D is for Diagnosis

Sound the trumpets, fling the confetti – my rheumatology appointment is today.
D-Day has finally arrived.

After struggling all week with severe pain, stress, and lack of sleep, I’m hobbling into my local hospital this afternoon to speak to another specialist. I’ve got my list of symptoms and medical history ready, my partner at my side to fight my corner and remember things I’ll undoubtedly forget, and I’m even taking a cup of tea. I’m ready for this fight.

Because every appointment feels as if I’m walking into battle. Every appointment consists of me trying to persuade a doctor to take me seriously, that I’m really, truly in pain, and this list of symptoms (which takes up 2 sheets of A4 paper, might I add) are really, truly real. I am not:

  1. Simply overweight
  2. Lazy
  3. Exaggerating
  4. Lying
  5. Depressed (although that may be a side-effect)
  6. Fine

I am in real need of help. As detailed in my earlier blog posts (just click on ‘Chronic Life’ on the left to see them all), I go to doctors because they’re supposed to know what they’re doing. They’re supposed to be able to help. They’re not supposed to judge or make assumptions, and they’re sure as shit not supposed to make people feel bad about themselves, or doubt what they know. It’s my body, and I’ll tell you what’s going on. Listen to me.

I’ll update this post later with the results of my appointment.

*Update*

So after much ado, I left the hospital today with a call for more tests, and a tentative diagnosis, but firm treatment, of Fibromyalgia. Got some pills (Amitriptyline to start with), the go ahead to start yoga, and more physio whenever the NHS pulls its finger out.

Also, theme of the appointment:

Doctor: Any questions?
Doctor: *doesn’t like my questions*

I didn’t get to see the rheumatologist I was expecting, and the one I did see was judged and found wanting. She was pretty dismissive, and had zero bedside manner. She also came out with some wild claims about one thing or another, which made me raise my eyebrows a few times. It seems she was more interested in her own opinion than that of the medical community. She also didn’t examine me properly, and wasn’t keen on committing to a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia (what is it with NHS doctors and not wanting to diagnose?). But anyway. Fibromyalgia treatment is happening.

How do you manage your Fibromyalgia? I put little stock in doctors and the NHS as a whole, so I’m keen to hear your thoughts and processes. Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “D is for Diagnosis

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