My Life

I Finally Met a Real Doctor

After waiting for over six months, I finally got in to see a Rheumatologist. While I impatiently waited, my hip hurt worse and worse to the point it was difficult to walk and the pain frequently made me cry. When the doctor came into the room, I almost kissed her and offered to raise her children.

Photo by Eben Kassaye on Unsplash

This lady was VERY thorough with her exam, meaning she stuck her fingers in every one of my joints and every muscle to find out which ones are actually inflamed and how badly. The preliminary diagnosis was I have arthritis, but maybe not rheumatoid. I also have fibromyalgia and something I had never heard of: Joint Hypermobility Syndrome or possibly Ehler-Danlos Syndrome. I proved it by bending my knees backward and touching my thumb to my wrist. Apparently, that is not normal. She also told me that I have that “soft, velvety skin that is very stretchy.” It is a problem with proteins and collagen. Well, crap!

Other than mild exercise and medication, nothing can be done for either one. The downside is either condition causes early onset arthritis. Plus, there is the fibromyalgia issue. And the arthritis issue.

So this doctor, after her 2-hour exam, sent me for some blood work. I gave the slip of paper to the lady at the lab and she proceeds to grab 11 vials to fill with blood. That’s right. ELEVEN. My first thought was I had somehow been transported to Transylvania. She looked at the paper, double-checked everything, and announced that 11 was correct. I asked her if she was planning to frame me for murder or just do several blood tests.

Eleven vials of blood later, I staggered out of the lab and had to hang on to the nearest lamppost to step down from the curb. The vampire did tell me to make sure to eat something as soon as I could.

But my day wasn’t over. I then went to the Imaging Center for X-rays under the tender care of Kristy (or Kristi), a perky little lady who looked 16 and had, wait for it, pigtails. Braided pigtails. Seriously. At one point during X-raying various parts of my body, she said, “Put the bottoms of your feet together and drop your knees open as wide as you can.” I must have given her an incredulous look, because she then asked, “Can you do that?”

Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

I replied, “NO! Look Kristy (or Kristi), I have a very painful hip. What you are asking is impossible today.”

“Well, I will have to take two images rather than one.”

“That’s okay. Just walk on over there and press that button twice. Then, we will both be happy.”

Then, she made that noise that always made me want to roundhouse kick my kids. “HHUUHH.”

“Whatever,” I responded. I wasn’t in the mood for emo-girl’s theatrics because the exam from the doctor already left me feeling like I was run over by a bus and I was woozy from blood loss. All I wanted at that point was to get to the pharmacy to get my fingers around the drugs my doctor prescribed and then eat a Big Mac right before taking a nap until dawn.

But after 24 hours of prednisone, I am already feeling better.

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