Posted by: hockeygrl1 | August 5, 2011

Doctor’s visits can be fun

So yesterday I went to the doctor. It’s my adventure down to Minneapolis to see my rheumatologist. I know that I picked her so it’s my own fault. She is one of the leading rheumatologists in the state. She is doing research that will hopefully help in the near future.

I normally see her in the late morning, but yesterday my appointment was at 4pm. It was the closest one available so I took it. I’m never seeing her this late in the day again. I didn’t get to see her until 5 and we talked until nearly 6. With the drive being an hour and half one way, I was spent by the time I got home.

She works out of HCMC with is the hospital in downtown Minneapolis and the one most of the poor go to. I have to say that there are some interesting characters that show up.

The rheumatology clinic and the positive care center share an office. I guess it kind of makes sense. My immune system is being suppressed so I’m apt to catch any virus and HIV weakens the ability of the immune system to fight things off. They are not related, really, my immune system is hyper and there’s in weak, we just both really can catch thins easily.

So, I sat in the waiting room for like an hour. I had time to watch people and see what was going on. You can tell that they are poor and uneducated. Many of them need to bring mail in and have their case worker explain it for them. Others bring their medications in and the case worker places them in the pill-box for them.  Others seem to come in to just use the phone in the waiting room. There was this gay couple that were dressed with flash dance sweatshirts on. They were kind of obnoxious and loud. You could tell they wanted to be the center of attention. The worst thing is that they all play the victim. Like none of the things in their life is their fault. One lady was on the public phone yelling at the kids for opening the door to the super. I guess she used her rent money for something else (didn’t hear what. She whispered that part) and was 2 months behind, but her spending the money wasn’t her fault. I know if I can’t pay my bills it’s my fault. Yep, I had an hour of this.

Then I waited an hour in the room. I read a magazine and was on facebook and twitter. Yep, it was a good time in a small room. Yes, the fish bowl of condoms was there too. I hope the positive care patients are using them so they don’t spread HIV.

Finally at about 5 my doctor was in my room. Lucky for me there wasn’t an intern with her today. When there is I have to explain things twice. That makes me grumpy, but I really want the interns to learn about lupus so they look for it and treat it. She ask how I was doing. *laughing* They always ask that and I’d really like to say better, but I’m not.

I started out by telling her my legs cramped up on my over an hour drive to the cities. This is a first for me. I had pain in my foot too. My heel mostly, but it also shot up to my toes. I understand what my fibro friends are saying about not driving now. I’m really not happy about it. Driving is a freedom to go where you want when you want so I want this to go away. I told her that it takes me a log time to fall to sleep and that once a sleep my legs will cramp up and wake me up. I had some fun explaining my arm and leg pain that goes on during the day. Yep, we just focused on my fibro yesterday. Other than fatigue, I don’t feel my lupus symptoms.

So we are changing my meds up. I’m taking lyrica 3 times a day now. She added Evoxac for my dry mouth, eyes and nose. She also added triazolam for sleep. I hope this will give me some relief.

Along with that we talked about the research she is doing. She is trying to find out how the genes of a lupus patient are different from someone without lupus. She’s going as far to see if there is a difference for people with no fatigue,  a little fatigue, and a lot of fatigue. She thinks the fatigue has something to do with our brain thinking that we are sick so we need to rest. At least that’s what they mice and rats do. You know, like when you get the flu, you’re body makes you all achy and tired so you curl up in a ball ans sleep all day. That’s what I deal with all the time, but worse. The cerebellum is in charge of this so, in theory, this should be the part of the brain that is functioning different in patients with chronic fatigue.

Yes, we have some in-depth discussions. I think I am a happy break for her. I don’t want to sound coincided, but I am smart and I learn things quickly. I think these qualities are a welcome break for her. She is working in downtown Minneapolis and as I witness in the waiting room, there are quite a few poor and under privileged that go there. I also enjoy hearing what she is working on. It makes me feel like there will be something to help me, or maybe someone else in the future.

Now I’ve rambled on and on about my doctor and people in the waiting room, but I know some of you want to know how my kidneys are doing. they are not getting better, but also not getting worse. This means I don’t need dialysis or a transplant, but I need to be careful so they don’t get any worse because they are already scarred from the lupus activity. I’m still going to be careful about things I put in my body because extra salt = high blood pressure = hurting my kidneys. I also know my weight is putting strain on my heart = high blood pressure = hurting my kidneys. So still trying to eat right and go on daily walks. My doctor also wants me to reduce stress and relax more. (hahaha, funny in my life. living with mom, dad, brother and his wife and kid, and my 2 kids. oh yea, 8 cats, 4 dogs and a bird too) I bought a yoga DVD and I’m supposed to do it daily. She still wants me to rest, but go out with my friends to help me get out of this stressful place. Yes, I’m still good to go to NYC. She didn’t ask about the boy friend hunt. I’m glad because I’m not closer to getting one. I was going to ask her to write a prescription for it, but it got late and I just wanted to go.

The highlight of the trip was the drive home. Had the windows down, the radio cranked and my hair blowing in the wind. I was singing loudly to “Bad Girlfriend”. Be thankful you weren’t there. I don’t sing good. It was great and made me happy and that’s all that counts.

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