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Hello. I'm interested in your opinions on the care/treatment I've had.
At the age of 36, I started suffering from morning stiffness, joint pains and pins and needles. After six months of seeing the GP and having normal blood tests, I was referred to a rheumatologist.
I eventually saw a rheumatologist 10 months after symptom onset. In this time my symptoms had worsened and I barely left the house due to joint pain and fatigue. The rheumatologist found nothing untoward and told me she didn't think I had any inflammation. She ordered some antibody tests and asked me to return in two months. By this time my symptoms were severe, my moods were very low and I struggled to do basic things like walk up stairs.
When I went back two months later, it turned out they had booked me in with the wrong consultant. This wrong consultant was very nice though, open to the idea that I might have an inflammatory arthritis, but also said some of my symptoms sounded like a vitamin D deficiency, so he ordered a vitamin D test and told me to come back two months later - but I would be sent back to the original rheumatologist next time. In that two month wait I became severely depressed and physically debilitated. I had severe back pain that radiated to my buttocks, joint swelling and morning stiffness. I could barely function at work and my quality of life was pretty poor.
Two months later I returned to see my original rheumatologist. She said my vitamin D test, the one I'd had two months earlier, came back "very very low" at 10nmol/L (4ng/L). Vitamin D should be about 75. Lower than 50 is considered deficient. Lower than 20 is considered severely deficient. Mine was 10. She said it was the lowest she had seen in a long time. She said all my symptoms could be blamed on this, and did not examine me when I told her about the swollen joints or lower back pain. When I asked about the swelling and joint pain, she lost her patience and snapped at me "I don't think this is an immune problem, I think I told you that last time". I had never even mentioned an "immune problem". We had never had the chance to discuss anything. She said she was sure I would feel better after a 10-week course of vitamin D.
My question is, do you think it was right for them not to contact me earlier about my abnormal vitamin D result? Do you think it was okay, given my symptoms and their duration, that they waited two months to tell me about the blood test results and start treatment? That the doctor who ordered the blood test did nothing when he received the result?
How would you rate this experience? Just bear in mind I'm a woman of reproductive age.
There is a lot more to this story that followed, but I'm interested to know what other people would have done in my shoes.
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