Monday, June 17, 2013

Sawbones

I'm trying to work up my nerve to make an appointment with the bone and joint clinic in the next county.  I'm not hesitating because of what they might tell me is wrong.  I'm hesitating because of the possibility that they'll tell me nothing is wrong, or that I'm imagining the pain I'm feeling.

It has happened before, and I suspect that it is due to incompetence on the medical staff's part ("mystery virus" that locked all of my small joints painfully into curled positions with a swollen red rash from my neck to the soles of my feet) or even simple laziness ("it's all in your head" - what he called "malaise" turned out to be diabetes, thanks).  A couple of times it has been due to male chauvinism -- "women complain all the time anyway, so ignore their pain." (Raging kidney infection for which he wouldn't even do a simple urine test, and a case of strep for which he wouldn't even swab my throat.)  

These days I won't go to a doctor for pointless routine check ups (they wouldn't listen to me anyway and they don't know what they're doing) that are all about charging for office visits and adding ridiculous surcharges such as " new patient fees" when I've been that same doctor's patient for 20 years and he keeps telling me I've changed my name.  I've never been married.  My name has never changed.  If he can't keep me straight with my file there in his hand, how can he know what's going on with a complex human body?

This one told me the golf ball sized swelling under my jaw was nothing because he couldn't see it with his eyes, even after I made it prominent.  An endocrinologist told me it was a goiter, after an ultrasound showed that it wasn't near my thyroid.  Yet another doctor said that it was a suspicious swollen lymph node.  Well, when the ENT I went to biopsied, then surgically removed it, he verified that it was actually a large tumor about to impinge on blood flow to my brain, and he couldn't see how those other doctors could have misdiagnosed it, especially after an ultrasound.  

So, I'm scared that I'll be wasting my time and still not have my pain resolved.  It involves my lower back, both hips, one thigh, both shins, and both feet sides, tops, and bottoms.  I think the problem is with my hips, and fixing that might alleviate some of the other pain.  

Running? I'd love to be able to run, but right now walking is quite a challenge.  Sitting hurts, and getting up from sitting to walk is even worse. :)

What I've learned so far:

There are no good doctors in my town.  They're all very old, lack modern training, and have God complexes.  They're also very chauvinistic.  Women, in their eyes, are less than men and shouldn't be treated unless they're gushing blood and a possible malpractice suit waiting to happen.  Men get tests and every complaint remedied, so that they can keep having sex until they're 100.  (That's not even necessary!) Women? They'll let our reproductive organs rot and kill us.  They have pills for every minor male whine, but nothing analogous for females.  We're still in the dark ages up here with the "old boy" network of physicians.  

It hasn't escaped my notice that the doctors who have actually listened and then done something to treat me (tumor removal, injections and antibiotics for bronchial bacterial infection), have all been younger doctors.  Under 50, from what I can tell.  Nothing wrong with a 50s doctor either, but there is something wrong with a doctor in his 80s who can't even remember who the patient is with their file in his hand, and who neglected to note certain medical conditions in that file in the first place.  I'd like to see my file, and how incomplete it is.  Someday, some "forgotten" problem will rear its ugly head again.  

I'm afraid that if one more "doctor" tells me I'm "imagining things" because they're too incompetent to check it out, that I'm going to lose my temper with them.  I worry that what's wrong isn't fixable.  

I'm not afraid of having my legs twisted painfully until my femurs pop back into place.  I'm afraid of becoming unable to walk.  I'm afraid no one will listen to me.  


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