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When a Blessing Becomes A Curse

I am in the midst of my first gout attack in 15 years localized to my wrist. Not certain what triggered it. But I don’t wish it on my worst enemy.
 
My husband suffers from gout in the toe next to the big one, so I know what you mean. It was only a matter of time as his identical twin brother started with gout a few years earlier.
 
@Essjay Your point earlier in this too many Loracarids and by the way we're getting old thread is important. I'm at a good weight, am active and have been on a sugar careful diet for decades because of a family history of debilitating diabetes. I was regularly tested.
I now realize I have had pre-diabetes symptoms for decades, not caught by the tests I was given. The early effect of being on meds has been remarkable so far. A number of things I thought were just age related are suddenly gone. I'm not a new man - just the same old guy with a metabolism that reminds me more of 55 than 65. For me, it took meeting a young doctor who was willing to test a little more seriously, since I don't fit what she called the physical profile of a type 2 diabetic.
It doesn't hurt that a side effect of the meds has been weight loss - it's kind of nice to get closer to my old 'fighting weight', even in a wrinkled and bald form. We seem conditioned to blame meds for all kinds of awful things, I guess with the general anti-science prejudices in fashion now. But working with a sharp doctor who gets you on the right track when you need it really can raise the quality of your life.

The fountain of youth may just be a detached canister filter hose (I moved like an 18 year old the last time that happened here!) but. Next week, I'm going to move three 4 foot 40 gallons and 2 20 gallons, reposition their rack and put them back in. I have it carefully figured out when 30 years ago, I would have put down my beer and smokes and just done it. Now, I have to plan. But with a little scientific assistance and a human doctor with empathy and an open mind, I can do things I thought were really difficult a few months ago. As long as we still have the ability to push, we have to keep pushing as much as we can get away with.
 
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in January 2000. I went about something else (female related) and a comment I made caused my GP to add glucose the list of things she tested. I was in the grey area between definitely and definitely not, so as HbA1c hadn't been invented then I had to have a glucose tolerance test which proved it. Because I was caught early with no symptoms whatsoever I am still diet controlled 24 years later.
Until 2000 my blood pressure had been "a bit high but not high enough to treat" then it suddenly became "you have type 2 diabetes, we need to bring your blood pressure down".
I can't take doctors' blood pressure meds of choice as I'm asthmatic. The first medication I was given didn't get it low enough, so a second was added. Med #1 caused side effects (known to affect 1 in 3 people taking it, and the majority are women) so med #1 was replaced by med #3.
Med #2 didn't cause any problems while I was taking it - that's the one no-one could get hold of in 2020. It was switching to med #4 then back to a different formulation of med #2 which seems to have triggered the symptoms. I'm now down to just med #3 in a higher dose than before.

It took me by surprise just how many things cleared up once I stopped taking med #2 (including another symptom I can't mention on a family forum which disappeared after a couple of weeks). I thought I'd have to give up my fish tanks, but it's now just the weather that interferes with water changes. And I've just potted up tomato plants into their final pots - 2 for outdoors, 2 for the greenhouse. I couldn't have done that last year.
 
The problem I have these days is doctors who can't be bothered looking for the cause of the problem and only treat the symptoms. I don't want the symptoms to continue forever, I want the cause found and fixed.

I went to the doctor a couple of months ago to get a referral to a dermatologist because the skin is still peeling off my legs after I was poisoned by a pesticide in January 2023. I have skin peeling off both legs. A piece of skin about 3 inches long x 1 inch wide came off my left leg when I touched it with a wet tissue. I have an itchy belly and various other skin complaints that aren't healing or going away.

My doctor prescribes me with antibiotics for the wounds on my legs. He asks if I'm allergic to anything and I said yes, most things including various antibiotics. He didn't bother to check his computer for my list of allergies and prescribes amoxicillin. I go to the chemist and they ask if I'm allergic to anything and say a lot of things. They look at the script and check their system and say your allergic to these antibiotics because they are penicillin based. Nice job doc.

