Karen, thank you.
I do think I'm going to have to push for an answer. I have copies of all the tests in a folder. My plan is to use the splints at night for six weeks (which is what is recommended for home treatment of carpal tunnel) and if that doesn't fix the problem (which I suspect it won't), then I have my folder and my notes and I can go back and press for a referral.
I've had indicators of an autoimmune disease in my blood work since my 30s, and the symptoms as well. The symptoms keep getting worse as I age, with periods of calm in between. Now, in my late 50s, there don't seem to be any periods of calm and the symptoms are much stronger and intrusive. Hopefully I will have lost significant weight by my next appointment and be near my normal BMI, if not at it, so I can get my cholesterol, sugar, and RH factor rechecked too.
Our medical system is very frustrating. It's expensive and no one listens. I'd say about 60% of the time the problem you go in for gets totally ignored. (I had to create my own treatment plan for my hands. The doctor didn't know and didn't seem to care.) Doctors usually run some tests, say wow I don't know, and that's it. Good for their wallets, not especially helpful for the patient. In the early 90s I had extensive testing for MS. The doc was sure I had it, but the tests said no, so she decided nothing was going on even though I had all the same problems. My wallet was a lot lighter though.
You're right, I'm going to have to be my own best advocate. Personally I think I may have RA and there are new diagnostic criteria that make early diagnosis easier. But wow, what a challenge to find the right person to get an accurate dx.
Edited by: PEEDIE22 at: 2/5/2012 (15:44)