Monday, 28 April 2014

One of "those" doctors

Yesterday I read a blog post a friend had tweeted out about a Doctor in the US that has a radio show & what transpired.(See link to Red Hairings blog here)

For me he sums up one of “those” Doctors, that think so highly of themselves & because they are convinced they are an expert, that they don’t need to listen to what the patient is telling them & instead come up with their own random conclusions. I think many with chronic illnesses have met this type of doctor before & I am one of them.

I have had Doctors not pay an ounce of attention to what I have said because they have already made their own assumptions. I’ve been ill in hospital & on several occasions had one of these bozos show up, intent on not listening to a word I would say which particularly on one occasion led to what the hospital calls an “incident” which is code for messing up so badly it could have risked my life. 

Thankfully Mr Techie Carer insisted on a second opinion when I just wanted to go home.

And thats the thing. If you’re in hospital especially in A&E you’re likely going to feel awful & be in pain, couple this with a doctor unwilling to listen & its easy to feel upset & despair. And if you did get upset or cry it seems to validate what they were saying to their mind. I have no doubt that people with mental health issues face even further problems with the “its all in your head” stigma.

But when Mr Techie Carer came into the picture & would meet these type of doctors with me, they still wouldn’t listen but then he would back up what I was saying or repeat it & suddenly what we were saying was accepted. 

I can’t help but think is the magic trick that you need a penis or two people??

This of course doesn’t work every time but usually in these cases I have learnt to play the wait music in my head & tune them out whilst they redirect all their doctrine at him (poor guy) & then we ask for a second opinion from the other hospital because unfortunately when they make up their mind, there’s nothing more to say. 

I’m extremely glad of the support of my partner but people alone & understandably overwhelmed shouldn’t have to go through this. 

However, saying all of this, there are some fantastic doctors like my GP who always has time for you, listens & works with you. These doctors are the ones that trundle away in the background, want to get to the bottom of things, keep everything going & don’t call themselves experts. 

And you may be an “expert” but we all have something we can learn.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

My spoonie self & shinanigans


This has summed me up recently. I have come to the ultimate realisation that baby gremlins have been slowly stealing my spoons over time & making off with them, little scamps.

Well since my last update I'm still in a bad flare up, my arthritis has given my bones a heck of a beating but finally I’m back on my arthritis medication (Humira). I’ve always imagined Humira as a sweet guide/friend for my ever confused immune system, forever trying to steer it in the right direction & away from beating itself over the head with a frying pan.

When I finally got the ok to go back on my medication, my rheumy nurse made me an appointment to see the Locum rheumatologist. Obviously they were concerned how my poor bod was fairing & thought it was likely I would need a steroid injection to calm down the inflammation until the Humira was back in my system again.

He was a really nice guy, who had trained overseas & didn't agree with the UK system of steroid injections instead favouring tablets. I can understand why, its a logical argument as steroid tablets give u a balanced dose whereas an injection gives you a large dose that fades off over time.

However, I was reluctant to accept the tablets as I was concerned about how my stomach would fare, as I had had tablets before & knew they could be quite harsh but he reassured me it would be fine.

Sure enough it wasn't & I had to stop the tablets after bringing up dollops of blood as my stomach couldn't handle it. So I went to my GP & received a kind reprimand saying that "You know your body, you shouldn't be on them & not to take them again" & after all of that, I had the injection after all.

A month or two later although the first injection helped, I was still in a flare so my rheumy nurse arranged for me to have another. I held off, wishfully thinking that my Humira would kick in but alas no & I had to admit defeat at my next appointment where she confirmed that I had bursitis in my hips. I can only describe feeling as like gremlins gnawing on the bone....painful. But even this wasn't enough & I had to have another, this time directly into the joint. We'll just have to wait & see if it works.

I never thought when I was first diagnosed, that in my wildest dreams that arthritis would mean this. Oh how I lacked knowledge of what living with arthritis truly meant.

When most people think of arthritis, they think of "creaking joints" & being the equivalent of a human weathervane. But often people don't understand that it doesn't simply affect your joints & different types of arthritis affect people differently.

I have Psoriatic arthritis & associated issues that people often don't know about include fatigue which is really common, that you are more prone to dental issues, tendinitis, inflammation in the eye & other organs to mention a few.

There are often also complications due to medication like being immune suppressed, that can lead to infections & additional conditions along side AKA in my case having an infected dental cyst.

Thankfully the wounds are healing up as they should after surgery & as I know I am more prone to issues, I'm going to be dragging myself to see my dentist more frequently despite how phobic I am & how much I want to hobble out of there as quick as I can!

Also my awesome, if not a bit quirky Physiotherapist arranged for me to have thumb splints because my thumbs slip in & out of place due to my hypermobility, it can be pretty severe so hopefully these will help to stabilise my hand. It also doesn't help that because I had to be off my arthritis medication for over 6 months I now have damage in my right middle finger which along side my dislocating right pinky has made my right had pretty unstable.

Additionally I had to have a manometry pH test. Which first involves going off all the medication that helps you not be sick & then sticking a very uncomfortable tube down your nose & slowly bringing it back up whilst asking you at certain points to swallow sips of water. After this they remove the tube & “kindly” replace it with another which they leave in for 24hrs.

The first test is to see how your throat is working. They found my throat squeezes too hard in the middle which explains why for me, bile randomly comes up of its own accord without me needing to cough or be sick (although that does happen) which doctors usually ask which is the case & are perplexed when I usually say neither.

The other part is to see if there is acid reflux present which for me there isn't (which I knew) but the test did reconfirm bile reflux disease.

And the other main thing I’ve been doing is sorting out my hard drive. Which is no mean feat given that due to my spoonie body I often haven't had the spoons to sort it & that it is filled with duplicate documents so it has got to the point that I really must. We also got a Western Digital wireless hard drive that I’m hoping will do the trick.

I should be doing another post soon when the spoons allow, bye for now!