Image via WikipediaTomorrow I see a new doctor, and truth be told I am not looking forward to the appointment. I decided awhile ago that I would let go of trying to "treat" my chronic illness by going on an endless string of doctors appointments looking for a "cure" or someone to "fix me." For four years I struggling with trying to alleviate the symptoms of my chronic illnesses through the medical approach. Then in 2008, I started to accept that, for dysautonomia, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, there were simply no magic pills or procedures for me, just self-directed, self-help symptom management.
After four years of constant medical appointments, I tired of trying what seemed like an endless string of medications that were long on side-effects and short on relief. Ditto for the trigger point injections, deep injections and other procedures. I can't recall how many times I have been referred to physical therapy, pool therapy and occupational therapy combined.
Initially, I obediently trotted off to these appointments aspiring to be the compliant patient. With every prescribed course of action, I started learning all the ways that helpful and well-intentioned health professionals could make my symptoms worse: massage, warm water pool therapy, exercise, medications, etc. I got to the point where I started dissuading my doctors from prescribing slightly different treatments, often persuasively voicing my objections each time something new was about to be prescribed, citing my prior failed attempts at a similar course of action.
I know that I am frustrated that there is no cure for what ails me. I appreciate that many health professionals feel like a failure when they can't seem to help me get better too. I appreciate the honest ones who join me in my annoyance and quickly replace the ones who, in their chagrin, resort to "blaming the patient" for not getting better.
I hope my appointment with a new rheumatologist tomorrow goes well. I am approaching it how I think Mel Brooks would:
"Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We're unrehearsed."