This past Tuesday I had an appointment with a new doctor. It took 5 months to get into to see him as a “new patient”, but after talking to him I am well pleased.
I changed doctors because I felt the previous one wasn’t listening to me about my health concerns. We did manage to discuss any concerns I had at the time of my initial visit with her, but she stopped listening to me after the third visit. In 2009, I saw a doctor in Raleigh and had the required blood tests as a new patient. Those lab results determined I have H-Pylori in the lining of my stomach. After living in Arizona most of my life, I know H-Pylori is a common occurrence, much like Valley Fever. This is something that will always show up in blood tests so I make it a point to disclose that info with each doctor I see. This one latched onto that information and swore I had acid reflux disease. I don’t. Yes, I DO get heartburn if I drink too much soda or eat spicy foods, but it goes away with a single dose of Tums. That doctor treated me for almost 18 months for something I didn’t need treatment for. Without working on a plan for the things that were actually bothering me.
Tuesday, the new doctor spends about 30 minutes with me one on one, talking, asking me questions and LISTENING to my concerns. He asked me what my top 4 concerns were that he could work on immediately. I get my list out (yes, I had a list, a LONG one and I was prepared to talk things over). First on that list was the case of Shingles I’m getting through without any medication for the nerve pain. He asks about the rash, is it still lingering? I tell him no, it’s gone and the marks that look like bruises are fading as well, but I’m having a lot of nerve pain. And he sends a prescription over to my local CVS for Gabapentin.
Second, we talk about the need for a mammogram (I haven’t had one since April 2017, because I stopped going to the doctor who wouldn’t listen to me). I have a spot … a tiny spot … on my right breast that also requires an ultrasound. Since I didn’t have a history of mammograms before 2016 when the spot was first found, I need to return every six months to establish a history. This is considered a diagnostic mammogram and is only available while under doctors care. And the referral to the Breast Center wings it’s way across the ether. Working the same way they have previously, they will call me to set a time for the exam.
Third, I tell him about the muscle pain, the fatigue, the sensitivity to touch (some days even my clothes hurt when they touch my skin), the stiffness when I try to get up after sitting for any period of time, the need to be quiet and not be around noise of any kind, the constant headaches that often morph into a migraine, the pain in my neck, back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles, how my skin feels like it’s on fire at various times throughout the day, the brain fog and not being able to complete a simple task without forgetting what I’m doing, how I can be cold and want to wrap up in my blankets even when it’s 80 degrees outside. He says “before I diagnose you with Fibro, I want to run some more tests and see if it could be Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis or one other that I can’t remember … something about a muscle attachment”?? Ok, I’m good with that. He is listening to my concerns and making me feel like he is understanding what I’m saying and how I feel.
Fourth on my list was getting my handicap placard renewed. He says that’s an easy one. Get the form from the DMV, fill it out and drop it off with my nurse. It takes a week. So, this morning when I went back for labs, I gave it to the nurse and it will be ready next Wednesday.
Yes, I FINALLY feel like there is a doctor in my world that is willing to listen to me and figure out if there is something wrong and if so, what the next steps are going to be. This isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s going to take some time. But at least I now have hope of eventually having a diagnosis and being able to manage the pain in a more efficient way. No, I haven’t given up on the CBD oil. That in itself has been my saving grace these past months!