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Doctor Struggle

So I am in a rural area where access to a Rheumatologist is limited (he is 1 of 2 and the only one with a 3-star rating). My husband is in the military so we are here for at least 3 years. During my visit with this doctor, and before he ran any test he looked at me and stated he wasn’t sure I had RA, because I did not look swollen. He made this statement after quickly reviewing the documentation from my other RA Dr. and after I explained how I was feeling. I needed to see this Dr., because I needed a refill on my biologics. On my second visit he conceded to run test and sure enough my blood work came back positive for RA. I am now without my meds for 3 months, popping Aleve like candy, and trying every homeopathic way possible to reduce pain and swelling (that’s another topic of discussion), and once again I have to hear from this Dr. that you don’t look swollen. After I firmly pushed he finally gave in and submitted my prescription for my biologic, but I am sad and dishearten that he does not care about my care. This Dr. won’t do his due diligence to attend to my care properly and I am stuck, because the next closest Dr. is hours away.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • enya
    2 years ago

    Dear CeneAM,

    Well, good doctors are hard to come by, and I am sorry you don’t have much luck there. I used to look at them as Gods. But a cancer in the family, toxoplasmosis, and now my inflammatory arthritis dispelled this myth. They are not much better fitted to take care of us than we if we take time and educate ourselves.

    I would have been on immune suppressing drugs for the last year and a half to control my symptoms if I followed the advise of my rheumatologist. Yet I am symptoms free, back to all my activities and drug free thanks to a vegan diet. So at the end of the day, even though I do want doctors to be caring, I want to be more educated myself.

  • CeneAM author
    2 years ago

    Thank you all so much this journey has been difficult. It is difficult when you go from a healthy and active human being to a pain bag. I feel like I am constantly whining and doctors don’t help. I went from an active Army Soldier who had a high physical fitness test scores to one that could barely pass. I played softball, ran 5 miles daily, swam, hiked for miles, and performed in several obstacle course events. When I first started this downward spiral and pursue a reason why I was always in pain, so tired couldn’t get out of bed, my body would swell, my hands, back, and knees would lock up and I would have fevers and vomit on a constant basis. My doctors ran test and xrays. My blood work only came back with a positive CCP but everything else is negative. They gave me naproxen and said I should get better. As stated its been a bad RA dr struggle and this last one takes the cake. I am seriously looking at going back to the holistic route again. It worked for me for at least a year, until I had a bad flare, but that may just be my lot with this disease. My mom is the same, but her dr. is great, but unfortunately we live in another state. Her dr. told her she has the RA that she has all the physical symptoms and is shows in her blood work just not on xrays

  • Savedbygrace
    2 years ago

    I am sorry to hear that you’re having a difficult time with your rheumatologist. It makes it difficult to get the care needed when there is lack of support from a doctor that is supposed to be supportive and willing to help. I am also from a very small town and limited to 2 choices for a rheumatologist. Hopefully, your doctor will begin to better understand the need to provide good treatment for patients. Wishing you all the best and thanking you and your family for the sacrifices you endure serving our country. Keep in touch!

  • Lauren Tucker moderator
    2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. We are sorry to hear that your Dr. is not being so understanding with your care. We are glad you finally got a biologic and hope it is helping.
    I am sure there are others that share a similar story, and they may chime in to offer you some support.
    I hope this link is helpful to you:
    Please know you are not alone here, reach out to us anytime.
    Best, Lauren ( Team)

  • DG4401
    2 years ago

    Sorry also to hear of Dr. problems. It’s not bad enough that you aren’t feeling well, but Dr. offers no help or support and ends up making a bad situation worse.

    My primary care Dr. was handling my RA and recently referred me to a Rheumatologist. He faxed over my bloodwork etc. and said if you don’t hear back from RA Dr. in 2-3 days call them. It’s been at least 3 weeks and I haven’t heard a thing. I feel if the RA Dr.’s office didn’t call to make an appointment, then will he even have time or care to treat me?

    I clicked on the above link for RA Dr. and came up with no results.

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