The following is taken from James David Chapman’s page and is entitled: “The M.E. Argument Clinic.” It is a go-round conversation, and exemplifies some of the frustrations M.E. patients experience when trying to get a diagnosis at the doctor’s office.
Michael: Hello, I'd like to have a diagnosis please. Receptionist: Certainly Sir. Second door on the right. Michael: Thank you!
Michael: Hello, I've come here for a diagnosis. Graham: Your type make me sick!!! Michael: W-what? Graham: You feckless, work-shy, boil on the bottom of society, you... Michael: Wait! I came in here for a diagnosis! Graham: Oh, that's the next-door down. This is medical abuse. Michael: Sorry, thank you. Graham: Not at all! ..Lazy git.
Michael: Hello I've come here for a diagnosis. John: I've diagnosed you once. Michael: No you haven't. John: Yes I have. Michael: When? John: Just now. You're not ill. Michael: Yes I am! John: No you're not. Michael: Yes I am! John: No you're not. Michael: This is not a diagnosis; this is just contradiction! John: Medical Science demands that I take a sceptical view... Michael: No it doesn't! John: Yes it does. Michael: No it doesn't! John: Yes it does... By the way do you want the five minute diagnosis or the full PACE trial? Michael: What's the difference? John: About 5 million pounds. Michael: I'll have the five-minute diagnosis please! [Hands over ten pound note] John: Good. Michael: You were about to diagnose me! John: Ah. It's good news: There's nothing physically wrong with you. Thank you! Good Day! [Pockets ten pound note] Michael: Now hold on a minute! John: [Looks up] Waiting around won't help you one bit. Have you tried going out and exercising more? Michael: Exercise!? Exercise intolerance is my primary symptom! Exercise makes me ill! John: No it doesn't. Exercise makes you well! Michael: You're just saying the opposite of my symptoms! John: No. I am most definitely not just saying the opposite of your symptoms. And to be honest I am a little hurt by the accusation. [John looks sad] Michael: Well, I'm sorry, but... John: No problem! We all just want you to be well. Perhaps you should modify your behaviour? Michael: Why? John: To address your aberrant belief that you need a diagnosis! Michael: But I do need a diagnosis! John: You see? Michael: But what about my blood tests!? John: Yes, absolutely; Your blood tests show that you *had* a virus. But it may well have gone now: We call this a "trigger". Michael: But they were taken last week! They show I am physically ill! John: You don't think the mind and body are connected in any way? Michael: Well of course they are! John: Exactly. And remember mental illness is just as important as any other form of illness. Now tell me: How long have you had these "feelings" of being ill? Michael: I do not "feel" ill! John: Fantastic! I am glad to hear it! Michael: I don't think you're taking M.E. very seriously. John: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a very serious condition. I do my very best to try to diagnose patients. Perhaps that's why I was recently honoured. Michael: But you DON'T diagnose us!!! John: I understand that it may be hard to live with "feelings of illness" for many years, however taking your extreme frustration out on those who try help doesn't do anyone any good. Michael: ALL I WANT IS FOR YOU TO DIAGNOSE... John: I'm sorry I'm retired. Michael: What???!!! John: CFS was simply too difficult and stressful a field to work in; I'll be surprised if anyone else dares to diagnose you. Especially after your very difficult behaviour. Michael: But you didn't diagnose me! John: Yes I did. Michael: No you didn't; you only contradicted me! John: No I didn't. Michael: Yes you did! John: No I didn't! Michael: Yes you did ...and you did it again just then! John: No I didn't. Let me explain: I am diagnosing you. Michael: Ahhh! But if you're retired, then why are you still diagnosing me? Got you! You can't have retired because if you had you wouldn't still be diagnosing me now! John: Not necessarily. I could just be diagnosing you in my spare time. Michael: Now listen! I've come here for a diagnosis! John: I've diagnosed you once... Michael: No you haven't! John: Yes I have. Etc.