Looking Inside

Sometimes, I’m told people can see right through me. I never know if they mean I’m transparent, or I’m hiding something, and what is hidden is transparent. A conundrum to say the least. Today I might wish that ‘transparency’ were indeed the case.

It started with a sharp stabbing pain in my right hand. This had occurred, to some degree, in the past. I was told then, it was most likely carpel tunnel syndrome. Okay. I’ll bite. So way back when I was given some smelly bright blue polypro wrist straps, some anti-inflammatories and that was that. Hadn’t had an issue since. Fast forward several years, to two weeks ago …. and the pain. It started in the right hand. A week later and the left hand joined in … either in sympathy, or solidarity.

Show Of Hands

The pain being quite persistent, and me being one to take care of things quickly, I made an appointment with an orthopod. Luckily I was seen today by Dr Gray-Man. After some questions. Some pulling, pushing, and squeezing …. the G-man said “… let’s get some x-rays.” Here I go … of to x-ray. Dr G-man looks at the x-rays and says … “doesn’t look like anything orthopedic in nature” Okay. I ‘guess’ a sigh of relief might be in order. But with my Sarcoid background … that might not be the case. His suggestion was to draw blood & do rheumatological testing. He also referred me to the rheumatology clinic that just happened to be in the same building. This way we can go through the … let’s cross out this … this … and this … method of diagnosing. I know … this is the way it’s done. Yes boys & girls … it’s time once again for Joe to play … stump the doctors.

You may recall, some years ago, we played this fun little game until I was diagnosed with my favorite mystery disease … Sarcoidosis. (If you need a refresher … check the archives.) But before my sarcasm-a-dosis kicks in too hard … I’ll just wait and see what the blood work shows.

Off I go to the rhumatology clinic, which just happens to be on the same floor as the orthopedic clinic. I start chatting up Kathy, one of many receptionists. Oh no … scheduling coordinator? Hmmm … okay maybe … condescending bitch? See where this is going? :) I was told the soonest I could be seen was a month from now. Okay. New patient and all … I acquiesced. She then tells me that before she can officially schedule my appointment she will need a credit card. The card, she tells me, is so if I don’t show up for my appointment, or I don’t give 48 hours notice for cancellation, my card will be charged for the visit or non-visit in this case.

My jaw almost dropped to the ground. What? You need my credit card for what? Can you tell me to my face in another manner how YOU DON’T TRUST ME? Or any of your patients for that matter? I get that THESE doctors are ‘specialists’ … yes … I get it. Any time I hear an appointment is one month out … I guess I should consider myself lucky! Right? Again … I acquiesced. But I WILL be talking to the Attorney General office of WA, and the AMA, to find out if this is ethical, and or legal. Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!

I left. Payed my $3.00 for parking, and came home. My first call was to Dr Spaghetti-sauce. He’s been my pulmonologist for quite some time now. He’s my sarcoid specialist …and (figurative) white knight. I figured if anyone could tell me if this might be sarcoid related … he was the man. Within 10 minutes of calling & leaving a message, one of his assistants called me back & told me, that rheumatological problems can be sarcoid related, and that seeing a rheumatologist was certainly in order. She offered to see if I could get in to see one of the specialists at UW Medical. But alas … an appointment was not open until DECEMBER! These guys & gals are ‘extra special specialists.’ But sadly … I’m in pain right now and a rheumatologist in the hand, so to speak, is better than one several months off.

So now I wait ……..

Think this is frustrating? Can I see a show of hands?


Joe Streno
artist . musician . photographer . apple computer consultant . residing in asbury park nj with his two cats rocky & rose & living to tell tales about it

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