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Muscle spasms and a radiologist that belittled me. #279930
02/06/18 05:15 PM
02/06/18 05:15 PM
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Posts: 57
NY, USA
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kjb Offline OP
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Hello All,

I have a few things that I would like some opinions on, or at least vent a little about an appointment that really bothered me. I am pretty new to my AS diagnosis so the first thing I would like some advice on is Muscle spasms. I have suffered for years from Muscle spasms, I take Flexarol and have for years. However, they are getting much worse as far as pain, persistence and now are wide spread. Could the muscle spasms be from the AS? Do any of you suffer from them? My rib cage has been hurting the past few weeks and I have some muscle spasms in that area, wonder if the pain is from them or if the AS could be active there and causing the spasms.

On another note. I went to have an ultra sound of my shoulders and my hands. The appointment was about 3 hours long, as you might imagine painful, as I had to hold my arms in weird positions for a long time to get the shoulder views. Anyway, at the end the tech went and got the radiologist. Who came in and said to me, "So you think you have AS, that is incredible since its a mans disease"!!! I was dumbfounded!!!!! She then proceeded to look at my right shoulder and asked if I was in pain right then, I said "I am always in pain" She then said this isn't real, shes fine. Then looked at my left shoulder and said you have some calcium build up, the Dr. will tell you get a cortisone shot. As far as your hands you have inflammation and walked out.

I have gone 20 plus years feeling like the DR.'s don't listen to me and dealt with years of pain before I finally found a Dr that would hear me and make me not feel like it was all in my head. I left there feeling depressed, wondering how I finally got a diagnosis and now I still have to prove to people that I actually have something wrong. I am not a drug seeker, I do not complain to people that I am in pain, I try to put on a happy face everyday and battle through it even if inside I am screaming some days. I don't want sympathy, I simply want some understanding, especially from people in the medical field. I sat in front of her with my hands swollen to the point my fingers look like sausages, the pain across my palm is terrible. How can someone be so cold, and to act like she didn't believe me because I am a woman and AS is a mans disease.

I am sorry for the rant, I just was so floored and hurt. I just wonder how many of you still deal with people like her and how do you handle it?

Re: Muscle spasms and a radiologist that belittled me. [Re: kjb] #279931
02/06/18 05:38 PM
02/06/18 05:38 PM
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ThreeG Offline
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I am so sorry you had to listen to that. That was truly unprofessional. I completely relate to your experiences of being made to feel like a fraud. My GP refused to refer me to rheumatology for a long time. She insisted it was just degenerative disc disease. She would ask me questions like "have you been bending down?" in a demeaning way. When pain started suddenly in tons of other joints following a bad back incident, she was dismissive. When I asked why osteoarthritis (mind you I was also in my 30s then) would suddenly come out of nowhere in so many joints, she was like "well you were a runner." I asked why my fingers and wrists, and her answer was literally "well, what other sports did you play?" In other words, how did you cause this and why are you now complaining about it. She finally referred me to my rheumatologist who figured it all out. When I went back to the GP for a check-up, she poo-pooed the diagnosis, and, I kid you not, wrote "osteoarthritis" on my check-out paperwork. She is no longer my GP, by the way.

Anyway, sorry to add my own rant, but it really angers me that we receive this kind of treatment on top of everything else. Clearly I am still bothered by this, so I'm not sure I can offer much advice, just support.

Hang in there. It seems like you have a good doctor who understands and will get to the bottom of things--and THAT is the doctor who counts!

Re: Muscle spasms and a radiologist that belittled me. [Re: kjb] #279932
02/06/18 06:20 PM
02/06/18 06:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
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New York
Banana Offline
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When my disease got bad, the first symptom was both my shoulders had bursitis. Idiot dr said it was from tennis. I say I don't play tennis. it went on and one.


So very sorry, you had that problem that radiologist is uneducated and should be reported. Inflammed hands!!!! Believe me, that can stretch the tendons and you could be handicapped!!! Quickly. any dr that sniffs at that should not be a doctor.

Sorry.


Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.
Re: Muscle spasms and a radiologist that belittled me. [Re: kjb] #279933
02/06/18 07:46 PM
02/06/18 07:46 PM
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Winston Offline
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I find that responding to a comment like that with humor helps (well, it helps my mental health if nothing else). So in that circumstance I might have said, "Wow, sounds like you've been reading ancient medical history texts." And then I would re-educate her by telling her that it is now believed women with AS are frequently misdiagnosed because their symptoms tend to be worse in the shoulders and neck and less severe in the lower back. It's a less aggressive way of informing her that she's ignorant.

Re: Muscle spasms and a radiologist that belittled me. [Re: kjb] #279935
02/06/18 09:56 PM
02/06/18 09:56 PM
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SouthernMoss Online
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I'm so sorry you had to deal with such ignorant and unprofessional treatment.

On the muscle spasm question: yes, they can sometimes be related to AS. If your joints are causing pain, sometimes the muscles try desperately to hold the joints in a less painful position, which can cause them to spasm.The pain in your rib cage could be from AS, from muscle spasms, or from both.


Ginny - 57 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Melatonin, Culturelle probiotic
Re: Muscle spasms and a radiologist that belittled me. [Re: kjb] #279938
02/07/18 02:30 AM
02/07/18 02:30 AM
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Whidbey Island WA
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WhiteCell Offline
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Can you get to a center of excellence or university setting to get a 2nd opinion? It's to important to leave to untrained people.

Last edited by WhiteCell; 02/07/18 02:30 AM.

Starting at 18 yrs old > Reiter's Syndrome. Diagnosed 2001 Ank Spon.
Started Remicade 2002 - 5mg/kg every 7 weeks.

Right Eye Glaucoma- Trabeculectomy/lens replacement 2006.
Right eye DSEK Cornea Transplant 2009.
Right eye Ahmed Shunt 2016.
Right eye DSEK Cornea Transplant 2016.
Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. 2004. Cured by RF ablation 2008.

ICU RN - Seattle, WA

~Grasp The Challenge and Succeed~
Re: Muscle spasms and a radiologist that belittled me. [Re: kjb] #279940
02/07/18 01:04 PM
02/07/18 01:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 57
NY, USA
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kjb Offline OP
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kjb  Offline OP
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Thank you all for the kindness and support. I was only sent to this radiologists office because my Rheumy wanted it done asap, and her office could not get me in for that test for a while. When I go for my follow up with her I will make sure she knows what an awful experience I had. At least she can let her office know not to send people to that particular office.

Also thank you for the info on the spasms. I am hoping that I eventually find a med that works for me. I just switched from Enbrel to Humira. So far no help from the Humira, but I will give it some time. My Dr is sweet and worries that the pain is too much, so she may switch it again if I don't feel some relief soon.

You guys are awesome, thank you again for the support!


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