My Rheumatologist Wasn't Listening to Me

When I was first diagnosed with RA in January 2007 I began a journey to the right medications almost immediately.

Rheumatologist wasn't hearing me

It took quite a few months, even up to a year to find the proper combination to allow me to live a fairly reasonable existence. But initially, when all was dark and I was dealing with things I had no prior knowledge of or experience with, I found that my rheumatologist wasn't taking my symptoms as seriously as I was.

There were things he should have told me, that he didn't warn me about and I was becoming frustrated. Thankfully, I had been journaling my horrible symptoms and my emotional pain, and one day, it's like I heard a voice telling me to "send him your journal."

Advocating for myself

Well, I took that on faith and did so, along with a cover letter saying how much I needed his expertise. Our relationship shifted after that and he is much more open to me now (that was 13 years ago) but he still will dismiss some of my symptoms (mostly from medication reactions I've had) with his catchphrase "I've never heard of anyone reacting like that" which of course, I believe, is baloney when one is a doctor in the field of rheumatology for over 25 years but even with that, I can't help but like the guy.

Community helps me feel less alone

Thank goodness for the internet that helps me know I'm not nuts and that other people have had these same medication reactions. So, it's one step forward each and every day and as long as I can, I will continue to witness to the fact that I am able to keep going, even if it's not with the strength and pain-free life that I had in my younger days.

It's definitely not something I would have wished for my life but ironically, it has taught me so very much - the biggest thing being that it's ok to ask for help and to press for explanations until you are satisfied.

Blessings on all you fellow RA soldiers.

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