Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tomorrow I See a New Doctor...

Difficult to Cure album coverImage via Wikipedia

Tomorrow 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
"Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We're unrehearsed."

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Sherril said...

Nice post. Honest. Good luck with the new rheumy.

Selena said...

Thank you for the comment. Unfortunately the rheumatologist treated the appointment as a consultation only. He sent me right back to my referring neurologist for follow-up. That's O.K. because I really don't want to add another doctor to my team. I really, really like my neurologist and she is O.K. with managing my pain/fibro/TOS care. Win-win for me.