Sense of Humor Required

This syndrome, disease or whatever we want to call it requires a sense of humor.  The challenges that fibro suffers encounter are in many ways unique.  My mother taught me, “It’s either laugh or cry”, and it was my choice in how to handle the situations I encountered.  I have chosen for the most part to laugh, though sometimes, the tears fall anyway.

I have seen a few different doctors for my condition over the years.  I finally got comfortable with Doctor L.  She had seen me through trying various remedies and pills for my condition, and seemed to be out of ideas, but at least she tired to make sure I was as comfortable as possible and seemed genuinely considered about how I was feeling.  Yes, that is all past tense.  She relocated and left her practice in my state with some flimsy excuse  about wanting to live with her husband 600 miles away.  I guess the commute would have been to long for her.  It had taken me years to find Dr. L.  Most practitioners in my area like to tell themselves and their patients that fibro isn’t real.  I begged to differ.  So, once again I was searching for someone who was knowledgeable and yet compassionate.

So, I found Dr. R.  He is a pain management specialist and many years ago, before my fibro diagnosis, Dr. R’s brother, the other Dr. R had treated me, and he was very compassionate.  They were raised together I reasoned. He’s got to be something like his brother……right?

The visit got off to a rocky start.  He asked what my main “complaint” was, and why I had chosen to see him.  I told him I had seen his brother in the past (maybe that was my first mistake, you know how sibling rivalry is!) and when I told him about the fibro, he stopped, looked up at me and told me that he knew many of Dr. L’s patients were taking narcotics and that if I was there only for prescriptions, I had come to the wrong doctor.  I said, “Let me explain to you how I wound up in this position”.  I relayed that I had been through all the conventional fibro drugs and others that weren’t in an attempt to try and tame the beast.  I told him that I thought Dr. L had run out of ideas and she was just making it possible for me to get up and go to work.  I was not an addict, rather just a woman trying to make it through each day. Work was necessary, and my family depends on me and my income I told Dr. R.    He asked if I was willing to go through tests to find the sources of my problems.  Sure, I told him.  I’m pretty sure that I  already know what my problem is, but sure.  I’ll dance the dance and do what he wants, even though I’ve been through it all before.  He thinks he may have some new ideas, and maybe he does.  I’ll give it a shot.  Maybe I’ll accidentally get treated and be able to function. I’ve started the game and went through an x-ray and an almost MRI, but that’s a different story for a different day. Next week, lucky me, I get to go for some nerve test.  I will say that is one test I haven’t had before, so I’m a little intrigued. For now, I laugh because he seems to think it’s as simple as carpal tunnel and a torn rotor cuff, and he informed me that those conditions he could “fix”. You and I both know that this monster goes so much deeper than that. I smile at his naivety and confidence.  But the tear has fallen as well, because I know better than to get my hopes up.  I know from experience that no drug, no surgery and no amount of tests will fix what is wrong with me….today.  I smile, because I still have hope for the future.  Someday, someone will find the magic cure, the magic pill, or therapy and the beast will be finally be tamed.

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9 comments

  1. My advice…walk away. This doctor will never treat you with the respect you deserve. Do this for yourself. It isn’t easy, but I know I felt better when I did. And I found a much better doctor. 🙂

    1. Hi Julia,
      Thanks for your comments. I wish I could. Unfortunately, the city & state I live in are considered “rural” even though we are a city of 100,000. My insurance company has the highest number of approved pain physicians in our area, which are exactly three. One was the doctor that just left, one I tried seeing years ago and flat out told me that my fibromyalgia was all in my head, and Dr. R. Seems he’s my last option. 😦 If I get any help at all, it will be this doctor, or hopefully someone new and wonderful will move to town, or my last doctor will convince her husband to move here. One can only hope, right?

  2. Wow! I absolutely love your post! Very sorry that you are going thru all this as I am too, but you’re attitude is what keeps you going. What you have written is my life in a nutshell these past few years anyway. Honestly it is as if you were in my brain and life. Same experiences same issues all with this fibro monster. God bless you please keep posting. I hope you find a doctor that will help you. They are so difficult to come by. By the way, I don’t know what your profession is but writer should be your title.

      1. Your very welcome 🙂 some people just don’t have that very important funny bone! So glad you do, your mother sounds amazing she taught you well. God bless and good luck with everything.

