Yesterday was a very emotional and trying day for me, I feel that my frustration was probably shown very clearly in yesterday’s post, but I wanted to write another post today.
It’s quite hard to take everything in when you are at a doctors appointment and I still find it hard understand everything that has happened even after the appointment. That is partly because so many things happen in an appointment, partly because I was so worked up about the things that went on in the appointment and partly because I am really, really sleep deprived and so I think it’s good to reflect on how the appointment went after you have calmed down a bit, and gotten the most extreme emotions out.
So thinking back to yesterday, I try and work out how it could have gone better. Well I think my first mistake was that I didn’t slow down at all. I had an hour and a half exam in the morning and then I went straight from the exam into my doctors appointment. Unfortunately, I couldn’t just avoid an exam but I could have taken 5 minutes to read through what I wanted to discuss with my doctor and just to calm my nerves a bit.
The next thing I thought about was what was actually said in my appointment… I initially didn’t really think anything that useful was said in the appointment because my doctor doesn’t say an awful lot of things aloud, she either writes them down or keeps them locked away in her head. I thought that the best way around this was to ask direct questions but I ended up getting vague answers, I asked open questions and I got vague answers. Basically the majority of the things my doctor said was vague. But I did find out that I am HLA-B27 negative, and I did find out that my inflammation markers are either within normal range or slightly low. That’s interesting. I also found out that my MRIs have shown no inflammation which is also interesting. Although none of this makes any sense to me right now, I’m sure that in the future
I will know what this means. [Note: I do know what having normal inflammatory markers etc means, what I am trying to say is that I don't know what they mean in my case. Everyone is different!]
One of the most difficult things about my doctor is that I can’t understand her. During my examination she asked if things hurt which they did but she didn’t say anything about that. I told her that my ligaments has been bad, she didn’t say anything about that either, but she did give them a good prodding so she did listen, she just didn’t acknowledge what I said in any kind of obvious way. Facial expressions are usually quite helpful when you are having “read” a person but my rheumatologist has no facial expression! It’s like speaking to a brick wall, she never smiles, she never frowns, she never portrays any emotion. Unlike a lot of health care professionals I have spoken to, I have no idea what she is thinking, she doesn’t let on one single bit!
Although I came out if my appointment thinking that I hadn’t gotten any further with anything I have found that my doctor hasn’t given up on me just yet. She has told me to come back when I am flaring, and she is going to try and work out a plan of action based on my latest bloods. I came out of that appointment feeling useless and horrible, and that wasn’t the doctors fault, it was because I had built myself up to such a frenzy before going in and it was because I was expecting the impossible. That was daft, and I should know better but I am feeling much more confident now that I know exactly has gone on in my appointment and my emotions aren’t clouding my understanding. I will admit to having a good cry last night but I feel so much better for it! This is the most positive I have been about my joints in a long time.
My physio didn’t phone me last night like she said she would but that hasn’t really upset me. It’s given me longer to think about what is going to happen. I AM getting hydrotherapy which I fully believe will help significantly. I AM getting new insoles soon, so
I can speak to that physio about the issues with my feet, toes and ankles and hopefully get some answers about that then. And although I didn’t manage to get an NSAID out of my Rheumy (I don’t actually know if she knows I haven’t taken Indometacin in over a year) I know that I can go to my GP and get one.
My appointment absolutely crushed me yesterday but thinking about it today, I feel like I do have a chance and it was just one of those horrible days that I can put behind me now.