A Woman Who Was Ignored by Doctors for 2 Years Sparks a Debate on Medical Gaslighting

6 months ago

Sam Hart is a TikTok influencer who’s recently brought up a problem that many women may be concerned about. Her viral video collected over 5 million views and over 15,000 comments. Hart shared how she was dismissed by her doctors for a long time, with all of them telling her only one thing: to lose weight. And in the long run, the woman turned out to have a serious health condition that no one paid attention to.

Sam Hart turned to social media to expose a problem that is relatable for many women.

Nowadays, it’s not so easy for women to be heard when it comes to medical treatment. There’s even a study, conducted by Anne Matheson, that proves we all need a change to avoid further inequality. She explains that current systems build their diagnostic approaches based on men rather than women. And this leads to many women feeling dismissed for their medical concerns.

Sam Hart, who goes under the nickname @thesam_show on TikTok, felt ignored while turning to many doctors when she felt something was wrong with her. The woman talked about her experience in her TikTok clip and turned out to drop a real bombshell, as the reactions were massive.

The woman’s journey through the healthcare system began a long time ago.

Sam Hart expressed her frustration with the caption of her clip, “One day I will let this go!” The woman began her story by revealing how all of this torture started for her 2 years ago. During this time, the woman visited many doctors, hoping for some help, but instead, all of them provided her with only one piece of advice: to lose weight.

It seemed like every problem that a woman faces has something to do with how many pounds she weighs. The fact that doctors were so obsessed with her weight both frustrated and disturbed Hart. The woman insisted that from the very start, the doctors should have treated her seriously when she came for her first appointment and said she had some alarming symptoms. At that time, Hart complained that she felt tired all the time and something seemed wrong with her.

Hart felt desperate because no one wanted to listen.

Hart continues in the clip, saying that she tried very hard to explain her state to doctors. She told them it wasn’t just some ordinary sleepiness, but she felt an excessive urge to sleep all the time. But even after listening to her concerns, all the doctors still preferred to focus on her weight. Even when she told them that her foot got numb, the symptom was completely ignored and not taken seriously. Hart even wanted to check her fertility because of her genetic predisposition, but the doctors insisted she simply had anxiety.

In her turn, Hart accepted that she might want to consider losing a few pounds, but the woman was very sure that the debilitating exhaustion she was feeling all the time wasn’t because of excessive weight. The whole thing turned out to be so devastating for the woman that she had to go sit in her car and cry for a while.

In the meantime, the situation was getting even worse.

Sometime after, Hart’s condition started to get worse. It went to such an extent that the woman was not able to perform her work duties. She went to the doctor again and asked them to test her for mono, which came back negative. So instead of getting any help from the doctors, Hart literally had to think on her own about what was actually wrong with her.

Her frustration became even stronger at her OB-GYN. Hart told the doctor that she was tired all the time to the point where it felt like something was wrong, and, again, she was shocked by the doctor’s reply. She said, “Oh honey, it’s very normal to feel super tired all the time; your body is changing.” This reply was obviously blamed on her age.

All of this lasted for over 2 years, and only until recently, everything remained the same.

Hart finally got the right diagnosis, but it cost her.

One day, Hart realized that she needed a change. Her last visit to a doctor was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She realized that she just couldn’t keep seeking healthcare while being emotional. She then scheduled an appointment with a new doctor whom she met through her insurance, and from the first seconds of her visit, she immediately said to herself, “I don’t want to talk about my weight. I am so tired. There is something wrong and you need to trust me.”

Finally, the new doctor listened to her and prescribed her to do a sleep study. And it was a real game-changer for her, as it finally resulted in a correct diagnosis of sleep apnea. The reason Hart felt so exhausted all the time was that she was waking up to 50 times at night while sleeping because of breathlessness. All of this could have been discovered if any of her previous medical professionals just listened to her.

Thousands of people found Hart’s experience extremely relatable.

The woman’s clip amassed over 15,000 comments, and people were very emotional in the thread, sharing their own experiences. One user wrote, “Excessive daytime sleepiness is literally the number 1 symptom of sleep apnea. As a doctor, they should know this.” Another one added, “I got a sleep study done because of your TikTok! I have sleep apnea!”

People also supported the woman, saying, “I don’t understand the doctor’s weight comments. You are not fat. That’s insane!” Another user shared, “I had some doctors tell me it was weight. I don’t have sleep apnea. Turns out I had slow internal bleeding in my gut.”

Here are some tips on how to sleep healthily, as well as an explanation for how your sleeping positions can affect the way you feel.

Preview photo credit thesam_show / TikTok


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