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Archive for January, 2011

More than just a definition, a friend is defined by his or her acts. Behavior is the key.

Slandering me is not friendly. Calling me just to check up on how I’m feeling is friendly.

Making light of my disability is not friendly. Bringing chocolate when I’m flaring is friendly.

Friends may argue, but they won’t call names. Friends may play jokes on each other, but they won’t play nasty tricks.

I think you get the picture.

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WordPress is offering some help for those of us who find it hard to keep up with our blog(s). They are sending out topics on a daily or weekly basis. As my blogs are more narrowly focused, I may not use their prompts, but their nags will help me to make more of an effort to blog regularly.

RAWarrior had a Blog Carnival that I was too stacked up with work to take part in – about how to improve timely diagnosis of RA. Today I want to talk about doctors who help us by giving a couple of examples.

I have a great internist. When I went in to see him 2 years ago, I mentioned that I was having problems with pain. He said (and I’m close to quoting him), “When patients have conditions involving high levels of pain, I want to be sure they have the help to get pain relief.” And he prescribed Lortab for me. It was a huge bottle of them – and, 2 years later, I’m still working on them – only taking them at night, and being careful to only take what is absolutely needed to reduce pain enough that I can sleep ok. Only if I have several days of unremitting pain do I take the full dose. Normally I cut the pills in half – or even in quarters. If I can get by without them, I do. Dr. “X’s” concern, and belief in the FACT that I do have moderate to severe daily pain that interferes with my daily life makes me feel validated – that I’m believed.

I also have a great rheumatologist. I see him every 3-4 months, more frequently if I’m not doing well, less frequently if I AM doing well. I am fortunate that I have a relatively mild-moderate case (given my pain and disability levels, I surely wouldn’t want to to have a moderate-severe case, much less a severe one!). I am also fortunate that the DMARDs my rheumatologist prescribed for me are keeping my disease in check pretty well. My rheumie trusts me enough to write a prescription for a type of injectable prednisone to use as I need to, but no more frequently than every 6-8 weeks. During the holidays, the stress has been sufficient that I wanted to use it more often, but I am not going to – because my rheumie trusts me! He believes in my pain levels, offers me assistance, and trusts me to use it responsibly.

These two doctors are great examples of physicians who care about their patients, listen to them, believe them, assess their conditions – including the patient’s reports in the assessment, and trust them to take care of themselves. I wish more docs were like these two.

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