Ease of Appointment
Spends Time with Me
Follows Up After Visit
I was about 17 months into the course of my disease when I saw Dr Sawitzke.
He works at a teaching hospital, of course, so that means they send a student in to listen to your spiel first, then the student gives them a rapid-fire one minute summary, and THEN the doctor deigns to speak to you directly.
I made the apparently horrible mistake of objecting to this procedure. I understand they are training doctors on the spot; but I am there to seek answers and a solution to this problem that is ruining my life. This, of course, doesn't seem to occur to them.
So I said no, I won't speak to you, I came to speak to a doctor with experience. The PA took great offense and I relented to save time.
I'll give Sawitzke points for actually spending time with me, listening and answering questions. He was basically high-handed, as though he doesn't trust signs of intelligence from patients; this seems to be typical of doctors.
In the end, he hit me with a "possible diagnosis" - not a real one? - of EDS Type III, with more "possibilities" of infectious arthritis, as I had guessed from day one, or psoriatic arthritis without the skin problem.
Then it was ok, have a nice life, PA will see you out. Just like that. I received my first automated message with b.s. about physical therapy, etc. I couldn't believe any of this; it seemed too Kafkaesque that a doctor could essentially declare that my life was over, then totally withdraw without even a robotic "I'm sorry".
Oh, I forgot: the day after my visit, he goes on vacation to a conference with other rheumatologists, promising to review my case therewith. It was two weeks before I heard back from him. To his credit, he actually called me, and confirmed his suspicion of EDS Type III. Fine, whatever. Again, not a single word of sympathy. I'm a man and don't need people to weep for me: but these people have really lost their humanity.
Note: I saw two rheumatologists after him, in Vermont and New Hampshire, and both disagreed with his "possible diagnosis". Of course, they offered none of their own.