Monday I had a doctor's appointment for routine blood work and I also had a physical. Unfortunately, or maybe it was fortunate in some ways, I was have a Fibro flare and was having trouble sitting down, getting up and even walking. You could clearly see the pain in my eyes too. My doctor took one look at me and immediately knew that I was struggling. I told him that I was having a flare and also told him it was on the milder end of the scale compared to some. He asked me to describe what a bad one was if this was "mild" and I told him it was when I had to hold onto the walls just to walk and was in even more pain than I was right then. I also shared that I was in pain every day, but that flares took it to a whole other level. He took a look at the rash on my face and told me that he was going to test me again for Lupus, R.A. and for inflammation in my body along with all the other things he normally tests me for. We talked about how all of this was affecting my mental health, along with the stress brought on by the ugly extended family situation and me no longer being able to work and how this is affecting every aspect of my life. I shared that I feel like I have lost a huge part of who I am and it just makes me feel sad and I want the old me back. He then worked with Jeff and I to come up with a comprehensive plan to try and help me feel better and is having me try a new medication to see if that helps. He knew that when I actually conceded to try a new medication, that I must be desperate because I do not like taking medications at all, preferring to use just natural supplements and such. He then examined me, asked some more questions and then gently helped me sit back up. He then told me that I was to call him, his nurse or the hospital if I had any questions or problems with the new meds or if my anxiety gets worse, especially since Jeff is gone at night for his job and I am alone.
I am still awaiting the results of my blood work, but do have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks to see how I am doing. I suspect that we will be going over my blood work at the time and making more treatment plans if it comes back that I have Lupus or R.A. or both. He is really leaning towards thinking that I may have Lupus, although I have tested negative for it for years even though I have the "butterfly" rash on my face that past doctors had thought was just Rosacea. Since it is getting worse, he wanted me tested again. On one hand, I do not want Lupus at all, but on the other hand, there are medications that you can take that help with that and with the pain that comes with it. At least that gives me hope if I do show that I have it.
Some of the many reasons I appreciate my doctor so much is that he sees all of his patients as individuals and gets to know and really care about each and every one. He takes an interest in our family and always asks how our kids and grandkids are doing. He is gentle and caring and you can see the kindness in his eyes. He goes out of his way to help you and will really listen and support you. He knows that finances are tight for us, so he suggests things that are low cost or free to help us get healthier. He is also there for us when we need him and we do not have to wait for weeks to get in to see him for the most part. We can usually get in within a few days time. He actually takes time with each of his patients and becomes their friend, as well as their doctor. He is honestly one of the most compassionate people I have ever known. I have been in a puddle of tears in his office several times now and he is so good to try and help me in any way he can and comfort me. He understands my anxiety issues and does not dismiss me thinking I am "off". He also understand that I need to have Jeff with me for most of my appointments and is fully supportive of that. If he can't treat me for something, he seeks out the best doctor he can find who can and follows up to see how I am doing.
So now we try the new things he suggested and wait to see what the results of my blood work are. I am already starting to see a difference in my sleep and have gotten 2 nights of having a little over an hour in the deep sleep stage, something that has been eluding me for years now. I track my sleep on my fitbit so it has been interesting to see the changes already. I am also getting more of the REM stage of sleep. So far, it is helping and I hope it just keeps getting better. Even this little change is giving me more hope.