Polly Pulls It Off

March 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 9 Comments
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This perfectly innocent post title, no double entendres  intended, is supposed to set the 1950’s scene for you. Maggie (friend and frequent commenter on this blog) has always said that the town where I live is like stepping back into the 1950s, and generally I reckon this is a pretty good thing. The 1950s is a pretty nice, cosy, friendly place to live; that is until you get hit by … da da da daaaa, 1950’s Doctor Man.

Alas, the knee has continued to flare and I decided, after having a lot of stiffness and pain yesterday, that I really should go back and say a) the steroids worked but they ain’t workin’ no more and b) can you ask the physio to have a look at the knee please? So I did. Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, if you make a ‘same day appointment’ (and the choice is same day or 2.5 weeks away if you’re lucky) then you can’t choose your doctor; you just see whoever is available.

Now when I did this two weeks ago I hit the jackpot with Dr Locum Eye-Candy, but alas, this week my luck ran out and I got 1950s Doctor Man. Now don’t get me wrong, he was pleasant enough in a dried-up old stick kind of a way, and true to his 1950s roots he did listen patiently and he did actually bother to examine me properly (two things you certainly can’t count on these days in the NHS!), but then the downside of being in the 1950s kicked in, and I got the 1950s lecture about RA. I thought things had come on a lot since this kind of thing: ‘Well, that’s the nature of the disease. It’s a progressive disease I’m afraid and it will flare now and then. Now, I’m not trying to depress you but really that’s just the way it is and there’s not a lot you can do about it. You’re on a high level of methotrexate and other medication already, so … ’ And so on, and so on, for about five minutes.

I’m not actually saying he’s entirely wrong, by the way – fundamentally that’s probably true, but he didn’t make one single suggestion about sensible things I could do. OK, I wasn’t expecting him to suggest Reiki or a gluten-free diet or anything else that your average 2011 British GP would consider a bit ‘far out’, but what about, for example: exercise … or rest, apply heat … or cold, consider a steroid injection in the joint, come back if it gets worse, have physio, get hubby to do all the cooking, washing up, shopping etc. for the next few weeks. <Grin – of course he wouldn’t suggest that! Not the done thing at all in the 1950 to have a man doing all that!>

I must admit I wasn’t feeling very ‘with it’ and I damn near forgot to actually ask what I’d gone in to ask, which was since I was doing a 50 minute round trip every week for ultrasound treatment on my shoulder at the moment with the physio,  could he please ask the physio to treat the knee too? Finally I did remember, and, give him his due, he agreed immediately and not only that but he actually wrote me a note (with his very smart 1950’s fountain pen) to take in with me, hopefully circumventing the need to wait five weeks for the next official appointment for a knee referral, by which time the flare will probably be over.

I did also ask him whether I should be exercising it or resting it, and he said definitely resting it … but is this right, I wonder, or is this just more 1950s medicine. Not that long ago the only recommendation for RA was ‘bed rest’!



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  1. But did he actually say “Now, now old girl. Stiff upper lip and all that. Oh and here, have some ginger beer while you’re waiting”?!

    Glad you got a very nice 1950s note to bring forward in time to your 2011 physio though, so the outcome wasn’t all bad.

  2. gee…. here in the US, we used to have a tv show called “The
    Wonder Years”…. maybe this doc was a “star” in the show…. LOL

    Sorry you had to deal with that … i swear, other than the “meds”, it’s very difficult to get any doc to commit to anything “for sure”… i think i will just keep trying, cold, hot, move, rest… and when it’s “wicked bad”,,, go for a visit…. i will say that my doc says… “you call any time for any thing you need”… we shall see.. i’m a lucky girl,,, some ice and a 600 tylenol seem to work for now, i’m in “remission” according to him.. so i’m just gonna enjoy each day and hope that the pain that brought me to the doc in the 1st place stays “at bat” for quite a while..
    Polly, you hang in there girl… i’m thinking of you… Barbara/bj

  3. Since the joint is flared, Polly, “resting it” is the right advice. I imagine that trying to work that joint right now would be pretty darned painful, anyway, right?

    Glad the Old Tyme Doc referred you back to physio for the knee. Thank goodness you remembered to ask him!

    Here’s hoping the knee pain and disability eases up very soon. Hugs for you, Polly.

  4. Sorry to hear that the knee is still giving you fits 😦
    Do you have a paraffin bath? I once tried dipping my knee. Feet, hands, and elbows are easier. The knee was messy, but it worked – and helped.
    Good luck with the PT.

  5. I say old fruit, it is frightfully good news about the jolly old note. Pip pip. (No lashings and lashings of ginger beer though … and I think I just slipped back to the 1920s with the first half of this reply. Oops!)

  6. This post made me chuckle. I’ve had a few stuck-in-the-50s doctors too, but I’m glad you were able to get what you needed. Now don’t you have some housework to do? 😉

  7. Hi Warmsocks, oooh yes, I do have a paraffin bath. I can see how it could be messy, but might well be worth a try! Thanks for the thought!

  8. Hi BJ, don’t know ‘The Wonder Years’ but we did have a series called ‘Dr Findlay’ – sadly this guy was nothing like the very nice Scottish Dr Findlay though. 🙂 In fairness to the docs (not that I often AM fair to the docs) it does tend to be quite a personal thing as to what works, but that shouldn’t stop them suggesting things that might!!

    Glad you’re in remission – a great place to be! 🙂

  9. LOL! Hubby does actually do most of the housework, but don’t let 1950’s Dr Man know that! :o)

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