Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cooling Off and Considering My Next Steps

I am not really struggling as much as you might guess from my last post, which was written in a fit of emotion after getting home from yet another unsuccessful, unproductive appointment with a specialist. I suppose I had just gotten my hopes up more than was realistic that I would FINALLY get some answers and FINALLY have a real plan of action. I left the hospital on Tuesday morning, had a good cry in my car, went to Dr. P's office, had a good cry on her couch, came home, had a good cry via angry/frustrated/sad word-puking on Blogger, called Mama Bear and had a good cry to her, and then promptly put my thinking cap on and went back to the drawing board.

Next steps:

— Find a good primary care doctor. Believe it or not, I haven't had a regular GP in three years, which was when my pediatrician referred me to an outside ED clinic. From there on out, it's been specialists all the way: ophthalmologists, orthopedists, gastroenterologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, gynecologists, and pain management specialists. I had thought that the rheumatologist would be the one to put all the pieces together and figure out the real story, but obviously that didn't happen. And by this point, I am so overwhelmed and burnt out and frustrated and confused that I simply can't manage the sheer level of persistence and self-advocacy that goes into getting referrals, appointments, records releases, record transfers, insurance appeals, and insurance coordination (because I am covered in part by both my university plan and the family plan from my dad's company - I know, I know...#firstworldproblems: I have too much health insurance).

So I need someone to keep track of everything, seek out the best specialists, get me in to see who I need to see, and basically do a lot of the legwork/coordinating/advocating for me.

—Look into getting appointments with the following: pain specialty clinic in Big City up north, as recommended by the new gynecologist I saw last week; an allergist/immunologist at University Hospital here in College City, as recommended by the rheumatologist on Tuesday; and an endocrinologist at University Hospital, because my gut tells me that huge hormone deficiencies, shifts, and imbalances over the past two years have caused the majority of my problems. I've always deferred to the professionals and not wanted to offer my own thoughts or suggestions since I haven't been to medical school and know very little about how the human body works...but at this point, I figure there's nothing to lose by casting a wide net.

Keep up with the basics: eat well, limit exercise, stay open and honest with Dr. P, keep up the coping/distraction methods, and maintain a social life. It'll only help, you know?

Okey doke, I have to make a Walgreens run for eye drops before work. Happy Thursday everyone, stay cool if your weather is anything like College City's today.

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