So I had an appointment with my Rheumatologist on Thursday. I guess I must have looked good. When I say good, I don't mean anything out of the ordinary, I just mean I didn't look like death warmed over! This is the doctor that wanted to put me on disability and then wanted to put me on permanent disability. I freaked out at the thought of either of those ideas. However, in order to handle those thoughts I made my mind up that I am not going to be permanently disabled so eventually I will be able to go back to work. I am not sure when but I am planning on it.
OK...so like I said, I guess I looked good because when the doc saw me he said "So you ready to go back to work?" I know if I hadn't been sitting down, I know without a doubt I would have fallen over. Thinking back maybe that would have been a good idea, at least for his sake! So I sat there in disbelief thinking "am I hearing this right?", "OMG, I must be doing much better and I don't even know it!!", "God what an IDIOT I am!", "I am imagining this horrible pain??!". All of a sudden I could hear something and I realized I was still sitting in the room and he was talking to me. I gathered myself and said, umm, no..not really. He then asked me why I thought I wasn't able to go back to work. My usual work would be an accounting manager. Now I know most would say, oh well you just sit there. Those are people that don't know a, what type of work really consists in an accounting manager and b, they don't know what type of worker I am.
After I picked myself up off of the floor and gathered my thoughts I told him that I would love to go back to work. Remember, I was the one that didn't want to be on disability now, short term or permanent. I am glad that I look good right now, I guess, but unfortunately I see it is biting me in the ass. (Yes, I do talk to my doctors that way! I say what I think and feel.) I said, "You know as well as I do that I can't sit for long periods of time without being riddled in pain and having to get up and walk around and change positions. I get cramps throughout my body. I reminded him I could go on about the physical issues, but what I thought was the worst part of all, was the mental part. Had he forgotten? I guess it was easy for him to, he doesn't deal with it everyday like I do.
My memory is not like it used to be. I know everyone tells me it is age. I am only 37 years old. In my mind, that is NOT OLD!! If it is old in your mind, keep that thought to yourself! LOL I use to be able to remember anything and everything, and I do mean that. Now, I struggle to remember any short term items. I also have a problem with speech. I can't always find the right words when I need to speak. Sometimes it sounds like I am stuttering, but I am not, I am seriously searching for the right words. Usually I am unable to find them. It is horrible. Horrible, because I was one of those people that use to talk (alot, not so much that it was annoying) and was very quick with smart and jokey comebacks. Not so much anymore. I am so unsure of myself now. I get confused easily and overwhelmed too. I was never like that... NEVER. I hate it, I am still trying to get use to all of these changes. Still trying to figure out how and why they are now a part of me.
So in my mind, can I go back to work? Not right now. I ran a very stressful, upbeat, busy account payable department for the largest music publishing company in the world. I LOVED what I did. I love my career. I would love to do it again. I trained and traveled. I can't imagine speaking and not being able to find my words and then what? What am I suppose to do then? Because then even if someone finds the word and says it, for whatever reason, I still can't say it. I know it sounds weird, but it won't come out of my mouth.
My doctor tells me well don't you think that you could work, and then when you start to feel bad, you could take some vacation time, and then go back to work and then if needed take sick time and then work and then if needed take FMLA (Family, Medical, Leave Act). I was like "Seriously?". I thought he was trying to be funny, even though that is not his style. I explained to him that businesses do NOT run that way. I asked him if he would do that for his employees. He was speechless. Ha!! Just as I thought, can't put the shoe on your own foot, eh, doc???
Truth be known, I was pretty thrown back for awhile. I was a bit out of sorts. Then I spoke to someone who reminded me that doctors are not trained in psychology when they go to school. They also only see a small window of us from time to time. He happened to see a window of me that I looked good. (Lucky me) What she did remind me of, is that I have a tendency to put a good facade on for everyone. I never really thought about it, but I guess I do. I mean if you think about it, who wants to walk around with a frown and complaining about how crummy they feel? Well, I guess there are some people out there, but not me. I would rather have a smile on my face and say I am fine, then to tell the truth. Allbeit, there are a few that know truly how I feel, whether I have a smile on my face or not.
So for those of you out there, whether I am smiling or not, whether I say I am fine or not, just let it be known, that unfortunately I still have all of those awful "invisible diseases", they haven't disappeared...just yet!!!