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Thread: Which doc to see first??

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Which doc to see first??

    Maybe I've asked this question before. Pardon my horrible brain these days.
    I think I was born with some genetic disorder.......but since I'm 69, I guess it wasn't immediately fatal, for which I'm grateful........but I have suffered physically (and mentally), way too much in my long life.

    Fibromyalgia is the kind of "syndrome" that can send you to doc after doc after doc, just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I've been on way too many wild goose chases, had way too many tests, radiation, etc.
    But here I am today, in more pain than ever. I also have osteoarthritis in every joint. I don't use meds much, since my system is so funky and they cause more problems than they are worth.

    Another problem is that I don't trust many docs, and I have what you might call a phobia about going to them, especially now that I'm older.

    Here's my present dilemma........I want to figure out which kind of doc to see first, that might rule out or deal with some other problems. (The footbone's connected to the kneebone; the kneebone's connected to the hipbone, etc.,) Docs these days know shit about the body as a whole or what connection their specialty might have to the rest of the body.

    Anyhow.......I have bone-on-bone knees, bad feet, severely aching thighs, muscle spasms all over, bent fingers (osteoarthritis), TMJ, etc. And the last few weeks I've started having constant mid-back-to-the-side pain (and now an eye that won't stop tearing....but that's low down on my list of pains).

    So........it seems to me that I might have a lower spine problem, even though an MRI several months ago was fairly normal (for an old fart).

    My one leg is shorter than the other. (Hahaha......I'm laughing to myself here, from this image I have just painted of myself). Yes, I look like either Quasimodo or Grandpappy Amos when I walk.

    My possible choices for who to see first are: Podiatrist, knee doc, hip doc, spine doc, sports medicine doc (who might be slightly more likely to consider other parts, in addition to his "specialty" within sports medicine. He/she may also be more likely to encourage physical therapy.) Then there's some other types to maybe see (chiro, acupuncture, etc.)

    I'm just trying to get some varied opinions about which thing to approach first. Whatever "specialty" I go to first, will no doubt order MRIs, surgeries, injections, etc., etc., ........without much thought for the neighboring joints, so I want to proceed with caution.

    Then there's the problem of my fears/phobias to see anyone. I'm feeling like quite a loser these days.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Cathy, I hear ya. My DH is undergoing several medical issues this winter. What I've learned is just what you've alluded to. Doctors are so specialized that it seems almost impossible for them to get the whole picture. I keep telling DH we need an air traffic controller. When talking to all these doctors I'm reminded of the Three Blind Men and the Elephant parable.

    Maybe try what Jane suggested to me in a recent post and see an osteopath, or, as you mentioned, a sports guy. DH did get MRIs and relief for his back pain from his sports/pain management specialist and he's actually now on the list for medical marijuana (hooray!). BUT this guy had no clue about the internal medicine issues--so clueless I was amazed and continue to be amazed that he couldn't connect some dots.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    "Docs these days know shit about the body as a whole or what connection their specialty might have to the rest of the body."

    As my stroke-affected relative said after the standard unhelpful non-answer from their doctor "That's why people depend on Dr. Google these days." Their attempts to find one who had an interest/specialty in stroke turned up absolutely nothing.

    With osteoarthritis, stroke-induced neuropathy, and profound depression, they have recently found some relief with Lyrica; I hope the relief persists and the side effects, if any, are manageable. They also get a lot of relief from various forms of cannabis, which is mercifully legal on this coast.

    I'm sure there are smart, dedicated doctors out there, but most of them are just hacks--drug dispensers going through the motions, as our execrable system demands. Finding the gem among the dross is just too much to expect from old, tired, sick people. Unless your problem can be fixed mechanically, you're probably out of luck. Have you read Undoctored? A lot of wisdom there.

  4. #4
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    My mom, the pharmacist, always told me to start with an internal medicine doc. So when I had an issue last summer, that is what I started with. He immediately sent me to a specialist who didn't even feel or look at the the area for diagnosis but instead ordered a bunch of tests. In the end, the conclusion was n-a-d-a. The ONLY medical professional I ever had a positive result from was a highly recommended physical therapist. If you've already had a lot of diagnostics, then it is unlikely that further testing or imaging will help. Personally, I would try the sports medicine doc. You may have a fascia/muscular issue.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    To sum up: you are paying a fortune for little or no help.

  6. #6
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    I'd try the chiropractor first. It's non invasive, they seem to be more holistic thinking. Find one that isn't a money churner....requiring a contract. The first one I went to was like that..I refused after the "free" analysis that required me to watch a video of how to get treatment. But my sister recommended one she goes to and he is magnificent. He required xrays of my back, neck and hips before working on me. He's been such a help- feet, thumbs, neck, shoulders, back and knees all feeling much better.

  7. #7
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    Cathy, just a quick thought--you never had polio, did you? I was just reading to see if it was possible to be exposed and not know it until later, to have had such a mild case?

  8. #8
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I do see an Internal Med doc. I like him a lot, but it always feels like he puts all my problems into the "fibromyalgia" basket. He has recommended gabepentin, which I tried for several weeks for my peripheral neuropathy, and stopped it after 3 weeks for the side effects. When you feel like crap when you start a drug, and then feel worse, it's almost impossible to keep on taking it. He also recommended Cymbalta, which I filled, but never took. For some reason, I'm frightened by unusual sensations. My neuro system is just tweaked too high. I guess those drugs are for that type of person, but I guess my fears win out........especially when I hear from so many about the hell it is to ever come off them. Anyhow.....back to my Internal med doc. He is soooo bright and knows so much, but he just doesn't seem to guide me as much as I'd like. Maybe he knows I'm stubborn and has given up, I just don't know. We do have good visits though.......but I want more.
    All my labs that DH has drawn and run are always normal........which is pretty common with fibro.

    Tybee....that's an interesting thought.....polio, but as a child, if anything, I got overdosed on the vaccines. I've had the shots, and the oral stuff. Funny, they took my brother to a special hospital once, thinking he had polio, but he didn't.

    During perimenopause, when my kids were young, I had a horrible time with my legs. Whenever I would sit down for any length of time, it would be excrutiatingly painful to get up. It was like rigor mortis had set in. It went on for years.........then completely went away for a couple years. Now it's back. DH is a doc, but he's not very aggressive with helping me figure this out, unfortunately. Maybe this is just osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia together, which can happen and it's extra bad.
    I had a horrible childhood, so who knows how that affects our bodies.
    I got tested for Lyme a number of years ago and it came back normal.

    Some day they'll probably figure these problems out and cure them, but I'll be gone by then.
    And like I said......the other big problem is my fear/dislike of going to docs. Not sure how to get over that. I would love it if DH got more involved, but alas, that probably isn't going to happen.

    As far as an osteopath......I went to an osteo GYN, and she was no different than the others. I also went to a holistic doc once, who did some voodoo over me. So.....I think the good ones are out there .....somewhere, maybe just not around here.

  9. #9
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    Have you ever considered seeing a doctor who practices functional medicine? They look at the whole person. It might be something to look into! https://www.wholepersonhealth.com/se...onal-medicine/

  10. #10
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    You have known for quite some time you need knee replacements. Ignoring those can create most of the other issues with your hips and back. And likely are responsible for the leg length differential. don't let them get any worse because the worse they are, the harder it is for us to get you a good result.

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