Dorothy: Dr. Budd?
Dr. Budd: Yes?
Dorothy: You probably don’t remember me, but you told me I wasn’t sick. Do you remember? You told me I was just getting old.
Dr. Budd: I’m sorry, I really don’t–
Dorothy: Remember. Maybe you’re getting old. That’s a little joke. Well, I tell you, Dr. Budd, I really am sick. I have chronic fatigue syndrome. That is a real illness. You can check with the Center for Disease Control.
Dr. Budd: Huh. Well, I’m sorry about that.
Dorothy: Well, I’m glad! At least I know I have something.
Dr. Budd: I’m sure. Well, nice seeing you.
Dorothy: Not so fast. There are some things I have to say. There are a lot of things that I have to say. Words can’t express what I have to say. [tearing up] What I went through, what you put me through—I can’t do this in a restaurant.
Dr. Budd: Good!
Dorothy: But I will!
Dr. Budd’s date: Louis, who is this person?
Dr. Budd: Look, Miss–
Dorothy: Sit. I sat for you long enough. Dr. Budd, I came to you sick—sick and scared—and you dismissed me. You didn’t have the answer, and instead of saying “I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with you,” you made me feel crazy, like I had made it all up. You dismissed me! You made me feel like a child, a fool, a neurotic who was wasting your precious time. Is that your caring profession? Is that healing? No one deserves that kind of treatment, Dr. Budd, no one. I suspect had I been a man, I might have been taken a bit more seriously, and not told to go to a hairdresser.
Dr. Budd: Look, I am not going to sit here anymore–
Dr. Budd’s date: Shut up, Louis.
Dorothy: I don’t know where you doctors lose your humanity, but you lose it. You know, if all of you, at the beginning of your careers, could get very sick and very scared for a while, you’d probably learn more from that than anything else. You’d better start listening to your patients. They need to be heard. They need caring. They need compassion. They need attending to. You know, someday, Dr. Budd, you’re gonna be on the other side of the table, and as angry as I am, and as angry as I always will be, I still wish you a better doctor than you were to me.
My response on tumblr:
Still amazing. My diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at age 30 after 21 years (or more, in retrospect when discussing my medical history with my diagnosing neurologist) of symptoms and being told it was all in my head (well, yes, it is a disease of the nervous system) was a HUGE relief because now I knew that not everyone felt like this and I was not useless because I just could not cope. IT WAS REAL. I identify with this monologue COMPLETELY. She speaks for me.