View Full Version : New Rheumy??? What a roller coaster

11-21-2008, 11:56 AM
As many of you who have been kind enough to follow my saga hear, I thought I found a new Rheumy. As I laid there last night, I got to thinking about something the receptionist said to me. She said that this Rheumy had been in that office for 25 years. A quick run through math on how long a doctor studies, etc, led me to conclude that this doctor was probably in the twilight of his career. I call the office and sure enough, he is in the last year of his run as a doctor. Nobody is taking over his business. When I asked if he new anyone, he said it would be 6 months before I could get in to see anyone. Cancelled my appointment.

So I'm in a quandry. Do any of you stick with your Rheumo even when they seemed frustrated in dealing with you, or do you pack up an run. How do I address the curt response she gave me the last note she sent? Should I just mention it to my GP, although he seemed frustrated too. Do I give it some time and just go back to see her? So I send her a note, which seems counter-intuitive to me. I'm at a loss, experiences would be appreciated.


11-21-2008, 12:28 PM
Hi Larry,
I am sorry to hear about this new Rheumatologist. I wish I could tell you what to do, but I am not really to sure. I hope that some that comes in here will have good advice. I see a good doctor, but I am in South GA. I know in my personal opinion I would most likely find a different Rheumatologist, because this one does not seem to think that you can flare while taking Plaquenil and well that is not true. I have been on Plaquenil and Imuran for about 14 years and I still have flares. I think that it is terrible that you would have to wait 6 months to be seen. Have you tried to call any other Rheumatologists in your area just to see what they say about the wait time to be seen by them? Can your GP maybe make a referral to one for you other then the one you are currently seeing? Please post and let us know what you decide to do ok.


11-21-2008, 12:37 PM

I am not impressed with my Rheumatologist, but we respect each others opinion.

I find the more I have learned about the disease I can engage in a better dialogue with him. Not a know it all, not naive conversation, just a conversation to find the best care for me.

If it was me, I would have schedule an appointment with both. He may have helped you to get back on track with care and help you to regain a remission. Then I would have schedule a follow up with him, if able and also make the appointment that was 6 months out with the other new Rheumatologist.

If you decide to return your previous doctor, explain to her why you feel the way you do and how her response made you feel. Do you respect her? Do you respect her opinion? If not, I would move on...

Happy Friday..enjoy the weekend..try to.

11-21-2008, 12:55 PM
Interesting. Like Kathy, my doc thinks you cannot flair while on Plaquenil. Figures it has to be something else too. "Just because you have Lupus doesn't mean you can't get other things..." is the comment.

I do respect this doctor and have probably cried "wolf" too much. Funny that this disease is associated with that. Funny thing is, when this flares, I do see an increase in my anxiety...harder to control. Doesn't help matters I guess. That one is on me. Of course, I told my wife this and she said, "if she would have helped you in the first place, you wouldn't have to keep coming back to her". I suppose that's a good point. It's also not that she hasn't ordered the tests and done the exams. I guess having a more mild case of the Lupus has it's good and bad points. It's apparently harder to make a firm diagnosis. Further, if she didn't care about me, she'd probably just thrust the Imuran at me so I'd shut up and go away. She hasn't done that either.

But I'm also seeing that there appears to be a shortage of Rheumo's out there. I'm drawing from a small bucket. I have a feeling they are busy and deal with the sickest of the sick. I'm hoping that appointment on Monday works out with my GP.

11-21-2008, 01:24 PM
PS. I'm also curious if any of you have had a runny nose and or cough that won't ever clear up. That's been one of my battles now. Not sure if I can contribute that to lupus or not. Does seem to me that I had a constant sinusitis during my last flares. Make sense?

I can't tell you how much help you all have been.


11-21-2008, 01:32 PM
Hi Larry..

For some reason I have not had a cold, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis or the like in well over 15 - 20 years...but I get everything else.

Some of us are more susceptible to get colds and etc more so because our immune system is so out of balance. I am one of the fortunate.

Do you take prednisone, or any other autoimmune suppressing drugs during a flare? If so, it is important to stay away from those who have colds and etc. Wash often..keep germ free.

Our immune system is compromised more while on these drugs...suppressing our immune system.


11-21-2008, 01:47 PM
Hi Larry,
I do have serious problems with my sinuses and unfortunately I do tend to catch colds easily. I think in my case though a lot of it has to do with the immunosuppressors and the fact that I also have Sjogrens along with the Lupus. I guess I don't think that a runny nose is uncommon. I hope that this helps.


11-21-2008, 02:59 PM
Hi Larry,

I refure to my rheumy ans stink face. Cause that's the face she makes when I question her.

She also believes that lupus is just a term that doctor's use when they don't know what's really wrong with you. :shock:

We have a shortage of rheumy's here. I am on a waiting list for another one. In the mean time I get calls for other rheumy's that my family doctor did not request. So I take the names to her and she usually makes a face and tells me they are worse than the one I'm already seeing.

So I wait for Dr. Perfect to have an opening for me.

My advice to you is...keep going to see your "about to retire" rheumy. See if he's any good. If he isn't dump him and keep your other rheumy while you continue your search.

If the older rheumy is good, he can at least help you through this year. Even though the doctor's office informs you that no one is taking over his case, usually when your doctor is gone they will grudgingly let you see another doctor untill you can find a replacement....which in my husbands case was never....the doctor who was seeing him as a curtacy ended up taking him on full time.

As for the cold....because I'm on arthrotec and plaquenil, the only cold medication I am allowed to take is Cold FX.

And let me tell you the stuff freaking works wonders. It's expensive but it clears me right up.

You do not need a perscription to take it. But I don't know what meds you are on and how you react to medications so it's best if you talk to your pharmasist or doctor about taking this.

Cold FX does NOT make you drowsey in any way. The only thing it does is boost your immune system.

11-25-2008, 06:15 AM
Larry, the last cold I had (and seem to have again) caused a runny nose that just wouldn't quit - and sinus pain. I didn't call my doctor - just took OTC cold stuff (my rheumy didn't restrict what I could take, so I used Nyquil or Dayquil.)

Stick with your doctor until you can find another. It gets a little tough to manage lupus without the help of a doctor, so even a less-than-effective doctor is better than none. But, keep pressing - do your research; come in armed with notes and questions and don't take "no" for an answer. And, keep searching for Dr. Right.

I always have to remind myself that NOT everything is lupus-related. We all get regular illnesses and symptoms, just like the rest of the non-lupus population. I think it's important to keep that in mind. Assuming it's all lupus might mean missing something important that needs to be addressed in some other way.

My PCP is a good doctor, and I have a good working relationship with him. If I'm not sure if something is lupus related, I start with him. If he thinks it's related to my SLE, he lets me know and will pass me back to my rheumy. So far, it's worked pretty well.

Hope today is a better day, Larry.


11-25-2008, 05:54 PM
Hi Larry;
I have chronic post-nasal drip and a terrible cough that NEVER goes away. It is especially bothersome when I laugh (which can be rather embarrassing). From reading other replies to you, I guess it (or a form of it) is not that uncommon. :?

Peace and Blessings