Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Amused

I have not had a great run with the general medical community. I've been passed around to different doctors because all of my tests come back normal. You'd think I'd get some treatment for symptoms at least, though, right?

A few years ago I got bounced around the Army medical system and finally when it seemed like all the tests were exhausted they "sent me away" and said, "This should resolve itself in a few weeks since everything looks normal." Really? It didn't resolve itself and in fact got worse.

Change of locations and a new round of doctors. I figured there's bound to be some doctor eventually who figures out what's wrong. A few answers here and there but nothing to take care of my WHOLE symptoms. For some reason, no matter how I explained my two debilitating symptoms - fatigue and joint pain, I couldn't get much of a treatment plan. Explaining it like, "feel like I've been hit by a truck", "spend the whole day with throbbing joints", "hurts to walk", "hurts to hold the steering wheel", "hurts to hold my daughter". Sometimes they'd ask me if I was depressed. I always hated that question because I KNEW I wasn't depressed but it sure was getting pretty demoralizing to not have answers and feel awful. So how do you convey that without them assuming you ARE depressed? And I also hated it because they seemed to just assume that my symptoms were due to depression. Or that it was all in my head. Ugh.

Finally, at my lowest point, I had yet another appointment with the same general practitioner I had been using for a few months. Something clicked in that appointment with him. Maybe it was the fact that I was so fatigued that I was laying down on the exam table when he walked in and struggled to sit up by myself. Or maybe it was the fact that my mom (who came with me that time) told him that I usually am a lively person. But I remember him looking at me like he had truly SEEN me. He said, "I can see it now. You DO look unwell." He listened again to my symptoms and REALLY listened. He prescribed an arthritis drug and gave me samples of another one that was stronger in case the original one didn't work. He admitted he was at the end of his rope as to how to proceed next but took his best guess that it might possibly be related to something going on in my gut because of some differences in vitamin levels on blood work. So he referred me to someone else.

And before he left the room he said, "I am SO sorry I didn't take you more seriously before."

Why can't all doctors be like that?

So referred I was and I went the semi-natural way and it seemed indeed that the problem may be in my gut. Natural treatment seemed to help. And then pregnancy came and took all my symptoms away!

Little Snuglett was born and 3 months later - BAM! My symptoms start returning. They aren't nearly to the point they were when I was at my worst but I'd love to catch them before they get awful.

We are yet in a NEW location. So time to get new doctors. This time around I've got some new symptoms. Symptoms for every kind of doctor. So we'll take care of them one at a time. I have almost run my course with the GI doctor. One more test this week and then his diagnosis will be complete....but so far every test has been normal.

For my returning joint pain I went to my general practitioner. I explained my history to her. She will re-test for the same things I was tested for a few years ago. At the end of the appointment I said, "What can I take for pain? I was put on Celebrex (an arthritis med) a few years ago for this pain."

You know what she said?

"You should stick to over-the-counter meds."

I said, "I've tried tylenol, ibuprofen, Aleve....nothing helps"

She said, "You can take 2..."

I interrupted, "I take THREE...."

She interrupted, "You'd be surprised how well they work.....And anyway, if these tests come back normal then this will all pass for you in a few weeks."

Didn't she hear my history? *sigh*

Well, we are moving yet again in a few months so a new round of doctors will be tried I suppose. And we're still exploring some new routes to go down regarding my health so I guess we'll see how God chooses to deal with my situation.

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