Oh, the statement that strikes fear into the heart of doctors and nurses everywhere.
Look, at face value this seems like a relatively innocuous statement. People with chronic illnesses are in tune with when something bad is on the horizon before it's immediately evident to everyone else. I know when my asthma is getting bad before I start to wheeze. One of my fellow nurses who suffers from lupus can feel when she's about to have a flare. It comes with the territory of having a chronic problem.
That being said, people like this are not the ones who utter "I know my body" to ER staff. But who does? Hold on, let me go get my graph:
Obviously this is now the time that every butthurt person who has been un- or mis-diagnosed since medicine was invented is going to come out of the woodwork and tell me what an asshole I'm being, but listen. There is a whole other world of people that those who don't work in crazy town everyday do not even know about. And I can say this as someone who used to not work in crazy town- I had no idea these people were out there before I started working in the ER.
I'm talking about the people who come into the ER on a semi regular basis with the same vague complaint who receive a negative workup each time. Sometimes they get pain medicine, but every time they get pissed off because we can't find anything. We refer them to specialists, who they sometimes see; other times, they just keep coming back to us and getting angry when the same limited tests we can show the same thing (nothing). You know you're really screwed when these folks visit the specialist we referred them to, only to be told nothing is wrong, and then they come back to us for answers.
You can explain the tests results and the necessity for follow up until you are blue in the face, but there's always the one comeback that you can't address- "I know my body! Somethings going on and you guys are missing it!" Sometimes, people want to be admitted to the hospital for "I know my body", because somehow sleeping on the hospital grounds will somehow lead to answers that the extensive tests run today did not reveal.
It frustrates me not to know what the problem is, too. The fact is, there are several illness for which there is no positive test. There is also not a positive test for attention seeking, narcotic seeking, hypochondria or straight up craziness. Unfortunately, regardless of the true cause, this means a referral and further investigation is in order. Dramatically throwing your discharge papers on the ground and shaking your head while screaming "but I know my body" does not change this fact.