Happy Tuesday all!
Life has been quite hectic lately – between going to school full time, packing and organizing for our move, and going back and forth between Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto, I haven’t had much time to relax! I have finally found some time to sit down and write again 🙂 I hope to be able to write a bit more often once I’m used to being a student again. I am enjoying school and learning a LOT, and can’t wait to share it with all of you when I officially become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist!
Today, I had an appointment with my family doctor (GP, medical doctor) to refill my prescription for cipralex (antidepressant), which is every six months. I try to limit my appointments with my medical doctor, as I don’t find a need to see her outside of filling this prescription. I leave my chronic pain and fatigue treatment up to my pain specialist and Naturopath. Today, my doctor was training a McMaster Medical student, so the student was my quasi doctor today – she was thorough asked me the standard questions about my anxiety and depression: how are you feeling lately? do you find the meds are helping? how are your anxiety levels? are you feeling depressed at all? have you tried to come off of the medication? any negative side effects? I answered all of her questions rather quickly, as I’m used to this, and she said “well that was quick!” and then brought my actual doctor in to fill the script.
My doctor then proceeded to ask about my treatments at the pain clinic, how I’m managing my fibromyalgia pain, etc. She then asked if I was still on the flexeril for sleep (my pain doctor now prescribes this as my GP refused to last time I saw her), and proceeded to suggest other medications instead. She has had this conversation with me in the past, which is completely understandable, because this medication should only be prescribed as a short term medication, however, I have been on it for 20 years and have not noticed any negative side effects (yet). She wanted to understand why I was on this medication for sleep, and if I have tried other medications, or tried to sleep without medication at all. This REALLY frustrated me. Have I tried other methods? OF COURSE I HAVE! I have suffered with this illness for 20 years – I have tried other medications (five others), sitting in a hot tub or bath before bed, not consuming any caffeine at all, going to sleep at the same time every night, practicing hot yoga, eating well, supplements, and the list goes on. YES, I have, and NONE of them work! There are proven studies that patients with fibromyalgia cannot reach deep sleep, and the muscle relaxant somehow helps the brain do so. I went two years before being diagnosed with no sleep, and I will NEVER do that again. Would I rather not be on this medication? Yes! However, I will take sleep and this medication, over no sleep! She then suggested Immovane, which is a sleep medication, and was laughable to hear, because that medication was prescribed to me years ago and I had horrible side effects, not to mention, these are to be prescribed for VERY short term, for example, a few days!!! I explained to her that I would love to be off of all of my medications, and the fact that I am now off of the heavy pain medication is huge in itself, and once I am done my school program I am going to attempt to get off of both medications, with time. And if I cannot, it won’t be the end of the world – sometimes medication is needed, and it’s not a bad thing.
I brushed it off in the end, as I know she’s just trying to help, and I only see her twice a year anyways. She’s a very nice, young doctor, and is quick to order tests when she thinks something is wrong, however, I still lump her in the “western medicine doctor” category, whom I have lost respect for when treating chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
She did say something that made my ears perk up, and she earned my respect back, a bit! When she asked how I was doing, I mentioned that I was not going back into HR, and that I was going back to school to become a Holistic Nutritionist. She to that with “Good for you, we need more Holistic Nutritionists!”. I was SHOCKED that she said that, since this was coming from a medical doctor who encourages Western medicine, and was glad she was open to the fact that other more natural treatments are in fact helpful.
I’d love to hear from all of you. Have you ever left an appointment with your doctor feeling frustrated? I feel as though every time I see my family doc I get annoyed, and in the past have felt the same about my rheumatologist as well. What have your experiences been like with your medical doctor lately? Do you find that Western Medicine has helped in treating your chronic illness? Do you find yourself arguing with your doctor at times, like I did today? It can be an incredibly frustrating experience seeing medical doctors who don’t understand your specific chronic illness, yet think they do. I have been studying fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue for 20 years, you’d think I’d be an expert by now and the doctor would give me a bit of credit, no?!
Well, I am off to bury myself in readings to learn about vitamins and minerals 🙂