Friday, January 11, 2008

I’m Special

I must be special because I see a lot of specialists. Just because I have MS, doesn't mean I'm exempt from other medical problems. If anything, the fact that I have MS and I'm in a wheelchair causes me to have more problems and makes non-MS related problems seem like far more than I deserve. This week is a great example of what I'm talking about.

On Monday, I had cataract surgery performed by an ophthalmologist. This had nothing to do with my disease and everything to do with my poor eyesight. Way back in May, I had a detached retina that I thought was an inflammation of my optic nerve (a MS symptom). It didn't hurt and I didn't have it looked at for three weeks after I had noticed a vision problem. So, I had that repaired and developed the cataract from the surgery. I am now in the homestretch of this problem and in a few weeks, I will have my vision checked again and get a new glasses' prescription. I will actually end up with better vision than when I started, and that's a big deal for someone who can't see the big E on an eye chart without her glasses.

Tuesday, I got a day off from doctors' appointments, but I was back to the ophthalmologist on Wednesday for a follow-up visit. Then, I went to see my primary care physician in the same building. He is the guy who is responsible for all my referrals to specialists and also for my general well-being. The toenails on my two big toes were growing strangely and starting to hurt, so I wanted him to take a look at them. He took one look and said, "Are you seeing a podiatrist?" I told him I wasn't and he told me "you are now." Hooray, another specialist to add to the list.

I finished off the week with a routine visit to the psychiatrist on Thursday and the podiatrist on Friday. Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them that being disabled is my fulltime job, but it really is. I have filled out more new patient registration forms, family histories and acknowledgements of privacy practices than anyone else I know. I go to these appointments prepared with a detailed list of my medications and the names and phone numbers of all my other doctors. I guess that makes me special too.

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