To be honest, I had to look up the word “Rube” just to make sure that I really new what it meant before making a blog entry on it. On the inexperienced person part of the definition I would have to say that recently I would have fallen into that category. In my first post I discussed my newly found diagnoses and I wanted to elaborate on the inexperience that I had with the process and what the learning curve continues to teach me.
When I first started going to the doctor the initial reaction from the staff was that my complaints were vague. I didn’t really know how to explain my pain, and since my wrist was so swollen the first time I went to the doctor, they automatically assumed that I had hurt myself at work or fell. They wanted to just give me some Ibuprofen and send me on my way. The following week was different but the same reaction came from the doctors. The swelling in my wrist had gone down, but the pain was there, however, I had swelling in my knees to my ankles and my back and hips were the same. At this point I was moving around slow with a cane walking like an “old man.” Again I got the same response that my complaints were too vague and since I was obese already they just assumed that I didn’t have any swelling, so they sent me home without any further testing. It was a waste of time really!
The hardest part of the situation was that I had no insurance except coverage at the VA (Veterans Affairs), which is only valid at their facilities unless previously approved. I finally got an appointment slot with my primary doctor after 30 days of going through this unbearable pain. I had at least went to the emergency room twice a week trying to find answers for what was happening to me. At the point of my Primary care provider’s appointment, I had already been down graded to a wheel chair because I couldn’t move my legs and had a terrible time bending at the waist line.
My wife and I enter my provider’s office and you know the saying “first impressions says everything about a person,” well this guy had his office looking like a high-school child’s room. Files all over the place, snacks everywhere, and a computer in the mist of it all (which you could hardly see until he started typing notes). From the get-go my wife and I are wondering what kind of care if any was I going to receive.
My doctor started talking about a research study that he had seen when he was still in grad school and said “I bet this is what you have,” and at first he would elaborate on what he was talking about. Then eventually he said that their was this auto-immune disease that fits what I was describing, but a lot of doctors wouldn’t know where to look unless there were a rheumatologist. The first appointment ended with some tests ordered which included bloodwork and some X-Rays of my spine. He also decided that it would be more beneficial to prescribe some steroids and methotrexate to try to get the swelling down and try to get some movement in my joints.
Next time I will continue the adventure of my illness and how everyday I am becoming more and more experience along with gaining knowledge about the illness.