Begin reading with Part 1
The Long Roller Coaster, Part 6
Back I went for my follow-up with the rheumatologist’s PA. He examined my joints, mentioned that maybe I have “rhupus,” a condition with overlapping symptoms of RA and SLE, said he didn’t think I needed another DMARD, and told me to wear sunscreen on my upcoming Hawaiian vacation. Given the length of my previous two follow-up appointments, I thought we were done and was ready to leave, but he sat and told me about his personal life for half an hour. I still didn’t like him, didn’t care about his personal life, and if he wasn’t going to add that second DMARD, I didn’t have to see him any more!
I scheduled another appointment, but had every intention of cancelling it if my PCP really will do the follow-up.
When I couldn’t stand the pain in my shoulders any more, I called my PCP. Part of me couldn’t believe that I’d gone from being someone who only saw the doctor every couple years for a routine physical, to someone who saw a doctor nearly every month. Another part of me was in too much pain to care. I was glad to have a long, established relationship with this doctor. He knew that I wouldn’t call frivolously.
We talked and he gave me a cortisone shot in both shoulders, saying that he could do it every three months. It wasn’t very encouraging to hear that I could expect to have ongoing problems with my shoulders, but at least my doctor was willing to treat the pain.
A month later I went back, and my PCP agreed to do my RA follow-up as long as my symptoms remained under control on the milder medications. It was amazing how much better I felt, just knowing that I didn’t have to see the PA again.
originally written as one huge post, and published 1/15/09 on the Arthritis Foundation’s host, I have broken this into a number of smaller posts
Almost done. Evidence that I’m crazy