Just call me Felix Unger for short

At least that's who my primary care doctor thinks I am. I'm almost inclined to believe it myself when I look in my medicine cabinet. For those who don't know who Felix Unger is, he is the beloved honking, hypochondriac roommate of slob Oscar Madison from "The Odd Couple". Like Felix, I have various remedies and antidotes for colds, allergies, and pain relief. Because my lupus affects my immune system (flare ups causes my immune system to attack itself, causing pain and other problems), I feel a "honk" coming on when someone coughs or sneezes around me.

For the past few months, I must have visited my doctor over five times to give me something stronger for pain relief. I'm sure he was happy to see me initially because I was a walking dollar sign. Now, based on our conversations when we meet, he tells me in roundabout ways that the pain is all in my head. He is the one who diagnosed me with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and OA (osteoarthritis), stating these were the causes of the pain I was having. "Get physical therapy", he says. Check. "Get more sleep", he says. Check. He's giving me all of these suggestions instead of prescribing me something that will knock it out the box, Rick (as Slick Rick would say).

Does he realize that I cannot perform his suggestions while I'm in discomfort? Does he realize that I need a little boost? Obviously not, as I mentioned on occasion how stingy he is with his prescription pad. Before I knew it, I blurted out "Don't think I'm Felix Unger--my pain is real!" He remained calm as he was still reluctant to give me something. Instead, he wrote a referral at my request to see a new rheumatologist. I succumbed, of course.

My current rheumatologist belongs to a trendy network of doctors. I see her once every six months and a nurse practitioner in between times. Both are not serving me well anymore as they are just reinventing the wheel, with me being the lab rat. Well, the other day, I decided to give this new rheumatologist a shot. He is not totally new, as I recall being under his care during my initial stage of lupus in 1999. He didn't remember me but I remembered him. He is a friendly Indian fellow with a smile that warms your heart.

Please don't let me down doc--because if you do, be prepared to hear my Felix Unger honk.

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Filed under: Health and Wellness

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