Thursday, July 01, 2010

Choosing to Celebrate

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, my doctor's appointment on Monday was nothing short of disappointing. As I spent the weekend getting sicker and sicker, I knew that I only needed to make it until my appointment to get some help. But I went and I got NO help.

My family doctor agreed that it seemed like arthritis. He agreed that I should see a rheumatologist again, and he wrote a referral (but I need to go back to the bottom of the waiting list to see one again - I'm told the wait could be up to a year). I asked what I could do in the meantime, for both pain management and to ensure my joints are not being seriously damaged while I wait. His answer was NOTHING. He was not willing to give me anything for pain or any anti-inflammatories until a rheumatologist officially re-diagnoses me. It shocked me because I was obviously sitting there with uncontrolled pain. And it made me angry because I know that every day I live with arthritis off anti-inflammatories, I am doing permanent damage to my joints. I've worked SO HARD for SO LONG to avoid that outcome, and I was terrified of undoing it all now before I'm even 30 years old.

I tried to reason with him. I cried (a lot). I even yelled a little bit. It didn't change anything, but it made me feel like I did everything I could to try to get help from him. Then I went home and cried some more. And then I made a plan.

Over the past couple of days, I have worked every angle I can think of to try to fast-track myself on the rheumatology waiting list. And early Wednesday morning, Geoff brought me to a walk-in clinic. The saddest part of my entire experience this week was that - within two minutes of seeing a walk-in clinic doctor who has never met me before in her life - I was holding a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and offered a prescription for painkillers, exactly what I had needed 48 hours earlier from my family doctor who's been seeing me for a decade.

Allow me to pause and state the obvious: EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT IS WRONG.

But I came home and I took my first anti-inflammatory pill. Later that night, I took my second. And this morning, my third. By this afternoon, I looked at Geoff with tears in my eyes and told him that I was going to be okay. I'm freaking EXHAUSTED but my pain has been reduced by around 40% in a day and a half.

I'm still dealing with a significant amount of pain. And I'm having side effects from the meds. It might be a little bit of a journey still before I'm feeling like myself again, and I definitely need to see a rheumatologist. I'm days behind on client work, on homework, on cleaning my house. I missed going to the zoo with Geoff + Briony today, and we missed my friend's daughter's birthday party this afternoon (sorry, Sonja + Elizabeth... we'll do a playdate soon!).

Someday soon, I will need to stop and mourn the fact that the immediate success of these anti-inflammatories means that this really is a return of my arthritis - and I might need to deal with what that means for our future. But I'm MOVING... And I'm moving in the right direction. Today, I choose to celebrate that.



At July 02, 2010 9:32 AM, Anonymous Nessie said...

I'm so sorry your GP wouldn't prescribe you anything. I had a similar experience when I first started flaring. The GP wouldn't give me anything, but the clinic doctor gave me a prescription for an NSAID. It still makes me mad when I think about it, and that was 5 years ago.
I'm glad your anti-inflamatory is working, but I'm sorry it means a return of arthritis. I hope you can see the rheumy sooner, rather than later, and that s/he will find something to put you back into remission. It really sucks being in pain all the time.

At July 02, 2010 5:31 PM, Blogger Lenore @ Lather. Write. Repeat. said...

So glad you're at least getting some relief, hopefully more is on the way.



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