Table 3.: Exemplar perceptions - related to pain and the health care experience.

“:… the first day I went to him, he saw the state I was in … he check all my fingers, and my feet, and my knee was swollen up so much and everything, and all he said was you have rheumatoid arthritis and he had known what I had right there.” (Black RA)
“..I had a devil of a time convincing people that you know something was physically wrong with me. And because they gave me all kinds of x-rays and tests and they never could find anything with this pain thing...” (Black FM)
“I mean you know just like I told you it’s hard to get your family to understand, your employers…you go to work everyday even though you’re in pain. Nobody knows you’re in pain.” (White-FM)
“…it took them a year to diagnose what was wrong with me because they said I had sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis because all my lab tests were normal. All my x-rays were normal…. And for a year, they treated me as if I was drug seeking. And wouldn’t give me anything… And I finally I told him {my doctor} I said I’m sorry I’m not deformed for you. I’m sorry the lab tests are not abnormal for you..” (White FM)
“I just don’t know where to go and I’m really, like the rheumatologist, he didn’t give me a whole bunch to go on…. I don’t think that a lot’s being done to help me get better but just to make the pain go away.”(Black-FM)
“Society thinks that it’s all in your mind…Honey, I’ve been trying to get disability for 10 years now, and nothing. I have had appeals, I’ve been before a judge and the first thing he asked me had I had surgery and he denied me…And it blew my mind…I mean you know how hurtful is that?” (Black-FM)