Amanda Buschelman explained the medical gaslighting she received for her 'extreme pain' at the local hospital's emergency room.
We are all too familiar with how women are often misdiagnosed in the health sector. Some even spend years shuttling from doctor to doctor in quest of answers, only to discover that the problems that were misdiagnosed or ignored initially turned out to be fatal. TikTok user Amanda Buschelman recently posted a video that will no longer make you second-guess your next visit to the doctor. @amandabman shared her experiences with several doctors who did not believe her when she told them about her excruciating pain or her medical history. She also explained the medical gaslighting she received for her "extreme pain" at the local hospital's emergency room.
"In today’s episode of "Doctors Should Believe Women," she began, "I went to the doctor three weeks ago with extreme right side abdominal pain, and my doctor sent me to the emergency room with suspected appendicitis." When she was at the ER and took some tests, the first doctor she spoke to told her that she was not suffering from appendicitis but rather ovarian cysts. “I don’t have any ovaries and I haven’t had any for 10 years,” she explained to the doctor. But he did not believe her and started inquiring about her personal life and medical history. “Maybe you just had your uterus removed,” the doctor said. “No, no. I was there the day they did it,” she told him. “They definitely took both my ovaries that day 10 years ago, so what you’re saying: it’s not that.”
Since the doctor did not see any cause for worry, he sent her back, but Buschelman was still in chronic pain. She then looked into her online charting from her ER visit, only to see that the doctor listed her as "anxious presenting." I mean, what did the doctor expect? Are we supposed to frolic around at the hospital when in pain? Buschelman decided to forget about this and visit her primary care doctor, who insisted on sending her back to the ER. Another doctor who examined Buscelman diagnosed her with ovarian cysts, but he also missed the part where she doesn't have any ovaries to have a cyst on. However, one doctor finally believed her and advised her to see her OB/GYN.
"Guess what," she says. "I had appendicitis the whole time, and I had my appendix taken out along with that little tumor that isn’t an ovary." Her video has amassed 2 million views, with her calling it "Ovarygate 2023." Buschelman also explained that the growth wasn't a tumor. She had endometriosis that "made its way in there" and caused "all kinds of problems." Her OB/GYN said that sometimes "things can be missed" by doctors. "The thing that confounds me is that where the tumor was is not where the ovaries are," her OB/GYN told her. Not only did those doctors dismiss Buschelman's pain, but they also had the nerve to question her medical history, even though the "cyst" they said was within her wasn't even situated where ovaries are naturally found in the human body.
Like this story, the Katz Institute for Women’s Health has seen an increase in cases of “Gaslighting” in the health industry. “We should also keep in mind that while some gaslighting is done consciously, a lot of it happens unconsciously, too. A triage nurse may not deliberately tell a woman who comes to the ER complaining of chest pain that it’s all in her head, but she may notice that she’s very anxious and subconsciously make that assumption. That’s what makes this so hard to address,” said Jennifer Hermina Mieres, MD, at the Katz Institute for Women’s Health.