Monday, December 19, 2011

Search For A Rheumatologist Cont'd

First off, I want to thank everyone who contacted me through email, facebook, comments, etc. regarding my previous posts. I was surprisingly nervous about my upcoming appointment with a new rheumatologist, and it was incredible to have so much support.

I love you all.


That being said, let me tell you all how it went.

I must say that perhaps I was spoiled with my previous rheumatologist. I was so comfortable with him and his office, I felt like I was heard and understood, and I always felt taken care of. Admittedly, I wasn't sold on Doc Wiz on my first appointment with him, but I wasn't uncomfortable.

This new doc . . . well, things were a little different.

Let me rephrase that . . . completely different.

Let me rephrase again . . . awful.

Starting at the beginning, I was heading into the situation nervous. I was going alone, which wasn't my ideal situation. I had my directions printed out and was carefully driving into a town that I haven't had much experience exploring yet, on my own anyway.

After accidentally driving into a private condo's parking garage, I found my way to the hospital's parking. When I got out of the car was the first realization that this was nothing like Doc Wiz's simple private office. This was a big f'ing building.

I've been to big hospitals before, don't get me wrong. But maneuvering around one as large as this without knowing where I was going was overwhelming. Scary.

Eventually, after elbowing my way through the large crowds of people, I found the doctor's office.

I can't say how many doctors were working in this one office, but it was a tad scattered. It wasn't the calm experience I was wishing for. But I was hopeful that the doctor would be worth it.

He wasn't.

I knew within the first five seconds he wasn't the right doctor for me.

He walked into the room and closed the door. Then, without saying a word to me, went to his bottle of disinfectant. It wasn't until he was finished rubbing his hands together that he finally greeted me. So there was about two minutes of me just watching him wash his hands.


The vibe was bad. He was the type of doctor who talks down to his patients, which drives me crazy. He asked me a few questions about my treatments, but rarely tore his eyes away from his computer screen. And worst of all, he had no interest in getting to know me and my personal medical history. Not a good sign.

The biggest red flag was toward the end of the visit. After arguing with him that I was not at all interested in his advice to alter my treatments (he wanted to change my medications even though I told him repeatedly that I'm finally in a good place as far as medicine), he told me he was going to send me to get numerous, unnecessary x-rays.

Not happening, pal.

If he had gotten to know me better he would have learned that I have had so many x-rays in the past that there are certain scans that are just no longer healthy for me to have anymore.

And what is it with doctors thinking that ordering x-rays is this simple thing? Don't they realize that crap is expensive?

We said our goodbyes, but instead of me heading down to the second floor for the x-rays I went to my car.

And then I cried.

Why? I have no idea.

I think it was such an overwhelming experience and it was just upsetting to have things go so wrong.

I had high hopes, even though my PC doc told me he wasn't exactly a warm and fuzzy guy . . . the understatement of the year. But I hoped that he was at least a good doctor.


He might be a smart guy and he might know a thing or two about arthritis, but I will not be going back to see him.

Nope. Not gonna do it.

After my long story, I want to leave you with at least one lesson : You should never settle for a doctor who isn't right for you.

Settling for a doctor who makes you uncomfortable is probably the worst thing you can do for your treatment. I would rather go without a rheumatologist than regularly see someone who doesn't treat me well.

There are a lot of doctors out there who seem to be on a power trip. Instead of me interviewing this guy to be my doctor, he seemed as if I was the lucky one to be seeing him. This God-complex some doctors have is infuriating, and I refuse to hand over my treatment to someone who doesn't keep my best interest in mind.

So there.

There are other doctors. Other offices. Other options. It will just take some time to find the right one. 

This might mean that I have a long road ahead of me. I have to continue the search for a new doctor. It will be tough, but I have to follow my instincts.

And the journey continues.


  1. Oh no! This sounds just like an experience I have had and it isn't good. I did the same thing....I went to my car and cried.

    You are right. We have to find someone we are comfortable with. I know for me, I feel vulnerable enough each time I go to the rheumatologist and if I feel uncomfortable, it is even worse.

    There is someone out there for you. Good luck!

  2. Best of luck finding a comprehensive rheumatologist.

    Really hate that kind of situations..and that kind of doctors. Wouldn't be a good idea to get them evaluated by their patients periodically?

  3. I am so sorry you had a lousy experience. You are absolutely correct though in your thoughts about finding the right doctor for you. I am impressed with your ability to listen to your instincts and do what is best for you. I am on my FIFTH rheum. and it looks like I have finally hit the jackpot. She was the first and only only one to correctly diagnose me. Stay on course, you will get there!

  4. Aw hun, I'm so sorry. I hope that you find a better doctor soon to help you out. I'm off to my new appt today, and I'm hoping the reviews I've heard are good.

  5. Decided to come out of lurkdom today to tell you that I feel your pain! I have a rheumy but I'd like to find a better one. Thanks for taking us with you on this dificult journey!

    Your blog is really helpful!

  6. I have always had terrible doctors like that! I'm not sure my rheumatologist is right for me either. Maybe I should look for a new one too. And I agree with Cathy - I always feel extra vulnerable at a doctor's office so I get very emotional if things go badly.

    We're all here for you, dear!


  7. If you go home to visit say even twice a year why not keep your old rheumy from Washington? Of course it would be ideal to have one in Hawaii but as long as you have a good FP doctor, perhaps keeping your old rheumy would be ideal, and a good excuse to go home and see family!


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