this is worse.' I took the antibiotics, it went away, that was whatever. That was in October of 2018."
However, the issue resurfaced in a way more severe form earlier this year. "Let's skip to this March. So, I'm 23 now. In the span of 24 hours, my clitoris swelled to the size of a grape. It was causing me so much pain that I had to miss a day of work to go to the doctor because it was so bad. So she checked me out and said it was another UTI. She took a couple of swabs just to make sure there were no infections but said that it's probably just a really horrible UTI," Stutsman explains in the viral video. Although she was prescribed antibiotics once again, this time, they didn't work.
@mjgamesalot Dr. Google says y’all need to stop! #fyp #womenshealth #surgery #obgyn #gynecology ♬ original sound - MJ
"I took the first dose that night and while I was trying to sleep—with seven ibuprofen and an ice pack between my legs—with my knees propped up because nothing could be touching this thing and it was still the worst pain of my life... there's no easy way to say this, it ruptured," she revealed. "It ruptured. My clitoris. It ruptured. There was puss, there was blood, it was a whole thing. Amazingly enough though, after the initial pain, it felt so much better because all of that was off of what it was hurting. I finished off the antibiotics and I didn't think it was going to be a problem, but the lesion didn't go away where it ruptured."
"I called my doctor and left a voicemail—they never called me back. So, I called and got an appointment a couple of days ago with a different doctor. As it turns out, this whole time, I have had a cyst and it keeps getting infected. So now I have to have it removed," she concluded. Speaking to BuzzFeed, Stutsman said that being misdiagnosed for so many years has been beyond frustrating. "If they found the cyst before it ruptured, it would’ve been less of a daily struggle and more of a bad memory by now. I feel like doctors are taught to trust their books more than their patients. When you meet a new doctor, they’ll say, 'Let’s keep an eye on it.' But, deep down, you know it’s not normal and you shouldn’t have to wait any longer," she said.
@mjgamesalot I’m gonna go live to raise money for my surgery, but if everybody who followed me donated just 50 cents, this whole thing would be covered, and then some. #fyp #surgery #womenshealth ♬ original sound - MJ
She revealed that what she has on her clitoris is called an epidermoid inclusion cyst. "It's rare enough that my doctor needed a second doctor to confirm what they were seeing. It’s important I share my story so other women who may suffer the same fate know what to ask their doctor," Stutsman shared. "Thankfully, the surgery won’t affect the clit itself. The cyst is under the hood but not in the body of the clitoris. There is always a small risk in surgery, no matter what type, but this doctor who finally listened to me is giving me confidence that everything will be fine afterward."
Nice to see new attention into what has always been dismissed as “women’s problems,” in medicine & laws. Lack of medical research & the fallacy that we feel less pain than males, or that we should just bear it have not helped.— Rox...✍🏻🇺🇸🌻 🇺🇦🕊 (@2020eScribbles) June 2, 2022
"I really wish doctors would take their time to listen to their patients. When we mention family history, pain, something being abnormal, or having a problem that you can see with the naked eye, it's important to not just reach for your prescription pad," she added. "I was never even tested for the diagnosis I was given, let alone what I really have." Although it has been a painful and frustrating journey to get to this point, Stutsman says it has taught her a lot. "It's important we all know the names of different body parts so we can communicate better to our healthcare providers what's wrong and where," she said. "I wish we were taught this in school, not just for female bodies, but for males as well. I've been inspired to try to go into the medical field myself. I recently graduated with an associate's degree after majoring in nursing, but I want to continue college and become a midwife or a doula so I can help women."