This is a guest post from Dr. Steven Reznick.
Patient Advocacy: It’s Worth The Effort
I have a 61-year-old patient who has been seen in my practice for over thirty years. When she first started developing strange aches and pains as well as abdominal symptoms, her evaluation turned up nothing. At that point she was very active: Playing ball with her two growing sons and dancing the nights away wearing out dance partner after dance partner at community social functions.
When I could not determine the cause of her ills, I asked for help at reputable places including the University of Miami rheumatology division and gastroenterology division. Like so many illnesses, the disease remained a mystery until it was ready to show itself and until technology and progress developed diagnostic tools to allow us to see what is actually there. With the help of a brilliant local gastroenterologist and rheumatologist, and after trips to Johns Hopkins Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, collagenous colitis and sarcoidosis were documented. In the interim, local medical doctors and her friends branded this poor woman as “another neurotic spouse of a doctor who liked narcotics.”
She developed a peripheral neuropathy, which meant her feet and legs hurt all the time with burning/shooting discomfort exacerbated by walking. She went from dancing the Lindy to hobbling with the assistance of her husband, and a cane from the bedroom to her kitchen. She would then have to sit down, massage her legs, and put on thick-cushioned sweat socks to tolerate the foot and leg discomfort. Read more »