Yet another adventure

03Apr09

Yesterday was another adventure at my new Rheumatologists. I swear, she had no recollection of my visit three months ago. That is understandable, but would it hurt to at least glance at my chart and my past RA paperwork before you walk in the exam room? She wants me to see a Podiatrist for my flat feet and for the node on my foot. She gave me some cream to put on the node and recommended a certain kind of pad to help manage the pain.  Despite having orthodics she also wanted me to get reevaluated for them. When I told her my pain meds are running out, she said she wasn’t comfortable prescribing pain meds for my type of situation. She said that she found no signs of active disease on my physical exam and felt that having a podiatrist treat my feet and using the treatment she prescribed would take care of the pain. I ended up getting with an argument with her. First of all, I have been sore and my blood work shows active disease – whether she finds it on my exam or not. Second, my feet pain is after usage and is a result of past damage. Third, I have had orthodics for over a year now and my feet still hurt after being on them for like a half an hour. Fourth, my last Rheumatologist prescribed me this med for about 5 years. I told her that there were certain things I wouldn’t do if I didn’t know that I had pain meds to help if I was sore the entire next day – like going to museums, going out for the day, going on vacation, etc. I told her I wanted to be able to be out in the world. I told her if she didn’t think that was right, then fine. Finally, she actually looked at my past records and agreed to give me a months worth and get x-rays of my feet to see if there really is damage. WTF? so if my x-rays don’t show what she wants then I must be making the pain up? I’m not asking for a million pills here. I’m fine with just having a few to know that I won’t be suffering if I have a bad day. What the hell is the problem? It just feels like a complete moral judgement. Does she think I want to be in pain to get meds? I would prefer not, thank you very much. This is the second time I’ve felt like her response has been less than empathetic to my condition. And it may be true that I am better off than most with my disease, but does that mean that it doesn’t bother me? She asked me why I was taking my diclofenac – an anti-inflammatory. Um, because I have pain, stiffness and soreness on a regular basis. That’s why.

When I was checking out, they wanted to make the podiatrist appointment right then and there. Apparently they couldn’t connect with the office so they asked if they could call me with an appointment. I agreed, although I figured I would most likely just have to reschedule because of my work schedule.

I was home sick today. I seem to have some sort of stomach bug, and got a call from their office. They had scheduled me an appointment for this coming Monday morning! I told them I was home from work and could in no way make a Monday morning appointment. The receptionist, who I know was just doing her job, said that the doctor had said the appointment was urgent and this was the first one she could get. I explained that I need time to arrange my work schedule and would prefer to make my own appointments. If I hadn’t been home today, I would have come home to a message about an appointment that I would have no opportunity to change or get time off for. It just seems like they have no sense of the fact that people have to work. I know that I have more medical issues than the average person, but I can’t just take three afternoons off in a week to go to the doctors. I need time to get my boss’ approval and I need to spread them out and make sure the office has coverage. I don’t understand how they can be so insensitive to that. I know that I’m probably over reacting right now. I miss my old Rheumatologist, who I loved, and feel anxious that I will end up being in debilitating pain and not have someone around who is supporting how I feel. I just can’t believe how some doctors are so business- like and don’t take into consideration what an emotional toll this disease takes.

Ok, I’m done raving. I just needed to get that out of my system. Now it is time to go and rest.

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