Sorry to moan, but i'm so upset and angry.
After originally seeing my GP back in early February, I finally saw the Rheumatologist this evening.
He was the coldest, horriblest Dr that i've ever had the misfortune to meet.
Despite my meticulous pain diary (that he didn't even look at) and the pictures showing all the swelling my GP and the MCAT Dr insisted I show him, because the joints on my hands are not visibly swollen today, he will not diagnose RA.
I asked him what about all the other evidence, but he was only interested in visible swelling today.
He pinched my knuckles, I yelped and cried. He manipulated my ankles I cried out in pain.
No 'oh sorry I know it must hurt', no kind of understanding comment, nothing. He told me to put my socks and shoes back on and got impatient with me, I had to apologise and explain it was hard to do it quickly because I am so stiff and in pain.
I asked him what about the fact I can't fully make a fist? Can't do yoga, walk, snowboard, kayak or go to the gym any more. What about the fact that I can't use a knife and fork or brush my hair some days.
He said if the swelling comes and goes, then it is unlikely to be RA and he would only diagnose RA if I had constantly visibly swollen finger joints for 3 months. Not being able to get my rings on, heat radiating from my knuckles and pictures taken when my knuckles were bright red and I had classic sausage fingers, mean nothing apparently.
He told me I have Fibromyalgia, which I was told 3 months ago. He didn't offer me any advice or course of action or any information on how to deal with Fibro or what to do next. I was very, very visibly distressed, I was calm, very withdrawn, but communicated all the key points I wanted to get across, but I was clearly very distressed.
There were no words of advice, nothing to reassure me that he'd get to the bottom of it, just a flat statement telling me sometimes problems can't be seen so he wasn't ruling RA out entirely and was sending me for more tests to be certain.
I asked what I should do to deal with the pain day to day, he just told me to carry on what i'm doing (which is nothing, which I told him), he mentioned the pain clinic. I am already familiar with CBT, I already use meditation and breathing to help with the pain, i've had acupuncture in the past and fainted. I work full time. Going to pain clinics and appointments all the time isn't simple and only something I will do If it has a chance of being useful. I told him I wasn't sure it would be massively useful and asked if there was anything else, he said Amatryptaline which I had already told him I was already on and have been on for the past 20 years.
So, xrays, chest scan and 2 more blood tests. However, the last one came back clear, so there is no reason to assume that this will be any different, which in my mind makes it pointless.
Family history, the sporting injury that brought it on, the fact i've had reactive arthritis in the past, high levels of pain and stiffness in the morning, loss of motion in ankles and wrists, swelling in ankles that has appeared out of nowhere (apparently soft tissue, not joint according to him), all my joints clicking, high levels of pain, constantly in my wrists and ankles, inability to walk due to pain in toes and feet....I could go on and on. None of this is RA because my knuckles did not appear swollen today.
I would perhaps have taken this better if the man had actually shown some empathy, but he was horrible. I have to go and see him in 3 months time and I don't want to. He seems happy to write me off with Fibromyalgia and is doing more tests, it would seem as a formality.
Another 3 months with no pain relief and no start to treatment, with absolutely no consideration of the impact this is having on my life. I've not seen my friends in months, i've wasted hundreds of pounds on activities that I had booked this year that I have simply been unable to do, and I was so hopeful that finally, I'd get on my way to getting better and getting on with my life.
I don't want to see that Dr again, he was horrid