Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pain and Uncertainty

As a short postscript to Sunday's post, "Pain". I spoke with my family doc yesterday. She called to tell me she'd finally received the results of an exam I had with a rheumatologist. She said I looked "fine". Trouble is, she did not realize she was looking at a four year old examination.

She wants me to have another one.

Doctors always tell you they simply want to "rule out" things. But that is code and it's hard not to worry and wonder what you'll do if they find something.

I had the original exam because my best friend's mother encouraged me, no, demanded I have one. She had visited and been concerned about my health: two hip replacements and ongoing joint pain with a pending knee replacement. She is a nurse with a Phd who worked in cancer med at UCLA, so when she tells me to do something, I do it.

Back in '05, I received a clean bill of health and was greatly relieved because the rheumatoligist looks for many different things including some kind of necrosis of the bone. I'd never heard of that so that was a new scary one to contemplate. I waited and waited to finally receive the results via a letter. All was well.

Now I'm going to repeat the process. Should I? It's half a day off work to drive the 80 miles to this specialist. But it's more than that. It's the repeat performance; the waiting; the uncertainty. Part of me says to ignore it and go on with my life because what will I do if they find something? Avoidance issues.

My father would say I'm "borrowing trouble". He'd probably be right.


Sher said...

I think it's always best to know your own health status. Medical technology is ongoing and there are so many illnesses that our parents suffered as recently as ten years ago that can now be stopped or curbed dramatically. I have rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes (to mention only two), illnesses that run in our family. But, because of today's medical advances, I am so much better off than my Dad was at my age!

JC said...

Hard decisions .. since you do have a past history, you might want to redo the tests. Maybe though at a more convenient time for you. A day that you have off work already. I have a few problems myself and I have found that I like to be in control of when and where .. can't control the old body and how it works though. I am the queen of pain ... been there .. done that ... so,I can relate. Hope you feel better at least today !!!

ellen abbott said...

My retired neural surgeon friend says don't go to the doctor, they will always find something wrong. My mind reels with the possibilities presented by every little ping and poke but fantasy has it over reality for me right now. Avoidance issues. No insurance so I'd just as soon not know.

Poppy said...

In my experience doctors rarely find what's really wrong. I had numerous exams and tests but almost everything was well although I didn't feel well so I'm doubtful about it.

Still, I think you should do it but take it easy. :) Do the 80 miles drive and exams but leave out the uncertainity part and try to divert yourself with something less concerning :)

Good luck!

California Girl said...

Sher: rheumatoid arthritis AND diabetes. do you control both with meds? you are upbeat and certainly correct when it comes to new technology.

JC: oh all right...I'll take the tests again. Thank you for weighing in :)

ea: I know what your dr friend means and I agree. It's like my husband always says "don't go to a surgeon unless you're prepared to hear you need an operation."

Poppy: I agree with you too. I respect the doctors most who say they honestly don't know what's wrong when they don't know. That is my GP who wants me to go back to the Rheumatologist. She's a pretty good diagnostician but won't guess if she does not know.

Baino said...

Oh I share your views. It's so easy to get into the medical treadmill of unnecessary tests and specialists. I'm a mistress of avoidance but if it's impinging on your lifestyle, probably best to get the tests done. Best of luck.

Lover of Life said...

Man, I know exactly how you feel. I hate going to the doctor because I always think they'll find something. It is my worst avoidance issue.

I really hope all is going to be okay. You'll make the right decision.

California Girl said...

Hi Baino: I will get the tests done. Just waiting for the referral to hit the docs. Left a message on your blog this morning wondering how you are doing?

LOL: thank you, sweetie. xo


by Cole Scott