I go to the dermatologist and spend 20 minutes waiting. The receptionist asks me to fill in a new patient form but I can't read it because I am half blind and the text is about font 2 or 3 (it was tiny). Normally when I tell them I can't read the form they fill it in for me (they ask questions, I provide answers, and then I sign it). The receptionist couldn't be bothered doing that so nothing was put on their system except my Medicare care number. I missed out on a pensioner discount because of that. I spent nearly half my pension on a 1 minute visitto the dermatologist.

Eventually I get called up by the dermatologist and go into his office. He has a quick look at my legs, then grabs my arms and pulls the sleeves on my shirt up, goes behind me and pulls the back of my shirt up and then the front. He didn't ask if he could look, and I don't think there was any dirty thoughts going through his mind, but if I was a woman, I would have yelled rape. It was very unprofessional. After about 1 minute in his office I get escorted out and wait in a side room. About 5 minutes later a nurse comes out and gives me a prescription. No instructions for it, just a script.

I wait another 40 minutes for a pathologist to come back from lunch and ended up having swabs of the wounds taken by a nurse because the pathologist hadn't come back from lunch.

I leave after that and go to the chemist to get the script filled. I end up with a huge bag of steroid cream and moisturiser. I ask the chemist which item I use on which part of the body and she says the doc should have told you. I leave and go home. The next day I email the dermatologist and ask what I am meant to do with the steroid cream and the moisturiser. I also complained about having to wait 20 minutes and pay $260.00 for a 1 minute consultation with the dermatologist. It's been more than a couple of weeks now and I have sent several follow up emails but still haven't had a response and don't know what I use the steroid cream for and what I use the moisturiser for.

Basically my doctor and the dermatologist don't give a crap about finding the underlying problem and are simply treating the symptoms as they see it. I know I don't have dry skin on my legs because this started straight after I got poisoned and my skin and hair fell off a few days after it happened and continued to this day. I know what dry skin looks like, and it doesn't look like a 3 inch long strip of skin that peels off when touched by a wet tissue and leaves the muscle showing underneath.

I used to have a good doctor who listened to my list of complaints and then try to find out what was causing them, unfortunately I'm not with her any more. These days the doctors are crap and want you in and out as quickly as possible so they can take your money and think they helped you by prescribing useless treatments that your either allergic too or don't help.
 
I am fortunate. My doctor, who is actually a RNP not a Doc, takes the time and makes the effort to explore causation. The past few months I have experienced a bout of severe leg cramping at night. I have experienced cramps before but these were nothing like anything before. I often felt my ankle was about to break as it twisted into some pretty odd positions. Antonio did a series of tests to find the cause. It was decided the cramps were common with age but the severity was not. After several tests it was determined I had a Potassium deficiency, and my electrolytes were depleted. We started a course of treatment that combined a muscle relaxer an hour before nighty night, thrice daily Gabapentin, a Potassium supplement, and drink a jug of Gatorade daily. The cramps were gone in a week, and we then began withdrawing the meds until the cramps reappeared. I now drink a Gatorade and take Gabapentin daily. I also take the Potassium every other day. No more cramps. Antonio is unusual in the profession. He takes the time to root out the evil then treats it directly with the minimum medications required.

After a bad experience with a previous provider, I assembled my medical records and literally interviewed several Doctor offices before selecting the place Antonio works. I treated the process just like I treated the applicants who applied to work for me when I managed a company.
 
I ended up in the hospital due to anemia I questioned in about 2016 or 2017, and my doctor told me to cook in cast iron and it would fix it. Eventually my platelets dropped to dangerous levels and I end up in hospital with a blood doctor who reads the low platelets but ignores the rest of the CBC. I am fortunate to be mostly healthy, can now read my own CBC and have platelets steadily moving up due to B12 supplements, a little iron supplement and eating liver of some kind at least once a week. But I just researched gout and I don't think more than once a week on liver is such a great idea. Best docs I've had in the last 15 years have been nurse practitioners or the little asian clinic that takes cash and helped me straighten my thyroid out. The expensive docs seem to be all money no care
 
My experience is that I have little say in when age and my body have opposite goals. Age always wins......

But I managed to nab the LF male BN who was repsonsible for all those fry, He now resides in the tank filled with hos kids and about 50 assassin snails.

So, I am still smarter than my fish. or at least some of them...... But then they are all younger than I am.
 
