Rheumatologist vs Internal Medicine Doctor
By July 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm 5,122 17 4
Ive had RA for two years. Ive been on a variety of meds, none of which have worked, and have been in a flare for two years.
I see a Rheumatologist on avg about every 6 weeks due to pain or increased swelling and fatigue… problem is the Rheumatologist refused to change my medication. She claims the problems I am having are diabetes related. To which my Endocrinologist disagrees.
When I was diagnosed with RA two years ago, it was in both shoulders. I now believe I have it in my hands, wrists, ankles, feet, knees, and hips due to the lack of proper treatment. My hands and fingers swelll and are stiff and painful, I cant walk more than 50 ft without getting pain in my knees bad enough that I need to sit down. My ankles and feet hurt with little or no activity to the point that when I drive somewhere I am stopping the car at least once due to extreme pain. I am unable to be intimate with my husband because my hips cause me excrutiating pain…
I have explained all of these symptoms to my Rhuematologist as well as shown her pics of my increased swelling and she still claims my medication is doing its job. when I question this statement, she says the medication i am on works for her other patients so she doesnt believe its not working for me..that my problems are muscular or diabetes related to her. She refuses to send me for xrays, ct scans, or mris… so I am at a loss.
I have filed for SSD for which I was denied but am in my appeal process now… my attny sent her an arthritis functional capacity form and she refuses to fill it out! I am also a diabetic as I think I mentioned before…and her statement to filling out the form was…"i dont have the time to be called into court to defend any info i put on that form…try getting it with your diabetes complications…"
I have no health insurance. My dr appts and prescriptions are paid with the discount health plan I have through the county I live in… I think this is why she treats me the way she does.
I also live in an area where the office I travel to is the only office in a 35 imile radius. The next closest area with other Rheumatologists not affiliated with HER office is in Hershey, PA at a teaching hospital that isnt covered by my discounted health plan because its in a different county. Im on a waiting list (have been for 15 months) for PA State Health Insurance but who knows how long THAT will take.
I sometimes see my PCP for my RA when I cant get in to see the rheumatologist or when the pain I am experiencing is just too bad (because the RA wont prescribe pain meds). She sees my RA as an issue and tells me she doesnt think the treatment I am on is working. She is an Internal Medicine Specialist. So I guess my question is can an Internal Medicine Specialist take over my RA treatment if the Rheumatologist I am seeing is incompetent? Is this within their relm of expertise?
Im at my wits end and don't know what to do… I also suffer from Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I have been feeling VERY overwhelmed because I feel like i am hitting my head against a brick wall. I just dont know what to do…