Posted by: Little Miss | November 9, 2007

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me.

The doctor that diagnosed my Fibromyalgia and Vitamin D deficiency was rated one of the top Seattle doctors by Seattle Magazine for 2007. But that’s not the point of my post.

I just called to see if she would evaluate my 26 year old daughter who has been in chronic pain and unable to work since her car accident in July of 2006. My daughter has many of the same symptoms I suffer from, so I suspect the car accident (while at a complete stop she was rearended by a car traveling 35 mph) likely has caused her to also have fibromyalgia.

I was just told by her nurse that many of the Seattle area rheumatologists are refusing to treat or perform follow-up care on fibromyalgia patients, preferring instead to treat “connective tissue diseases” and other stuff. This, she said, was specifically Dr. Sheets’ position. She also told me that they wouldn’t even consider evaluating my daughter since the clinic wasn’t accepting any new DSHS patients and preferred that my daughter deal with her primary care physician (PCP) who could supposedly refer her to a good rheumatologist. The clinic the PCP works at is the same one who had a doctor tell me, when referring to my back pain, “If it hurts bad enough, you’ll exercise.”

Holy shit.

It’s the primary care physicians (PCP) that have misdiagnosed me for years, could never put two and two together, and told me to just watch my salt intake and lose weight. They are also unable to effectively treat my daughter or provide her any relief other than continued prescriptions for Vicodin (which has its own addictive issues.)

I am absolutely appalled at the response I got from this doctor, for whom I had such high regard.  To assume that a PCP could accurately diagnose or treat this condition is ludicrious.

I’m stunned. I just don’t know what to do. Make some noise? Fight? I’m not going to scurry back into my corner quietly.

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Responses

  1. I sure feel for ya, hon! I’m assuming that DSHS is some sort of public assistance insurance and if so, your situation is already about 10 times worse. But don’t lose heart! The first thing I’d do is call the case worker or whomever oversees her insurance plan and ask for a current list of doctors in your area that are taking new patients. WHen you make your calls to book an appointment, don’t even mention FM! The goal is to be referred out to a rheumy based on the symptoms alone. My complaints of widespread muscle pain, aching joints, and fatigue seem to do the trick, he, he. Once the PCP recommends she see a rheumatologist, ask for more than one option and get names and phone numbers. Call and ask the rheumy’s receptionist if they TREAT fibro patients. That should narrow your choices considerably. And this, by the way, is why it takes so long for FM patients to get diagnosed.

    And while it probably won’t do any good, it might make you feel better to write that doctor a letter and tell her just what you think of her! She’s telling patients they have FM, then calls it something else when it comes to treating them? It makes me think of the people who say, “I’m not racist, I just don’t want to have any black people over for dinner.” Or you could try my approach and write a post about her, then use her name as the tag so that when she googles herself she finds your post, he, he. No, I take that back! While I haven’t been sued yet, God knows it could happen!

  2. Thanks, Tammy. Well, I already did put the doc’s name in print here. I stated facts, so I’m fine. Yes, DSHS is the Washington State public assistance. My daughter – not me – is receiving it. She lost her job last July as a direct result of this car accident, and has been disabled according to their criteria ever since. Her PCP (main doctor) has been treating her and giving her pain pills. At one point, she gave her a type of very strong pain pill that (I may have my facts skewed here) was up in the category of Meth. She was mean and she knew it. It really changed her and withdrawal from that for her was rough and took several days. Now, she’s just on Vicodin and that has its problems as well.

    To complicate matters for her, she’s had several abdominal surgeries in her young life. She’s 26 and has already had gastric bypass, several female issues (one resulting in a blood transfusion and near hysterectomy), had her gall bladder removed, and just last December had two major surgeries within seven days, one of them being a life-threatening incarcerated abdominal hernia.

    So she surely has had all the trauma and injury that can trigger fibro. And she has all the symptoms, I just don’t know about the trigger points yet.

    I’m just frustrated because even my PT last night said “You know, it’s unlikely that she has that. She’s not old enough.”

    Good GAWD. We did find a doctor nearby that used to specialize in Fibro and now does consultations and research around it. So we’re asking that her doc refer her there for a consultation and an evaluation.

    The whole thing is frustrating. There will be a solution to it all, I just don’t know exactly what it is yet.

  3. WOW, she had been through a lot to be so young. That would be a lot for any age! And I don’t buy the “not old enough to have FM” crap, either.

    Sounds like you’ve gotten a good start in the right direction and I sincerely hope this all works out for you guys. You’ve been there so I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say it is going to be a tough row to hoe, but we’re here listening when you need to vent!

  4. Thanks, Tammy. Yes, poor girl, she has gone through a lot in her few years. But, like me, she’s a survivor. I’m pretty much over my rant, and have some ideas of moving forward. Right now, my biggest stressor is work and trying to settle into a guilt-free routine of working from home unless I’m needed in the office for a team event or meeting. I’ll get there eventually. Right now, I’m just beat.


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