I do not have arthritis.
In fact, the doctor is so convinced I don't have it - this without the aid of any form of examination - he told me I need to take out my concerns with the doctor - his colleague - who diagnosed it!
To say I was flummoxed would be an understatement. Apparently, I have spondylitis. All the other problems are just basic wear and tear. I even tried to argue with him. "Look, I have it in my arm; I get this bone twisting sensation and pain in the joints. I find that anti-inflammatory drugs work better than the co-codamol. I have this numbness in my leg and have had for a number of years and I get this painful aching in my fingers, my wrist and my shoulders." He seemed to discount all of these and said that what was happening was definitely not arthritis - although he's sending me for blood tests to be on the safe side.
However; it's not all good news... I will basically have similar symptoms to arthritis; it isn't curable and unless I continue to exercise and take painkillers, and it will get worse quicker!
Now, this is the doctor who told me 5 years ago that I wasn't getting enough roughage in my diet because of a stomach problem I had. He prescribed extra bran in my diet. When I told him I was a healthy eating vegetarian, he said, and I don't lie, "You're obviously not eating the right vegetarian food." When I argued with him and said that I had a healthy diet not a junk food diet, he waved my concerns away. This is also the doctor who felt the best way to treat my stress was to listen to relaxing music and take some long walks. This is the doctor, who, I know because I'm friendly with the receptionists, is avoided by patients unless there is really no one else to see. This is a doctor who knows what's wrong with you before you even open your mouth. He is my registered doctor and I haven't chosen to see him for 5 years - not since the vegetarian business.
So, I should be happy. I've just come back from the doctor's and I've been told that all the other doctors' are wrong and I don't have what they all said I had. Fair enough, what I do have isn't as glamorous, but just as painful and with some added wrinkles of their own - a proneness to sciatica for one. The numbness I have had in my leg for the last 7 or 8 years is down to a trapped nerve, which is also pointless attempting to fix. In fact, when you see this doctor, you come out of your appointment feeling worse than when you went in - and you have to remember, there's nothing wrong with you!
Don't get me wrong. If he's right and he seems to think so then not having arthritis is great. Doesn't make me feel any better, just giving my ailment a different name, but... It's just that this having happened makes me feel as though I've been misleading people for the last 3 years and it sort of makes me feel like a bit of a fraud. But, I have to be honest about this, something else this doctor said was that the reason I had the operation to have my shoulder impingement was also because of this general wear and tear on my bones, despite it being pretty much conclusive that the damage was done by a couple of falls a couple of years apart. This proves to me that he is judgemental and full of his own self-importance.
One thing I am very sure about though, it'll be a cold day in hell before I see that doctor again. It's one thing having your understanding of your ailment destroyed, but it's another thing when your appointment feels like your being condescended to by a man who doesn't seem to want to listen to you, because he's made his mind up already.