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So hard to find a doctor
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Kinkatia posted:
Every book I've read and website I've visited has stressed the importance of having a primary physician to help coordinate fibromyalgia care and to check out new symptoms to be sure they're not from some other cause.

I haven't had a primary physician since I was fifteen and my pediatrician couldn't see me anymore. I've been to every doctor and nurse practitioner in the area surrounding my home, and none have been comfortable or helpful, even before the fibro hit me like a runaway semi. And now I'm back at school, I don't have the time or the energy to go anywhere but the campus health center. I thought it'd be alright, but my first appointment there today was a disaster.

The nurse practitioner who works at the health center is not a very friendly person. She's nice, but in a way that makes you feel like she's looking down on you, and I can't stand that. I had a list of things I wanted to talk about, and had been getting even more anxious as I waited twenty minutes past my appointment time to see her. Then I felt like she was rushing me through everything, and it made me uncomfortable. That's the reason I didn't stay with the rheumatologist who diagnosed me; she was always too busy, always rushing me.

Anyway, it was decided that we'd have my iron, Vitamin D and B12 levels checked, and they could draw the blood while I was there. Except she let the student who was with her do it, and that woman has absolutely no idea how to get blood out of someone with hard-to-find veins like mine. I was stabbed with that needle at least seven times, six of which were failures at getting the vein in my arm. She finally got one in my hand, but could only get enough blood for the iron test. I'm pretty convinced this is because she had that elastic band tied around my wrist so tightly that it was cutting off my circulation. And now I've got a couple of painful bruises and pain keeps shooting up my arm from my hand. It's so bad I'm in tears.

They want me to come back later this week for the other blood tests.

I am not comfortable with this nurse practitioner. But there isn't anyone else near enough to campus for me to go see while I'm fighting fatigue, an 18 credit course load and a senior thesis. I have no idea how I'm going to manage. I don't even know what I'm doing here, when I clearly need to get my symptoms under control before attempting to finish school.

I feel like things would be easier if I could just find a doctor who didn't make me feel lousy and actually took the time to listen to me and help me find solutions. I've been six years without a doctor I was comfortable with, but at this rate, I'm worried I'll never find one.
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xperky responded:
Kinkatia, I know how hard it can be to tough out the last year of college. You can do it! Keep pushing yourself, because it is worth it in the long run.

However, it does sound like you need to make the extra effort to find a doctor to treat your FM so you can make it through this year.

You sound like you are still very young. Do you have insurance coverage through your parents? If so, I would definately call some nearby internal medicine doctor's offices or rheumatologists and see if they take your insurance and also treat FM.

I view the school clinic as a good place for standard illnesses and treatments, but FM, and the medicines used to treat it, is complicated.

I'm sorry you have this illness at such a young age. I know you must have worked hard to get through school to the level you are at, and you must want that degree very much. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can find a doctor that gives you hope for feeling better.

Be well,
Margaret
Life is wonderful when lived with love and compassion, Margaret
 
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annette030 responded:
The nurse practitioner sounds like she ordered the right tests anyway. I would give her a couple more visits before you decide to write her off. I always give a doctor three times, then decide. So far, it has always worked out.

Unfortunately, waiting for 20 minutes for a visit that is late is no big deal these days. They only allot 10-15 minutes to a visit, and if she gives anyone more time, it sets her behind schedule. I try and make appts. with strange doctors for the first appt. of the day, or the first one after lunch if they do that. This way I usually get seen right away and the practitioner is not already behind and looking at their watch while they are talking to me. If I suspect my appt. will take longer than 15 minutes I tell the scheduling person so she will know what kind of time I need. If necessary, you can do part of what you wish to speak to her about at one appt. and the rest at a later date.

I have had great luck finding doctors by talking to their medical assts. or nurses first. I explain what I am looking for in a doctor and see what she says.

Take care, Annette
 
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shtupndance responded:
I know what it's like to have such a crazy schedule and fight the fibro... I was so lucky to have a doctor who had my back while we searched for a diagnosis. We started looking during college, and I was just diagnosed last year. I've been out 4 years, and I've just started taking a few classes again this semester. Good doctors ARE hard to find. If you can't find a good one near campus, it might not be a bad idea to try and find one near home. I only see my doctor every few months, anyway.
Your school clinic is there to treat the everyday problems of the masses, and they aren't really designed to be a knowledgeable place for your treatment. I see a primary care doctor who is 45 minutes from my current home. I started seeing her while I still lived with my parents in college, and I haven't found anyone else in my new neighborhood who is as good as she is. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but nobody ever told him he was being a hypochondriac, or to stop whining and go back to class, or any of the other wonderful things we get from medical community members who are clueless.
I suggest you expand your search radius. See if you can find a doctor close to your parents home, or in a town that neighbors your campus. Find out how far you can go with the ransportation you have available to you. When you call for an appointment, tell them you have fibromyalgia and ask them a few questions about other patients with this condition, and if they'd feel comfortable treating you.
I hope this helps! Having a good doctor is the best tool you can have while you finish school and start your life!
 
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1975transplant responded:
Greetings,
Yes a good doctor is hard to find, but don't evaluate them on just one visit. I have a good doctor and he usually listens carefully to my questions and complaints. I can be very honest with him and he is in return. On one visit we only had to go over my lab work, so there wasn't a rush. He came in and told me he was having a tough day. Already that morning he had to tell 3 people ( and one only 6 years old) That they did not have long to live and there was nothing more that could be done for them - in terms of a cure. So that day I listened to him. Doctors have tough things to deal with too and more patients than just you to think about and treat. So when I have an appointment that felt a bit rushed, I remember that and try to give them the benefit of a doubt.

I too have learned that it is important to tell the person who makes your appointment ALL that you want talk about, so they allow enough time. Or if they are having a particularly busy day to just stop and schedule another appointment for later. I don't like to rush through things either, but I think it goes with the fibromyalgia, that we just can't take in information as fast as most "normal" people do.

I wish you success in finding a doctor that you can stay with for many years so that they understand you and how you react to pain and medications.


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