Another medical professional not to whinge about

February 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | Leave a comment

Good grief – what am I going to have to post about at this rate? After my successful doctor’s visit earlier in the week, I’ve now been for my routine monthly blood test for methotrexate and got a sensible suggestion from the nurse. Now don’t get me wrong, the nursing staff who do the blood tests are always pleasant and friendly and efficient, but I was getting a bit irritated by their attitude to general health. Conversations generally ran something like this:

‘How are you at the moment?’

‘Full of aches and pains. I’m in the middle of a flare – my fingers are really stiff, I’ve got a terrible pain in my right shoulder, my left knee keeps seizing up and my right foot is swollen to the size of a football.’

‘Right … no rashes or mouth ulcers then? Good … good … let’s do the bloods…’

At which point, being polite and reserved and terribly British, I would not say, ‘Oh for f**** sake, I thought you were supposed to be specialist rheumatology nurses. So long as I’m not having adverse reactions to the MTX you seem to think everything’s fine – well it’s b****-well not!’ Etc. etc.

It really was starting to get to me though, a while back – but until recently I’ve been fine for months so I didn’t worry. The conversation was more like:

‘How are you at the moment?’

‘Oh fine, really.’

‘Right … no rashes or mouth ulcers then? Good … good … let’s do the bloods…’

Then last month we were back to conversation one. In my opinion a good rheumy nurse would, at this point, say, ‘Gosh, but you’ve been so well over the last few months. What a shame. Perhaps you should see the GP – or have you contacted the hospital? Maybe a steroid injection might help?’ But no, it was pretty much as above (although that was rather an exaggeration of my symptoms, as anyone who reads this blog often will know. I’m fortunate – I don’t get RA that badly! (touch wood etc!))

So this week I went in and honestly I was all ready to have a conversation something like this:

‘How are you at the moment?’

‘Full of aches and pains, but no rashes or mouth ulcers, so I suppose you’re happy as that’s all you care about!’

Fortunately my British reserve (aka wimpiness) kicked in as usual, and I just said, ‘Well, not great RA-wise’ or words to that effect, and you’ll never guess what response I got! Well it was something on the lines of:

‘Gosh, but you’ve been so well over the last few months. What a shame. Perhaps you should see the GP – or have you contacted the hospital? Maybe a steroid injection might help?’

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather – which given the weight I’ve put on around Christmas would be quite a feat! Looks like there must have been some training going on with the RA nurses in the last month! Hmm, another medical professional I shall have to stop moaning about, by the looks of it!

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