Today marks a year since I last saw my rheumatologist. Now for most, that would probably mean that you are in remission or your symptoms are controlled enough that you don’t actually need to see your Rheumy often, which is good! But for others, like me it means that you have probably been forgotten about.
It is my responsibility, as the patient, to manage my own health care, to set up appointments and to ask for help when I need it, but I’ve always been quite hesitant when it comes to my Rheumy because I am certainly not the sickest patient she has and because there has never been any evidence, (that my Rheumy has seen apart from me having the Rheumatoid Factor and pain) that I am actually ill.
But again that is partly my fault because I refuse to go to the doctors unless I really need to. When my knee swells up, or my ankle swells up, I take a picture but it isn’t the same as actually showing my Rheumy.
I also find it quite distressing, that all I have heard from my Rheumy this whole year was 2 lines summing up my scans and blood tests, no sign of the physio she promised to refer me too and the only reason I got the NSAIDs that I was prescribed was because of my physiotherapist chasing my Rheumy up.
I always have qualms about bothering health care professionals with my ailments because there is always going to be someone who needs to see them more, or at least that I my excuse for avoiding them, but when it comes to my health, and my life, I need to start focusing on myself, so I can get the best treatment I can.
Fortunately for me, I have a physiotherapy appointment on Monday, so I can show her the pictures of my joints (unless they are swollen when I see her) and I can show her the colour changes to my hands when they get cold, and hopefully she will at least forward the pictures onto my Rheumy. I am not afraid of hard work, and trying to get people to listen, but I find that my Rheumy listens a lot more to my Physio than she does to me, and so it would be easier for me, if she can hear about what has been going on from another health care professional so I can expand on the things she knows, providing I get an appointment.