Ellen: I don't know about you, but I had to go to about 26 before I finally landed on one. It was a rheumatologist, and he told me that I had fibromyalgia. And I tell you, it was like you said one time, the happiest day of my life, because I had something concrete. It wasn't that I was crazy. I mean, all these doctors kind of treated me like, "Well now dear, you can go home and rest," and "it's just stress" and over and over and over and over again. So that was one of the best times, and there are wonderful doctors, and they're all good.
Abby: You know, I think for all of us, for those of us who've had chronic pain for a long time -- and what do we have, about 50 years between?
Ellen: Oh, more than that, more than that. I got 25 right here.
Abby: I think every one of us will have a medical horror story, but I consider myself enormously fortunate to have come across truly extraordinary doctors who care very much about their patients and are also medically skilled. And without a number of these people, I couldn't even be sitting here today.
Cindy: I mean, I know it took me five years to find a doctor who could help me and could be understanding about my pain.
Mike: That's true in any field.
Ellen: It used to be -- I think it's getting better, but still ... to me, it's the validation which was the most important thing for me. That somebody listened, and somebody validated. And again, the support groups that are run by people in chronic pain like us, and are attended by us are very wonderful. Because they will -- again, validate where we're coming from, as well as share the resources of where there's a center, where there's a doctor that's compassionate. So that really helps.
Abby: And will really help to do what this excellent advice I got is, to learn to manage your own disease.
Ellen: Yeah because that's our job! That's our job.