So I have been having a difficult time with my Rheumy. I know I need to find another doctor but have been trying to be pragmatic and stay the course until I establish a new residence in another county. When I recently tried to ask a question about other NSAIDs, my rheumy said I was already on the maximum dose. My question was about trying another option. When I tried to redirect, he said none of the medications or biologics work well for PsA. And I thought, what a crappy thing to do someone...you do not want to be bothered with a question so you tell the person it is hopeless!?! This isn't the first such lack of ... let's say professionalism.
Anyhow, I realized I would get no traction in trying to discuss anything further with him. So I have been trying to work with my primary care doc but up to now his response to any question that may in anyway involve my PsA was to ask me when I was seeing my rheumy next & leave it at that. So finally, I told him that according to my rheumy, I have exhausted my treatment options for the PsA & asked him if we could at least try to better manage my symptoms. I told him about how I can only walk a short period before I have to stop due to pain. He started me on tramadol, and that helps. I was able to lose some weight & that seemed to make my PCP more open to working on various issues.
I told my rheumy of problems with my hands and he was dismissive as usual. I get that my treatment plan may not change. But when I recently pulled a copy of my records, I found no mention of any of my complaints for the last 3 or 4 appointments. The latest record said I have no pain and normal range of motion... which isn't true. He uses some sort of software where he checks various boxes and it generates a report. That is what is typically does for the duration of the appointment... just type in the laptop after listening to my heart and lungs.
So I explained my hand numbness and pain to my PCP who referred to an ortho who referred me to a physiatrists. They scheduled a nerve conduction test and a spinal evaluation. I have a basic understanding of the nerve conduction test. The spinal evaluation is a mystery to me.
In addition to that referral, I requested a referral to a psychiatrist as well. I thought I was managing but I recently hit a spell where I hadn't left my room in a week ... & I wasn't sure why.
So I have these two appointments tomorrow and I am suddenly feeling overwhelmed. The rational part of me knows that these are sensible paths to pursue. But I have just been bombarded by so much negativity lately that I am having doubts in myself.
A big part of that seems to come from having a life long friend pull away from me now that I am I'll and struggling. He is a doctor. And he has become more and more avoidant. We never see each other socially anymore despite living fairly close. Our only interactions now are an occasional phone call in which he queries me about my medical situation then is critical of what I do. If I avoid the topic of my illness, which I typically try to do, he just goes on about how busy he is. And the conversation is follows a familiar route ... I ask when we might get together and he tells me how busy he is. I do not even ask anymore. He just recites all of these various urgent priorities he has elderly parents in questionable health (at our age who doesn't), he is SO busy with his job, he desperately needs to buy a new household appliance/car/widget, etc, etc. We saw each other 7 hours last year... only 2 hours this year in January at my insistence. Prior to my diagnosis we hung out often. We travelled together. We talked a lot.
Recently, he diagnosed him self with psoriasis ... based upon a single rash ... and then ... he diagnosed himself with PsA based upon a single episode of ankle pain. I am not a psychologist or a doctor, but I think when someone is avoidant to the point that they tell you they have the same relatively rare condition that you have ... something is seriously amiss.
The rational part of me understands that one cannot expect to get their needs met by someone that is avoidant. But part of me never expected that there would come a time when a life long friend I have known since early childhood and have always been able to talk to would after decades... just opt to no longer be that friend. And tomorrow I have to walk into the office of some stranger and basically pay him to listen... and that just strikes me as very sad.
I just feel emotionally exhausted. I have three appointments over the next few days and I am just in a very weird state where I just cannot seem to rally. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.