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When medical test results come back normal

It might not make much sense to most people, but when medical test results come back normal, it’s not always a time to celebrate. Let me explain.

when medical test results come back normal
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I recently had a barium swallow, a medical test because I have the feeling of something in my throat. I often choke and it can be very painful, I even struggle to swallow at all at times. I’ve been trying to find out what it is for a while with every test coming back normal, I’ve been hopeful for the barium test.

However, I just got a letter back saying the consultant is very pleased to tell me there is nothing wrong and I’ve been discharged…

Now, for people who are not chronically sick this probably sounds like a good thing, there is nothing wrong the doctor is so happy they have discharged me. But now I’m left with the same symptoms I just shared with you and no answers.

Once you are discharged, you have to go back to your GP who will also be happy that the test results were normal. Leaving me having to fight and push to get some help, still struggling with pain and choking and struggling to swallow.

Having to fight over and over again to be seen and to have some help is exhausting and something I and many like me are tired of. Many doctors don’t believe in us, and thing we are either hypochondriacs or faking like I talked about in my recent YouTube video.

The fact is that so many of us suffer with symptoms that we never talk about, things we know they won’t help us with. I often find myself ignoring symptoms or listing them in my head as to severity, which are going to be received well or just which I can’t live with before making an appointment.

Getting back results that are normal to me means struggling, not being able to sleep because of struggling to swallow. It means once again being left to try and live with symptoms that aren’t believed or seen as trivial.

In the past, when I was a nurse and well, I honestly thought getting negative results was a good thing. I’m sure this doctor and the others I’ve seen in the past, think so too and are just doing their best, but to me it says something else.

Maybe the scanners aren’t good enough yet, the tests don’t see enough, or that the ways they practice don’t think about the symptoms that are still present and being ignored. Modern medicine is still young, it’s come a long way in the last hundred years, but it doesn’t know everything.

The NHS is run like a business, patients hurried through the system quickly and many tests and results not offered because of money. I know our government sees the disabled as a drain and would love to find a way to get rid of us. So, it makes sense that the system is happy when our tests come back negative, and we are discharged.

I know this might sound paranoid or bitter, but I’ve been struggling to be taken seriously for twenty years. I was ignored until one morning my legs were numb, I was rushed to hospital and after scans and tests told I had multiple sclerosis. Then after taking medications for that for a few years a new test showed, I didn’t have that illness and I was back fighting to be listened to and to get answers.

So, you see I’ve been here before and even when the test results show something it doesn’t mean they are right. Many chronically sick people will know this too, have been misdiagnosed or had illnesses missed.

I hope to find out what is wrong with my throat in the future somehow, but I wanted to try to explain why but when medical test results come back normal it’s not always a good thing.

Thank you xx

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  • Sue Jackson

    Ugh – I SO understand!! I spent a year when I first got ill getting hundred and hundreds of tests, all perfecctly normal, while I continued to suffer. It’s so frustrating. I know now with ME/CFS that there have been so many research studies definitely showing abnormalities, but most of those are complex and/or expensive tests not yet available in commercial labs. And I’m so very sorry you are suffering with this symptom that sounds very painful and unpleasant. I hope you get some relief soon.

    Live with ME/CFS

    • BeverleyButterfly

      Thank you honey, I think it is just something I need to live with, I suspect it is a problem with the mechanics of swallowing as I have had that before after a relapse. It is just frustrating constantly fighting to be heard when you know you are telling the truth, like screaming into the void!

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