Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rheumatologist

A word that over the years has brought on anxiety whenever I think of it.

I can't remember how many of them I have seen over the years. Either due to moves or due to the fact they were ....  I'm trying to find the words to put this nicely. 

Lets just say they were rude, did not listen, did not examine me and really needed an education in empathy.

This past week I read an article circulating the web on a Rheumatologist, who I will not name. I feel he has had enough publicity already.

I was appalled, sickened, but most of all saddened for the patient he was talking about and the rest of the patients unfortunate enough to be under his care. 

He spoke about charging this patient more because it was a lengthy appointment.  He accused the patient of "whining"

I can't imagine anyone who lives with the fatigue and pain of this disease, on a daily basis. Walking into a doctors office anywhere. Saying everything is rainbows and sunshine.
I imagine we would all be whiners to this doctor.


This month, I finally made an appointment to see the new Rheumatologist in our area. Previous to that I had travelled four and a half hours to see one. Since the surgery on my leg, I haven't been comfortable to travel that distance so I have not seen one.

I had anxiety and it took me two months of thinking about it, and talking to my family doctor, about him to make the appointment.

I got in two days later, I was shocked. I thought it would take several weeks to get in.

I couldn't sleep the night before and was nervous all the way to the appointment.  We had been to the clinic before. I had seen a rheumatologist there before. It wasn't a pleasant experience. That doctor is no longer there.

The staff there were pleasant. I waited about five minutes before the nurse took me back, she was very nice also.

She left the room, and I sat there anxious waiting for the doctor to come in.

He entered the room, smiling and shook my hand gently. He said he doesn't shake hands firmly he knows it hurts. That put me at ease. 

He started to ask me some questions and noticed I kept looking at notes. I had brought along notes from previous doctors visits in the event he might look at them.

He happily took them, looked over them, said these are great! Then he began to examine me.

He looked at my hands. I said too bad this wasn't yesterday they were hot and swollen. He said don't worry about that I don't go by that.

We went over everything I have been on, and decided to try something different to see if it helps. 

He ordered blood work, and I see him again in two months unless something comes up.

I left feeling optimistic. I haven't felt that in a while after a Rheumatology appointment and that's a sad fact for a lot of patients.

It shouldn't be that way and something somewhere needs to change.

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