I’m feeling much better, not at all thanks to my doctor. When I went back they took some samples and ordered a blood test (I get the results of that Thursday morning). That was all he did. He told me there was no trace of infection in my system and ordered the blood test to start ruling out other possibilities (kidney disease and cancer among them). I, however, have continued along the UTI/kidney stone route and am feeling at least 75-80% better than I did a few days ago.
“Teri, why such disdain for practitioners of medicine?” you may be wondering.
Older readers may already be aware, but there was about a year-long period of time where I suffered from terrible joint pain. It started in the wrists, then spread rapidly to both ankles, both knees, and both hips–eventually making it hard for me to get out of bed, let alone walk. For months I visited numerous doctors, hospitals, had x-rays taken, had blood drawn, and wore bandages all to no avail. Doctors didn’t know what to do with me. According to one blood test, I tested positive in the autoimmune disease category (type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and lots of other scary-sounding, hard-to-spell things), but when they did a more thorough blood panel, they were unable to positively diagnose me further. I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, Naproxin (basically really strong Aleve), and sent on my way.
Having gotten progressively worse, I had to quit my job. (The only good thing about that job–my quitting it.) As long as I took a pill three times a day, the pain and swelling were bearable enough for me to move around. My doctor told me that my body couldn’t handle a full-time job anymore, and no job that had me on my feet for extended periods of time. I spent the next five months recuperating, taking meds, and looking for a job that fit that description–which wasn’t easy.
Already long story short, I very slowly and inexplicably started feeling better and better. I decided to try taking less and less medication, and I kept feeling better. I am completely fine, and med-free, today. What’s my secret? Was I suddenly healed by one of those crazy tele-evangelists? No, dear reader. I didn’t have some weird disease–the only thing that had been wrong with me was stress. About a year-and-a-half after quitting the worst job of my life, I was a-okay.
The whole ordeal served as an eye-opening experience of the fallibility of doctors. Do you remember when you first discovered that your parents could be wrong? That they weren’t omniscient beings? Remember feeling jaded? Well, doctors have fallen off their pedestal with me, and I no longer trust them. One doctor takes an ultrasound and tells me I won’t be able to have children because I have part of a second uterus mucking things up. Another doctor does that spinning doughnut thing, says everything looks good in the reproductive department, but tells me I either have no left kidney or there was a problem with the x-ray. And then doesn’t return my calls as to which possibility we’re going with. We won’t even go into the fact that both the ultrasound and spinning doughnut thing were done because of another, completely unrelated problem I was having, and received no answers on.
Forgive me, if I now take what they say with a grain of salt.
It will take at least two (but more likely three) doctors to, independently of each other, tell me the same exact thing before I will start to believe it. Until I hear one more “Pardon me, but I do believe you are missing a kidney” or “So how’s that second uterus?” I choose to believe otherwise.