- Lois Walker said she made 20 calls and multiple emergency room visits due to pain, swelling and bowel issues.
- Doctors told her she had health problems, even when her pregnancy became so painful that she threatened to kill herself.
- During a caesarean section, doctors discovered tumors in several organs. She does not know how long she will live.
When Lois Walker started having strange toilet habits and a bloated belly in June 2020, doctors suspected irritable bowel syndrome.
When her symptoms worsened, the 37-year-old British mother said her GP thought it was ‘health-related anxiety’ and put her on anti-anxiety medication, according to several media reports via British media group SWNS.
Even when she asked her doctor if it could be cancer, due to her history of skin cancer, he dismissed her symptoms as age-related, she said.
It took 20 calls to her doctor, multiple ER visits and an agonizing pregnancy that led to a C-section more than a year after her symptoms began for Walker, now a mother of three, to learn she has a incurable stage 4 cancer. She is now speaking out against the UK healthcare system and urging doctors to believe patients’ pain.
“If there’s just one doctor reading this and thinking ‘we need to do better’, that’s all I want,” she said. told the BBC. “I wouldn’t want anyone going through what I’m going through.”
Walker’s pregnancy was so painful she told doctors she would kill herself and her unborn baby
Walker’s extreme symptoms during pregnancy did not prompt further investigation until it was too late, she said.
At about 14 weeks pregnant, she said she couldn’t walk or eat because of the pain. It only got worse.
Nine months pregnant, she said she weighed the same as before the pregnancy, but doctors weren’t worried.
“Then the straw that broke the camel’s back was when they had to involve the mental health team because I said it got to the point where I would have to end both of our lives, and I’m ashamed to say it,” she said, SWNS reported. Walker was hospitalized and given morphine, but the cause of her symptoms was not explored.
Finally, after pushing her doctor further, clinicians found a mass behind her uterus, which led to a cesarean section in September 2021, she said. There they found tumors in her ovaries, abdomen and lymph nodes. The cancer had also spread to his intestines and liver.
“They just said, basically, my abdomen was so sick they had to send biopsies, and I had to wait. But I knew it anyway,” Walker said. “The doctor actually grabbed my hand and he cried, and he actually said he would let me down.”
Walker underwent chemotherapy and operations, including a hysterectomy. It also provides for a double mastectomy, according to a fundraising page launched by his sister. The family regards the baby, Ray, as a miracle.
“It’s been really, really difficult,” Walker told the BBC. “I didn’t want to get attached to him, but he is my sunshine. My children are my reason for being. I want to focus on making memories. If love could save me, I would never die .”
Young women more likely to fall victim to ‘medical gaslighting’
Research shows that women are more often victims of medical gas lightingor when medical professionals ignore a person’s symptoms, refuse tests or treatments, and end up misdiagnosing them.
More and more are speaking out. It took five months and seven doctor’s appointments for 23-year-old Chloe Girardier to develop a persistent cough and weightloss to be taken seriously, The sun reported. She had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a rare cancer that forced her to undergo intensive chemotherapy.
Amanda Lee, a 28-year-old actress and wedding photographer, said her doctor called her stomach pains “not too bad” because they were causing
Health today. She was later diagnosed with stage 3A colon cancer.according
Georgia Ford, 20, said her pain, spasms, vomiting and weight loss were dismissed as “all in her head”. She had stage 4 kidney cancer.
Women “are not believed, leading to significant delays in care, misdiagnosis, late diagnoses, ineffective treatments, and ineffective triage,” Dr Garima Sharma, an internal medicine physician and cardiologist at Johns Hopkins previously told Insider. “Women pay a very heavy price.”
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