Posted 5/23/2011 4:05 PM (GMT -7)
It's been a long time since I've been on here, mainly because I felt like I was coping well with my situation, and it seems everyone here has it worse than me, so I didn't deserve to seek out any encouragement. I always feel like a failure when I have to turn to someone else for anything. But I think I have finally had enough.
I was diagnosed with Fibro about 3 years ago, symptomatic for years before that, and have been seeing the same rheumy every six months like clockwork. At first, he was attentive, listening to me explain my pain and the way it affected me, and truly seemed to care. He got me on a daily dose of gabapentin and sulindac that has worked pretty well at curbing my flares for nearly a year now, so I figured I was lucky. During my first exam, though, he noted about my knees crackling, and I joked with him that it makes my daughters laugh, and he dropped the hammer on me. He told me it was no laughing matter, and I should see someone about them. Every visit, he would ask how my knees were, even though he was treating me for fibro.
Suddenly, Feb 8, 2011, walking up the stairs to my apt building, my right knee felt like someone hit me with a fiery axe. The pain was so intense that I literally dropped where I stood. I could not stand up again. My husband called my cell phone at that moment, and heard me crying. I begged him to come home and take me to the ER. He left work early and rushed me there, where they did blood tests (why? I don't know) and an X-Ray. I was sure I had blown it for good this time, because it had been injured so many times before. The ER doc came back and said all they could see was arthritis, and didn't know if that was the cause. They referred me to a clinic up the street, and I was seen the next morning as an emergency case. The ortho did an MRI, and came back a few days later and told me I have the knee of an 82-year old (I am 42). I asked if I should have replacement surgery, and he said I'm not a candidate because of my age. He shot my knee full of cortisone and sent me home with a script for Relafen. My knee didn't get any better the first couple of weeks, and I had an allergic reaction to the Relafen, getting head-to-toe hives. The doc told me to stop taking it and follow up with my family doc. My family doc told me to follow up with my rheumy. I had my ortho's information (the X-ray and MRI included) forwarded to my rheumy, who I saw today.
He spent 13 minutes with me in that visit. He touched my back, listened to my lungs, and moved my legs. He then asked if I wanted to come back in 6 or 12 months. I asked him about my knee, and he told me (and I'm not kidding) "You're already on an anti-inflammatory, I don't know what else I can do for you". I thought rheumy's treated arthritis????? I told him I had started flaring again in the last few weeks, and I thought it was because my knee was so messed up it had thrown everything out of whack. I also told him I haven't had a decent night's sleep because the pain is so bad, and what was I to do? After all, the ortho said I had a horrendous knee. Rheumy then said, based on the MRI, that he didn't think my knee was as bad as the ortho was "making it out to be", and said he didn't think I would need replacement surgery for a long time, if ever. The same man that asked me at EVERY VISIT when I was going to see someone because I needed knee replacement surgery, and now he thinks I'm hunky-dory! He told me to go back to the ortho that saw me in Feb. The same guy that laughed at me as I cried having the shot of cortisone done because I was in so much pain. The same guy that told me if the Relafen didn't work to call back and he'd prescribe something else, then when I had what could have been a life-threatening reaction, told me to see my family doctor.
I know this is a lot to read, and I'm sorry. I guess I just needed to get it off my chest before I hurt someone. I feel like I'm on a never-ending ride that I didn't want to get on in the first place. I get my hopes up, then I'm treated like a hypochondriac. Some days I feel like I don't have a right to complain, and try to hide how much it hurts because I don't want to attract any attention to myself. I have a few coworkers that ask on a daily basis, "still limping, huh? knee still bothering you?" I want to tell them, "no, I just like how it makes my ass twitch when I move like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, it's so sexy" just to see their reaction.
Okay, I'm done ranting now. If you made it this far, thank you, deeply, for allowing me to vent.