My Doctor Is Getting On My Nerves
I no longer feel this way, but this was after going through so many doctors and rheumatologists that I have lost count. I have had psoriasis for over 50 years and psoriatic arthritis for over 25 years.
When your doctor just doesn't understand
I know you all can understand what it feels like to have a doctor who doesn’t get it. Before I got diagnosed with PsA my doctors were telling me that my pain was in my head, or are you sure you feel pain the way you are describing it? How many ways can you describe pain; more than I can remember. If I could get a doctor to halfway believe me; he would prescribe strong aspirin for me to take. I don’t get it.
The doctors I was seeing were specialists; so why did it take 25 years for someone to say I had psoriatic arthritis? I am still shaking my head. If I’m seeing you regularly for pain, why didn’t you or one of the other medical doctor’s figure this out? I have been saying this for years, they don’t get it. They have never had to live in pain day after day and how this affects you mentally and physically. It’s bad enough that our family and friends don’t get it, but now we have the medical community to deal with who think I am exaggerating on top of everything else.
Doctors are not taking my pain seriously
I have had doctors refuse to even give me a pain pill because they didn’t believe I was in as much pain as I said I was. I went to a doctor once and couldn’t reach my arms up. He thought I was faking. I felt so belittle and wondered if every doctor was going to feel this way. I didn’t know what to do. It took me 25 years to find a doctor that was willing to listen to me. He did lots of tests and said the words I have been waiting to hear for years – you have psoriatic arthritis.
On top of all my other doctors, I must see a pain management doctor. I sometimes feel this adds insult to injury. We must all continue to educate. The more you can talk with your doctor, the better a repour you will have with them. Stop agreeing with everything your doctor says, tell your story. If you are having pain, tell your doctor when, where and how this started.
Maximizing time with your doctor
I know from experience that you only have seconds to spend with your doctor; they talk a mile a minute. You have a minimum of thirty seconds or so it seems to tell what is going on with you before the doctor has already written a prescription. Did he hear a word you said? Of course, all doctor meetings are not like this, but plenty are. My doctors spend at least 30 minutes with me; it has taken a lifetime to get here. If it’s not working for you, it’s up to you to fix it.
Being your own advocate
What can we do to help ourselves as patients? As being my number one advocate for myself; I speak loud and clear. I try to educate the medical community and others around me. If your doctor won’t listen to you, start doing something about it. I started keeping a journal of my pain levels. Take this to your doctor when you go. He can get a better understanding of what you are going though. Be prepared for that next doctor visit. Write down a list of your concerns, medical problems and how you are feeling, you can even email them beforehand, so the doctor will know what to cover. Write down what medicines you need to refill. Take a friend if you have too. Nobody knows your situation like you do. Be open and honest. The doctor needs to know everything.
You must help them, help you.
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?