Showing posts from March, 2014

Moving on

It has been exactly three weeks now since I've had a call returned from my Rheumatologist or his practice staff. At this point I can't even get test results from these people. These results were promised to be ready on March 7th. I could fully describe my frustration, but I've always believed that profanity is the lowest form of communication, so I'll pass. Suffice it to say I am thoroughly disgusted.

So - moving on.

I've made a new appointment with a different provider who comes highly recommended. Her practice is about twenty miles away but it will be worth the drive if she will just listen and work with me to devise a treatment plan. In the meantime, I will continue to take Plaquenil and manage my pain as best I can. It is certain that my current doctor isn't interested in helping to treat it.

Friday morning, I woke up with the "knuckles" of my big toes on each foot swollen and throbbing. My feet and ankles were puffy and creaky. My knees and hips …

What now?

I've been struggling with how to write this post for over a week now. I've written and deleted, written and deleted, and finally I decided just to say what's on my mind.

I am angry at my rheumatologist.

There. I said it. It took months to get in with this doctor and now neither he nor his nurse will return calls. I had another panel of blood-work done two weeks ago and they still haven't answered my request for results, even though they said the results would be available on the seventh of March. I had a steroid shot on March fifth, which was supposed to be repeated every two weeks, but my rheumatologist has decided that since it took a bit longer for the steroid shot to work - seventy-two hours rather than forty eight - my pain must not be related to my medical condition.

And that's just stupid, folks. It makes me want to scream and kick something, except I can't stand to kick anything, because my toes and feet hurt too much.

The last thing I wanted to do was …

Crow - or, I'll have mine served cold, please

In my last post, "Stalemate", I talked about my new treatment plan. Basically, I complained about it, because I was totally opposed to taking steroids. The first few days after the steroid were about par; nothing had changed and I felt that nothing would. I was impatient and I was - and am - tired of being in pain all the time. I was frustrated and felt that my doctor was not being aggressive enough in treating my RA.

Saturday came - three days after my steroid shot - and I still felt tired and out of sorts. I got up and did a little light cleaning, then went to work for an hour or so before completing the morning by picking up groceries. As usual, I was exhausted by the end of that trip, and so Saturday afternoon I just bummed around the house. I struggled up and down the stairs to do some laundry. At three pm, I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up in thirty minutes. Usually after I sleep on the sofa I'm stiff and have a lot of difficulty moving, but I noticed right awa…


I had my third rheumatology visit this week, and this visit was all about pain. In addition to getting a baseline on my joints and mobility, my doctor ordered another full set of bloodwork in order to gauge the effectiveness of the Plaquenil. But all that was sideline stuff to me. I was interested in talking about pain. How do I manage it? How do you treat it?

I am not happy with the answer I received. I presented my doctor with a month's worth of journal pages detailing daily pain levels. I told him how many times I'd had to go into work late or leave early due to pain. I described the really difficult days I've been having and asked about options for pain treatment. His answer was to take me off the anti-inflammatory I'd been taking and give me a steroid shot. I asked him what my other options were. He didn't offer any. So I took the steroid shot. The nurse asked me to call her in two days and tell them if my condition had improved. I said I would.

I was - and am…