I got another call from the nurse of the family medicine doctor today about the lack of sweat. She (the doctor) is still of the opinion that the rheumatologist is the best option. When I told the nurse what happened, she suggested that I just wait until the next appointment so I could tell the doctor. When I told her that my next appointment would be in around four months, she was a little less comfortable with the idea of me waiting. When I asked if she thought the family doctor might have an idea for a referral to a different specialty, she said that they wanted it going through the rheumatologist. So I decided to wait.
My mom, on the other hand, decided that the weather that occurs in the southeastern United States during the summer was too dangerous to risk that long of a wait;12 she called the office to talk to the nurse.3
Guess. What. Happened.
The nurse said I’d talked to the doctor on Wednesday.4 She said the doctor recommended I go to a walk-in for a potentially life-threatening condition.5 She said that nothing I see the rheumatologist for could cause a lack of sweat & that they don’t treat anything that causes that.6
My mother wasn’t having that, so this nurse said that she would talk to the rheumatologist, if he was still at the office,7 to see what he thought. Within an hour, she got a call back.
He still didn’t think anything he treats me8 for, but that he will reevaluate me in two weeks. He doubts there’s anything wrong that he treats me for, but he will check to see if there’s anything new wrong with me. Not to worry, when he checks, absolutely nothing will be wrong. There’s no possible way for me to actually be sick because I just have “loose” joints and need to get more sleep. This isn’t me being a defeatist or cynical. It isn’t me wanting to trash some well-meaning doctor who actually gives a fuck about what’s going on, but who I’m maligning for no good reason. This is me realizing that my rheumatologist has a tendency to be lazy asshole when it comes to actually treating me. This isn’t just my interpretation of his behavior. Anyone who has accompanied me to the appointment and met the man has the same assessment of him. He is dismissive. He is abrupt. He is out the door before I’m able to open my mouth and get words out.9
So I’m not anticipating any change in my condition any time soon.
Photo via Visualhunt
From the Mayo Clinic: Anhidrosis is the inability to sweat normally. When you don’t sweat (perspire), your body can’t cool itself, which can lead to overheating and sometimes to heatstroke — a potentially fatal condition. ↩
From the U.S. National Library of Medicine & the NIH: An abnormal lack of sweat in response to heat may be harmful, because sweating allows heat to be released from the body. The medical term for absent sweating is anhidrosis. ↩
You can’t be surprised by her lack of boundaries. ↩
He may have told the nurse this. He did not tell me this. If he had, I’d be even more distressed by a doctor wanting me to go to a walk-in for something so serious. ↩
I’ve come to the conclusion that my rheumatologist doesn’t bother to actually treat anything. ↩
His hours are like four hours a day, two days a week. ↩
Treats means a yearly appointment that he spends three to five minutes in max, ignores what I say, tells me to lose weight, ignores anything I say about dryness or subluxated joints, says soft braces and plenty of sleep will fix issues that end up requiring surgery, and prescribes another twelve months of Flexeril, even if I tell him that it’s not even working. This has been going on for years now. ↩
Anxiety makes actually speaking about what’s wrong very difficult. If I can get a doctor or anyone else to give me a minute to adjust, I can actually talk to them to some degree. I can even stand up for myself sometimes. ↩