Today, progress was made. I’m all about progress.
So, few months back, I was referred to a neurologist by my primary care physician, also known as my most favoritest person in the world ever. *cough cough* The first appointment available for me to see this neurologist character was today. So, at 7 o’clock this morning, I rolled off of my mother’s couch, showered, and made my merry way to the neurologist’s office.
So, until this past November, I had been under the impression that the medical field performed certain functions, namely:
- To hypothesis a diagnosis, based on symptoms/medical history/risk factors/environmental components
- To test for proposed diagnoses
- To create a plan of action with the patient, in order to treat — the intention being to restore the patient to as close to good health as can be managed
- To counsel patient
- To listen to patient concerns, and set at ease the mind of the patient, as much as possible.
Yes. This was my utopian vision of the medical world, previous to November and the Freezing of My Face. (Momentous event. Definitely deserves caps.) Much to my chagrin, my interactions with the medical world thereafter shattered this idyllic image.
And then today happened.
The neurologist asked me questions about my symptoms, my family health history, how my family manages health problems, my lifestyle, my medical treatment thus far, and what my expectations are, concerning treatment. I responded, and was probed for elaboration. This took up almost half an hour. Before today, but since the Freezing of My Face, doctors had not asked me many questions, and did not seek elaboration on any answers I offered up.
Then there was the revelation: my primary care physician is a moron. Why? Because PCP told me I had mono, when the blood test for mono came back negative. The neurologist was confused as to how anyone, let alone someone with medical training, could misread the results and interpret EBV — NEGATIVE as meaning “Ohp, she has mono.” But, whatevs. Neurologist recommended I switch PCPs, and recommended one to me.
Then there was the exam. Actual poking and prodding. At which point an apology was made for having to repeat tests the PCP had done — minus the part where PCP had done no such tests. Neurologist looked puzzled, because the tests were basic reflex things that can help rule out MS. The results are that I most likely don’t have MS, but we’re getting an MRI anyway.
That’s right. An MRI. THE VERY FIRST TEST THAT SOMEONE SAID I SHOULD HAVE DONE. Four point five months later, voila. And how long am I going to wait before I get an MRI? One week. I could have gotten in on Tuesday, but I’ll be in Disneyland. 🙂 That same Thursday, I get to have my nerves shocked and my muscles poked with a big needle, to rule out other neuropathies. And then I have an appointment with my shiny new PCP, who can hopefully read paperwork.
Then there was discussion of treating me, instead of treating five billion different little symptoms. Talk of multiple approaches, from lifestyle changes to medication to physical therapy to counseling to having an open mind and a positive attitude–all integral to becoming healthy, even if the new-fangled healthy Me might be in pain the rest of her life. In the past, I have been treated as a drug-seeker, and any treatment plan after imaging and blood work ruled out initial diagnoses consisted of a phone call from a medical assistant. “Welp. We dunno what’s wrong with you. Have a nice life.”
On top of that, other specialists I may need to see were contacted while I was in the office. Appointments were made. A follow-up visit was scheduled with the neurologist, in order to check up on me and see what progress is being made, regardless of what the MRI or shocking/poking tests are going to reveal.
And then there was the part where I was taken seriously. As though I am a person with a desire to feel whole and healthy again, and not a small child who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
Progress is being made.