Keeping short lived fish is like teaching High School in September - they are always the same young age but you are always a year older.

I have had great doctors here. The cliche is the ones who are only in it for the money go to where healthcare is for profit, and we end up with a shortage, but with doctors who put their trade first. I had one ice cold socially incompetent Elon Musk with a med degree guy 25 years ago, but he scooted off to Singapore for big bucks. He was the only bad one I've had.

Admittedly, some of the specialists have huge egos, but it does take confidence to do surgery, so... They must watch TV and have favourite doctor characters they want to look like sometimes.

Staying smarter than the fish is a life goal. Staying smarter than the dog is a challenge for some people I've met, so we have to take what we can get sometimes.
 
If your medical problem is nonsurgical you want a person who is both a healer (good bedside manner) and a skilled physician. If your problem is surgical you want the best technician regardless of bedside manner. I’ve known plenty of kind and friendly surgeons in my 48 years in medicine who were horrible at their craft.
 
I am fortunate. My doctor, who is actually a RNP not a Doc, takes the time and makes the effort to explore causation. The past few months I have experienced a bout of severe leg cramping at night. I have experienced cramps before but these were nothing like anything before. I often felt my ankle was about to break as it twisted into some pretty odd positions. Antonio did a series of tests to find the cause. It was decided the cramps were common with age but the severity was not. After several tests it was determined I had a Potassium deficiency, and my electrolytes were depleted. We started a course of treatment that combined a muscle relaxer an hour before nighty night, thrice daily Gabapentin, a Potassium supplement, and drink a jug of Gatorade daily. The cramps were gone in a week, and we then began withdrawing the meds until the cramps reappeared. I now drink a Gatorade and take Gabapentin daily. I also take the Potassium every other day. No more cramps. Antonio is unusual in the profession. He takes the time to root out the evil then treats it directly with the minimum medications required.

After a bad experience with a previous provider, I assembled my medical records and literally interviewed several Doctor offices before selecting the place Antonio works. I treated the process just like I treated the applicants who applied to work for me when I managed a company.



My Dad is gonna be 74 this year in July. We've had a few scares these last 10 months. I've had to take him to the ER 4Xs during that span. He's fully insured. What's gets me is getting an appointment with his own Dr takes months. I called his Dr's office and explained exactly what was going on and they told me if he needed to be seen sooner take him to the ER. It's very upsetting especially because that's who he wants to see him and these visits are a priority.

Made an appointment with an ear specialist, 3 months just to get in. Cardiologist, almost 4 months....my concern is what if something happens during those 4 months that could have been prevented had he been seen sooner. No one cares and it's very apparent.

I also have been dealing with my own anger issues. For years he's always been there for everyone. Sending money to the grandkids, loaning money that never gets repaid, co-signing for loan after loan, letting my sister put bills in his name for her etc etc..they only come around when they want something. It makes him so happy to help, you should see his smile. Pisses me off because he's being used.

What's scares me more than anything is losing my best friend. Tearing up as I typed that. If I could be 10% of the man he is I'd be a better man. I know the time is drawing closer and I believe it's made me hypersensitive to the surrounding circumstances. I just wish his grandkids/family would come and spend the day with him without asking for anything so I could see that smile..
 
There aren’t enough doctors in the United States. I worked 65-70 hour weeks and still always had a 3 month waiting list. Just no way to make it work without sleeping in my office.
 
It must be hard to be a surgeon. Hard to be a doctor, too, but the cutting is cutting and you need confidence and technical ability for that. I've been working with some doctors from other countries who are trying to get into the system here, and the personalities are pretty well like everyone else.

Here, a family doctor appointment is quick, but specialists can take time if they triage you as not in danger. That's probably par for the course for everyone.

Younger family members and aging parents are another issue. I get what @Ceez is saying there. It can permanently damage relationships between siblings. Few things within a family can be messier than the relationship between the go to kid(s) and the can't be bothered ones.
 
I actually see all my specialists easier than my Internal Medicine doc.. I have a
cadiologist
pulmonologist
urologist
orthopedist
neurologist
opthomologist (surgeon & eye doc)
I had a radiation oncologist but have not needed him for a couple of years.

The one thing I do not have yet is an undertaker and I am not shopping for one.
 

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