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.