While chatting with a girlfriend of mine on a drive, I came to a realization.
Let me back up a bit. A few weeks ago, we (Sky King and myself, as he goes to all my Rheumatologist appointments with me) saw Dr. W. Among my growing list of concerns was: recent hair loss (which he told me is not of the "alarming" variety) and increased pain in my hips, elbows and wrists.
After we talked for some time, he told me that I did not have Rheumatoid Arthritis (even though my blood work shows "positive" for the Rheumatoid factor, and I have a family history of RA). I then said, "Then, why do I have this pain, and what are you planning on treating it with?" His response was, "Your pain, I believe, is Fibromyalgia, and I am more concerned about you getting your depression and anxiety under control." Me: Fine, but what are we doing about the pain in the meantime? Him: You need to address the underlying cause, which I believe is depression.
Me: :::sigh, which buys me time and allows me to have an internal battle in which I conclude that, the hospital is far too big, and the car is far too far for me to stab this man in the side of the neck with my #2 pencil and get away, plus I wouldn't get my parking validated:::
So, if my underlying problem is depression, which I have been treating for 11 months, then I have to continue to treat it, in a new-improved-and-yet-unexplained-by-you-way other than medication, weekly therapy, intense self-reflection and a complete and utter annihilation of the way I used to live my life? Do I understand that correctly?
Him: Yes. I think. There were some run-on sentences there. But yes. You will eventually have relief from fibromyalgia, once you are effectively treated for depression.
Me: Mmmmkay. No. That is not okay with me. I want to be treated, and I am feeling very frustrated that you are telling me that I am not working hard enough on the thing that I DON'T think is the primary problem, and I feel that there is something else wrong.
Him: Well, I just don't think you have anything but fibromyalgia, and depression. To prove it to you, I will give you 5 days' worth of prednisone. Which won't work. Then, you will magically believe me.
And so it went. I AM paraphrasing, to be precise. But if he didn't say those exact words, he certainly meant them. And on my ride home with my friend, I read between the lines of what he did say-with my friend's help, of course. Here is a translation:
I don't believe there is anything wrong with you at all. I think it is all in your head, and I think that your tests are kind of normal, which is pretty much normal in my book, and you are one of those people that love to pay $20 copays to see specialists for something that is made-up. I think that if I can get a psychiatrist to dope you up on enough drugs, eventually you will feel "cured", and I will continue to pay off my student loan payments, while your kidneys and liver wither on the vine, taxed to their capacity. You will probably try some other drugs coming down the pike too, with varying side effects. But I got student loans to pay, and frankly, I'm pretty pissy that you spend your free time researching your illness and symptoms on Google, and so I will make you pay.
I know that seems like a lot to get from one look from a doctor, but I'm pretty perceptive.
You see, the thing is this: My own FUCKING THERAPIST laughed when I told her Dr. W thinks my PRIMARY problem is depression. Yes, I'm depressed. Yes, I have always had a roller-coaster emotional state. I have big highs. I have some crummy lows. But not sit-in-a-corner-with-a-rusty-razor-blade low. Not unable-to-get-out-of-bed low. At least, not until I had this UNRELENTING PAIN. And now, I have a doctor I see every goddamn week agreeing that the thing she is seeing me for, is NOT my primary problem! The man I love, the man who has seen me through almost every year of my adult life, agrees that depression is NOT the primary problem. And believe me, if anyone would know, it's him.
Also, the prednisone made me feel like a freaking rock star. No pain. Tons of energy. Then, I went off it, and had mind-blowing headaches for 5 days-but the pain was still gone, and the energy remained. When the headaches left, so did the energy and now the pain is back, ready to make up for lost time. I messaged Dr. W who remarked, Hmmm, that's confusing because your labs came back normal. Waiting on more results, will be in touch. Dr. W? I am no longer impressed. You could have 47 initials after your name, and you are still a big fuckwit. I can learn more about my own goddamn health watching daytime TV. And it doesn't sound like I could do much worse than you.
Here is my realization:
Dr. W is brushing me off, dismissing me. He is giving me the doctor-patient equivalent of "it's not you, it's me". He's screening my calls. My name has been deleted from his cell phone.
I got news for him. They say that happiness is the best revenge, despite the strong urge to find his home and write grammatically correct but anatomically impossible suggestions on his lawn in grass killer so it will be spring before my message is fully realized. No He's all mine and he's got nothing but time. I hear he has an open mind-likes to try new things. Sky King and I can't wait.
Here's to everyone's dates this weekend going well.