Hello Dr. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Yesterday I finally had my visit with a Rheumatoid Arthritis doc after waiting 4 months. This appointment was ordered by Dr. Gollum who doesn’t believe that I have Lyme. I mentioned at one point to Dr. Gollum that I was starting to feel some migrating joint pain in my hands and legs, so rather than acknowledging the positive IgeneX results blatantly staring at his face, he decided to set me up with this appointment.
I was going to cancel it, however I didn’t because I thought it would be some good blog content. I was getting all ready to be all slammed by this doctor and I was rehearsing in my head what to say to him. I was dreading this appointment for many reason a) it would be such a great waste of my time, and b) I wasn’t in the mood to be reamed out for wasting HIS time. In other words, it was a great waste of everybody’s time.
Husband drove me to his office. I sat in the waiting room among many elderly people and looked really out of place. Most of them limping, or in their walkers. Dr. Rheumatoid Arthritis peeped his head in and out of the waiting room calling out patients. He reminded me of Chrissy Snow’s father from Three’s Company. One man took his sandals off and sat cross legged waving his stank bare feet while he picked his nose and then scratched his teeth with that same finger. It was a very awkward bizarre experience with no noise but the overhead music reminiscent of the tunes from Napoleon Dynamite.
Husband and I whisper to each other.
Him: I’m going to leave so I can let some people sit.
Me: No you aren’t. Don’t leave me with nose picker.
Him: It’s like ghost town outside in the hallway.
Me: I know, It feels like we are in the Twilight Zone.
Me: Maybe you should get your leg checked out by this doc since you were complaining about pain and spams or whatever.
Him: What does this doc do? I don’t even know what Rheumatology is.
Me (in a screaming whisper): ARE YOU FOR REAL? IF YOU WERE SICK I WOULD DO MY DAMNDEST TO FIND OUT WHAT EACH AND EVERY DOCTOR DOES! HOW CAN YOU BE SO —– “
My blaring whisper got interrupted when I was finally called in by the doc. I followed him down the hall. Dr. Rheumatoid Arthritis looks at my file and says loud enough for everyone in the waiting room to hear, “So you really have Lyme?!!”. I said “Yep!” The rest of the conversation will be in point form:
- I explained to him all my symptoms and a brief history of when they started. I stated all the doctors I saw, all the tests I got, from colonoscopy to upper endoscopy, brain MRI, abdominal MRI, head CT Scan, barium swallow, 100 blood tests, vertigo and balance testing and that they all came out clear. His face was shocked.
- He asked me if I had the bulls rash. I said no. He then looked sceptical. I didn’t roll my eyes. I mentioned that I was in Florida and South Carolina and also my backyard. He said that those places weren’t endemic like Lyme Connecticut or New York. Um ok.
- We had a really mutual intelligent conversation. He was very curious as to why my LLMD prescribed me all this medication when he thought that a round of Doxycycline would cut it. I said that my LLMD uses combination therapy to attack all forms of Lyme as it comes in 3 forms. He was questioning why the bacteria isn’t gone in 30 days and why treatment needs to be longer. I said that one is to be treated until they are 2 months symptom free. He always ended with an “AHHHHHHHHH…. hmmmmm… ok….I get it” type of response.
- He was wondering why my LLMD prescribed me Nystatin (anti-fungal). I said because with so many ABX, you want to control the yeast production. Wouldn’t a doc know this? He also questioned why Plaquenil was in the mix because he gives this to his Lupus patients for inflammation and how would this get rid of Lyme? I replied that it was to decrease the inflammation in my body. Another “AHHHHHHHH…..”
- I told him that the Canadian testing for Lyme was only 30% accurate. He was flabbergasted. “Realy? Why is that? What makes their testing so different than IgeneX”. I couldn’t answer this one, I guessed maybe they don’t have the same type of testing?
- He pulled out my file that Dr. Gollum faxed to him. He said all my blood tests and Rheumatoid Factor look perfect. He asked me if he could read to me what Dr. Gollum wrote. I said Sure! I’m curious to see what Dr. Gollum says behind my back. So he read Dr. Gollum’s diagnosis, “Patient believes she has Lyme…..” I laughed. “You see? He doesn’t believe me. He thinks it’s all in my head”.
- He then checked my blood pressure, checked my reflexes and said I was PERFECT. He caught a glimpse of my 15 million mosquito bites and says “You see, a rash would look like this, but with a ring around it.” I was um DUH!
- I asked him if any of his patients come and test for Lyme. He said yes that he has many but he doesn’t think that they have it. And they do get tested but it comes out negative. I reminded him that it’s only 30% accurate and to do a quick google search. He said he was going to send my Canadian Negative lab results over to 2 NEW YOUNG Infectious Disease Docs at the Hospital next door. He wants to know why my results were negative. I’m curious as to what they say but I doubt I would hear from him again.
Opposite of what I thought, overall, it was a very pleasant conversation. I even mentioned Elizabeth May and how she is trying to bring awareness about Lyme. I mentioned about ILADS. I mentioned about my LLMD and how she had Lyme and was treated for 2 years. This doctor was really curious about my Lyme and wanted to know everything I was doing about it. He asked me if I felt better on all this medication. I said that I was once at a point where I couldn’t even work, but right now, I’m feeling a whole ton better. I didn’t go into the homeopathy and the supplements.
I figured out now that these doctors are really truly in the dark about the prevalence of Lyme. I don’t think it’s their fault. I think that there is just a lack of knowledge and awareness. I don’t know why. Don’t they keep updated on the current and latest news? Dr. Rheumatoid Arthritis was certainly curious about my situation and really had lots of questions for me and was picking my brain. It felt really weird not be talked down to like a child. Almost as if we were peers discussing the latest medical findings.
Another thing I learned from this experience is that if you have Lyme, you really really need to find someone who is well versed in Lyme to treat you. And just not an LLMD, but a GOOD LLMD.
Well as the appointment finished he ended off saying “My, you are by the far the most interesting case I’ve had!”
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. Psalm 41:3