Selling Snake Oil? No Thanks.

dry animal gift dangerous

{Find a typo and I’ll gift you a snake charmer.}

I “auditioned” a cognitive behavioral psychologist last week and finished my appointment feeling hopeful and happy. I so wanted to believe in him, and in the thing he said that I knew deep down couldn’t be true: That he once helped a patient “cure fibro.”

This week I canceled all follow-up appointments. I needed a few days to come down from the high of meeting someone who believed he could truly fix me via the pain in the brain aspect of fibromyalgia.

He was the 3rd therapist I’ve tried in the past year. I am so disappointed that I now need to do more psych auditions.

This doctor was very likable and is the gender and approximate age I’d envisioned for this new attempt at feeling better. I am a studious spoonie with marvelous fibro “bio-hacking” friends. They help me with the science aspect of fibro while I tend to connect with its emotional side. I’m proudly “abstract-random,” and very right-brained!

Though I took time to think it over, I knew from the moment he said he could cure me that I could not work with him at all.

I didn’t immediately tell Husband some of the things the doctor said because I knew what he would say: “Bullshit! Don’t waste the time and money!” I tell him most everything (aside from some of my inner dialogue, friends’ secrets: healthy things along those lines). If I avoid telling him something, it’s because I know what he’ll say, and I know he’ll be right.

We spoonies each have different treatment preferences; views on meds and supplements; Eastern vs. Western preference; and religious aides, or not. However, with so many out of pocket costs or high insurance payments, we share many commonalities. Like, we don’t have funds or fibro fatigue energy to waste on doctors selling snake oil, the old-fashioned term for off-loading what boils down to false hope.

Here’s the worst of the snake oil I paid almost $200 bucks for last week. My fangs are flickering, ready to strike, enraged as I write this:

-“I cured a fibro patient. I’m not going to tell you how right now. But I will tell you when I think you’re ready.” Creepy, right?

-“Are you red and swelling? No? See, fibro is not inflammation, it’s in the brain.” Oh really doctor? I have saved at least 100 articles which immediately disprove you. A little behind in your medical reading much? And hey, if that’s the case why am I on prescription and supplement anti-inflammatories up the wazoo?

-“I’ve worked with Sickle Cell Anemia patients…now THAT’s pain.” How disgusting to compare or disparage others’ pain. Ignorant. Idiotic. Cruel. That’s like telling someone to get over mourning a loved and lost one, or comparing subject A’s depression to subject B’s! Psych 101, yo.

In the future, at the first sign of a snake oil seller, be it a doctor or bystander,  I’ll get up and leave the room or building. During this appointment I smiled along but was actually in shock as I began to tick off in my head the myriad ways it’s hard to live with invisible illnesses.

Shame on you, doctor. Swish swishHiss hiss. 

Spoonies are stronger together. With our collective strength we can educate doctors on the latest research; be our own best advocates; and stop snake oil sellers in their tracks. I can’t wait to advocate for fibro in D.C. in September with Support Fibro! It will be my 3rd trip there as an advocate, for various causes, over the last 20 years. Why yes, that shows my age, I am indeed 40 and over…I turn 41 next month!

Love, peace and empathy to all of you who have had similar experiences. Please share in comments, FB, Insta, or in a DM if you’d like.




5 thoughts on “Selling Snake Oil? No Thanks.

  1. “I’ve worked with Sickle Cell Anemia patients…now THAT’s pain.” – simply translated as “you don’t know what bad pain is.”
    What a horrible attitude. Yes, run out of that office as fast as possible.


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