The Rheumatologist is Weird

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The Rheumatologist is Weird

Yesterday, I got cortisone shots in my back. The rheumatologist worries me because he seems to think fibromyalgia is a mental health issue rather than a chronic pain issue. However, he does prescribe treatments for the chronic pain I experience and doesn’t treat me like a med seeker.

The rheumatologist drops little odd hints during our conversations about how much Lexapro I’m taking or needing to up my dose or needing to add another psychiatric drug to my current treatment plan. For instance, when I told him I was having problems with TMJ pain and headaches, he mentioned something about stress and adding an anti-anxiety medication. I explained that my level of stress is presently mild and taking 20mg of Lexapro has already made me a mood-less, unemotional zombie (obviously anxiety is not the source of my jaw pain). He seemed totally unconcerned that I was possibly overmedicated on Lexapro and said something that can best be summarized as “Good”. Then he suggested that I try a sports mouth guard while sleeping.

Dealing with the rheumatologist is weird. He treats the symptoms I experience, but also seems to feel the symptoms are almost entirely in my head too. Perhaps this is because he’s old enough to be my grandfather, deals with frustrated elderly people, chronic pain patients, and med seekers all day. I’m quite a bit younger (and more cheerful) than his usual clientele.  He is also very hard of hearing and has a cochlear implant for one ear and a hearing aide for the other.  Since I also have hearing loss, we sort of mumble at one another and only understand a portion of what the other is saying so I’m sure this does our ability to communicate no great favors.

Whatever the rheumatologist thinks of me, at least I have scripts of the meds that help for the next 6mo until our next appointment.

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