Lupus sufferers shouldn't miss their doctor's appointments

Lupus sufferers shouldn't miss their doctor's appointments but unfortunately, I did. Normally, I'm good at keeping my appointments but for some reason I didn't feel like going last week.

I, like many lupus sufferers, feel as though we don't have to go to the doctor if we're feeling well. With lupus, it's important to go anyway because you never know when a flare up will strike.

I've had lupus since 1999 but wasn't diagnosed until 2004 so I should know better.  I know that lupus causes the immune system to attack its own cells, causing damage or potential damage to internal and external organ systems.

The main reason why I didn't keep my last appointment is because I just had an exam with my primary care doctor and nurse practitioner in rheumatology. These exams were back to back (April and May) and I had labs done which were normal to be expected for my stage of lupus.

The exam I missed was to see the head of rheumatology. She basically follows up to see if the practitioner is doing her job. If that's the case, she didn't need to see me. My record is easily accessible and surveys are done if she wanted to see if I was treated respectfully by staff.

In cases like this, all I can see is financial opportunity on their behalf. My last appointment with the practitioner was humdrum as she could tell that I didn't want to come see her either. However, I have to make sure I keep up with her because she orders the labs needed to see where my blood levels and other lupus factors are.

The plan to maintain my lupus health is to alternate my time between my three doctors, take my meds as prescribed, eat right, rest and exercise when I can. It sounds simple but the routine gets to me sometimes.

I totally understand that I have to put my feelings in my pocket when it comes to this, especially if I want to avoid a flare up and land in the hospital.

Because I missed the appointment with the head of rheumatology, I won't be able to see her or my practitioner until March of 2018. I feel guilty now because I know I'm going to be subject to 1,001 questions of why I didn't keep my appointment in August.

Question: Are you guilty of cancelling your doctor's appointment when you could have been there?

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Filed under: Lupus

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