Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh, Carp!

The rheumatologist sent a letter to my primary care physician that says I am physically disabled, have severe degenerative joint disease of my knees (so I guess he did see that and reads into it more than I did), possible spondylarthropathy, etc., that I have poor prognosis for improvement and that he believes I will be unable to functionally perform any job duties, school, etc. I guess the knee pain is patently obvious while the spine is mostly from my description. It hurts far worse than knees! While that letter is important for multiple insurance and benefits purposes for the long term, I know that I can and will persevere and more in many ways, if not take up other forms of work.

So I guess I was mistaking his impartiality/objectivity for not understanding. On that note, it probably is best to stay more upbeat with patients since you don't want people to get down and not meet their potentials or see themselves as unable to recover. Ironic, isn't it? It's probably difficult to walk that fine line between empathizing and minimizing. I think I should stop thinking about it so much.

I will say that the swimming helps and the NSAID is a temporary godsend. I hope that I can use it for quite a while without stomach problems.


D Phoenix said...

I wonder, do you think that the specialist was writing this letter for insurance purposes to make sure you don't get pressured from your insurance co to do some "retraining" or so that they won't assert that you don't qualify for disability? I just wonder why he would put the work and school stuff on a letter to your primary doc. It seems like he wasn't sure about a bunch of stuff in the meeting with you but put definitive diagnosis in this letter. Maybe I'm off base.

Obviously, you're a determined person and you will keep being active and involved and his words won't change that. I know from years of experience that it's really hard to deal with doctor speak, trying to figure out the truth, using the shitty language insurance companies need and trying to just be your own person and live as well as possible.

Like our hero, Frida Kahlo, you've got the fire inside (no, not the hot pain of sore joints...I mean the vital heat).

FridaWrites said...

Well, if I needed to apply for social security at some point or something similar. Also, my primary care physician does tend to blow off some stuff, and I think the rheumatologist knows that. Beyond that, I'm not sure but if I think about it I'm probably as likely to reach wrong conclusions as right ones. I dunno.

Thank you, I'll live like Frida!