After reading this thread about fibromyalgia, I’m once again wondering whether I should tell doctors that I used to have chronic fatigue syndrome. (I got sick on January 5, 2005, and gradually got better starting maybe ten to twelve months later, and have been essentially well for the last eighteen months.) Like fibromyalgia, CFS is something of a ‘wastebasket syndrome,’ a diagnosis given to annoying patients so that they’ll go away. I have the sense that a doctor who’s never seen me before immediately gets a bit more skeptical of me when I mention it, although they usually don’t say anything about it. (Six months ago, a doctor told me of his epiphany that led him to realize that CFS wasn’t actually the fake thing he’d always thought it was, but that’s unusual.) I’m always conflicted about whether to tell medical professionals about it at all - on the one hand, I try to give over a complete medical history, but on the other hand, I think that it starts our relationship off on the wrong foot and is probably not really clinically relevant to whatever I’m at the doctor for (my annual gyn checkup or eye exam, shots before going abroad, etc.) Medical types, is it important that I mention my CFS, or can I safely leave it out?
Mention it. It’s an important piece of data about your health history.
Keep it as factual as you can. For instance (if it applies to your case): “I felt like hell for a year. I had a bunch of tests, they told me I had CFS. I got better”.
If you get judged on it, you know it’s time to find another doctor.
Sometimes I think the patient perception of the doctor’s perception is a factor. My current doc gives the impression sometimes that he requires confirmation that the sky is still blue. He seems quite skeptical of everything, but he’s also delivered medical care efficiently, referred me to specialists as appropriate, seems quite aware of financial obstacles to the uninsured, and took me at my word when I said my recent skin infection really did need to be seen that day. I now suspect that his air of skepticism is “symptom” of his trying to view problems objectively and logically.
Although I do like Qadgop’s way of phrasing the situation.