I saw the rheumatologist for the first time last week. It was refreshing to see someone who seemed to know what was going on. My general practitioner is great but I’m glad she referred me instead of just treating the symptoms.
I don’t have a diagnosis, yet, but the new guy ruled out lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. I told him I can’t afford an MRI, so he is taking a “Dave Ramsey approved” course of action.
The doctor asked me a bunch of family history questions. I told him about my dad. He’s 70 and he claims he can still run like a deer. The doctor laughed and said I’m better off than running around like an effeminate deer. I had never considered it, but deer are kind of effeminate.
I had a few x-rays taken and a few vials of blood drained from me. He sent the blood to the lab and I’m going to start some super-expensive medicine that should be deeply discounted with one of those prescription cards issued by the drug company.
As long as my end is under a hundred bucks I’ll manage. The doctor said this medicine costs about $3000 a month. Before he told me my out of pocket cost would be reasonable, I considered leaving. Who needs a diagnosis if you can’t afford the treatment?
Using medicine as a diagnostic tool reminds me of House M.D., but my physician isn’t giving me hepatitis to treat me. I’m glad.
The doctor says it is possible my issue is mechanical, but if the medicine works, the two ailments that fit my symptoms are psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. The symptoms fit the latter disease better.
I can’t even pronounce it. I just know I’m in pain. I may be near an actual diagnosis, and at this point, I hope it is one of these disorders. It means there is a treatment.
(CC image courtesy of Anagoria on Wikimedia Commons).