  3. Hate to jump in with negativity, but a couple of things. How is wanting to live with your husband a ‘frivolous’ excuse? Seems like a legitimate life-issue for that doctor.

    I would have been delighted if any doctor I’d seen wanted further testing. Since there is not a way to positively diagnosis fibromyalgia, no known cause, and therefore no guaranteed treatment, and also because there are a lot of things that mimic each other, I’d love to find out if there actually is something that CAN be treated going on. Medicine has changed quite a bit since I was diagnosed in 1998, by a process of elimination (so if you don’t have MS or Lupus or this or that, it must be fibro, because we can’t really think of anything else it could be).

    After being told I had, and being treated for, fibro for all of these years, I recently developed an issue that required Prednisone. Oh, normal me, at least for awhile. Doctor said fibro does not respond to Prednisone, therefore, it is possible there is something else going on that they are not aware of. We are still looking into that. I have only had one doctor who was dismissive, all the others I’ve had (due to me moving, usually) have been supportive and caring and at least trying to help. Unfortunately, they see a diagnosis and base every treatment it, without always having the motivation to look further without good cause. The Prednisone issue has been the catalyst for looking further. Good comes out of everthing, it seems.

    1. Hi Excentrically,
      Thank you for your comments. The frivolous excuse was done as sarcasm. I totally understand her needs to live with her husband, I wouldn’t want to live away from mine. I had hoped by titling my blog the way I did that it would denote I was trying to spin my negative experiences in to humor. My mom taught me from a very early age that you can do one of two things with any negative experience. You can laugh or cry and it’s up to you. Her two gifts to me of laughter and faith are what gets me through day to day trials and fibro flares. Without them, I would have given up long ago. I choose for the most part to try and put a humorous spin on things, because if I didn’t, I would cry….. a lot. I choose to laugh as much as I possibly can, and I laugh at myself as much as possible. Life is too short for me to be too serious about somethings.

      I was resistant to the testing because I’ve been through it so many times, and it always comes back the same. When you take your records with you and explain to the doctor that you’ve been through all the tests and that you’ve tried all the routine medications, and some not routine, it’s difficult to hear they want to subject me to it all again. Dr. R told me he wanted to do an EMG which is a nerve test to see if I had carpal tunnel. I told him I had carpel tunnel in both hands but that it was worse in my right hand. He wanted to say that my fibro is not fibro and that the pains I have are something else. So, I went and did the test, and guess what? I have carpal tunnel in both arms, worse in the right. He basically made me take time off work, charged my insurance and run unnecessary tests for something I already told him I had. He informed me I should buy a wrist brace from Wal-Mart. I asked him why, when I had one that had been ordered previously via prescription for me that was better. He seemed to have missed I mentioned that to him during the initial visit and discussion about carpal tunnel. So, rather than be negative, I try to turn it into a funny story rather than the nightmare it really is.

      I have been tested for MS, Lupus, and everything in between and everything comes back negative. I’ve run the gamete of medications and we are starting all over with them again. I’m sorry for your struggles, and hope that you will continue to read my future blogs, if I do future blogs, and find some humor on my spin of events. I really am just trying to have a laugh at my own expense, and hope others will laugh along with me.

      1. There is nothing worse than a doctor who does not listen. My current rheumatologist is like that. He didn’t used to be, but now he spends his time typing things as I talk and then asks me questions. “I just said that”! So I told him my little thyroid story. I have told every doctor that I need thyroid meds. Every doctor said you are border line, we don’t give meds for borderline,you are fine. Finally found a doctor who said, “You know what. It can’t hurt to give you a trial of the meds.” Withing a week, literally, I was like a new person. He listened. So when I told the rheumy about this, he at least stopped typing while I talked. He wil need constant reinforcement, though.

        I use humor, too, all the time. In every aspect of my life. It keeps me sane, and deflects from my problems when I am with people, because who wants people to just feel sorry for you, and also, who really wants to know how sucky my life can be. Nobody loves the too needy friend. So I work very hard not to be needy.

        Keep writing. Writing helps. Just the act of doing it makes me feel better, most of the time. Besides, sharing experiences and getting different points of view is always a good thing, I think. Knowing you’re not the only one. Thanks for following me, too.

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