10 Years to Find a Good Rheumatologist
My friend passed away in 2009. I was 33 years old and about to become an NYC Licensed Teacher that September. I recall a strange bothersome pain in my buttocks that wouldn’t go away.
During my second year as a teacher, I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. The pain was excruciating. If I leaned on my heels I would scream. I went to my PCP and MRIs were ordered.
Begining the search for a rheumatologist
I was referred to a neurologist and he put me on muscle relaxers and oxycodone. The pain lasted three months. Then one morning I woke up with what I thought was pink eye. I just didn’t understand why nothing was oozing out of my eye.
Of course, I didn’t bother to get my eye checked. As time went on I began my rheumatologist journey. More MRIs and more X-Rays. No answers just more pain killers. Suffice it to say that I’m on my 6th rheumatologist.
Yes, the 6th one.
Rheumatologist number 1, 2, & 3
The first one was obsessed with his buddy next door (the PT) and walked me over to him after every visit. He diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.
The second one was a very elderly man that was confused as to who I was, during a visit prescribed me Cymbalta, and after having a serious allergic reaction to it, just lowered my dose and told me to take it again. He diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, and no, I didn’t touch the Cymbalta ever again.
One day he disappeared along with my record. He no longer practices in Queens. The third one was very rude and asked me “why are you here? You’re very young” and diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.
Rheumatologist number 4 & 5
The fourth one wouldn’t look me in my eyes (I think it was a religious thing) and diagnosed me with Hashimoto, the beginning of lupus, and fibromyalgia.
The fifth one treated me like a lab rat and in one visit told me that I didn’t have RA nor Lupus and that I had undifferentiated Spa without looking at the whole picture.
Lucky number 6
The sixth one I have seen for the third time and has taken his time, read all my documents since 2010, examined me while asking questions, reviewed all my medications and asked me the reasons for stopping them, and finally tried new medications that have worked.
He gave me my true diagnosis after thoroughly studying my history and growing symptoms. He said “you have Seronegative Axial Spondyloarthritis with Sacroiliitis and Fibromyalgia- Autoimmune. He also broke it down to me.
People I found the winner! Number 6 is my Rheumatologist.
Have you ever been made to feel lazy, even though you live with a chronic condition?