Another Medical Dead End

I had hope for the new doctor.  His assistant said he is persistent, will get to the bottom of what is going on.  After two visits, he has dismissed me.

Maybe it’s my fault.

I have been noncompliant.  I didn’t take the pills prescribed.  I refused a CT scan with dye.  In fairness, the doctor agreed with both decisions, as the symptoms that originated my trip to his office have not recurred.  Given my long list of allergies to medications, neither of us thought the injection of dye would be recommended at this point.

During our original visit, he had insinuated that he could help me with the Lyme’s disease.

“It’s curable, you know,” he’d said, looking over the rim of his glasses.

I didn’t know.  I didn’t even know that doctors were treating Lyme’s in Canada.  I’d heard otherwise.

He checked my vitals, reviewed the blood tests commissioned for my last physical, and asked me why I use a wheelchair.

“Basically, I have a limited amount of energy with this disease.  If I use it all up walking, I’ll have none left for the rest of the day.”  It’s a long walk through the hospital corridors to his office.  “Also, my legs are unreliable.”

“Tell me about it.”

“They feel like plastic,” I started, but stopped.  No one seems to understand what I mean by this.  “They don’t feel right.  Numb, maybe?  Fuzzy, like they are falling asleep.”

He touched my arms, then my legs.

“Does it feel the same?”

“No.  The legs are fuzzy.”

“Here?  Here?  Here?”

“All over.”

“Paresthesia.  It is common with Lyme’s disease.  It alters your perception of your relation to the ground, making walking difficult.”

Sounded right.

“Well, your blood work looks good.”

“That’s the problem with this disease”, I inject.  “It doesn’t show up on routine blood tests.”

He nods, and continues; “Make sure you stay hydrated; pace yourself, resting frequently, and continue to use mobility supports; and monitor your blood pressure.  If you have a recurrence of the dizziness, use the medicine prescribed.”

And with that he was gone, informing the receptionist of no further visits.

I was stunned.  Last visit he’d seemed so positive, so ready to take on this beast that debilitates me.  Neither my husband, nor I, talked on the way home.

“Do you think doctors feel as frustrated as we do, but don’t want to admit it?”  I asked finally.   “He seemed so sincere last time?”

“Yes, yes he did,”  my husband agreed.  “That could very well be.”




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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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