Tonight, on my way to Mexican and margaritas, a call came in on my cell from a number I did not recognize. It was my dermatologist. I had called her last week to let her know that one of my blood counts was off, and she was out of town, so she was calling to get further details. We talked through what had transpired since I had seen her last, and she too was quite concerned about my elevated ANA count - I think she said "that is abnormally high".
I took the opportunity to thank her for her efforts - she very easily could have said that this was just a rash that comes and goes and stopped there, but she didn't. She recognized this was beyond what she could treat, that this was not normal for me and actively assisted me in getting the next appointments set up. Not only that, the doctors she set me up with were equally as wonderful as she was. All three have consistently been amazing - all three saw me at the drop of a hat on the same day, the allergist gave me his cell phone number and called back within 15 minutes of me calling him and the dermatologist made the effort to call me and see how I was doing. All three also have an excellent bedside manner - which goes a long way in building your trust when you are frustrated after seeing doctors for the upteenth time.
So while this has been a rough health year for me, I feel very lucky to have received outstanding medical care. The ENT I saw earlier this year was fabulous (in addition to being fabulously cute) he actually read my history and was able to piece together the sleep apnea issue - and true to his word, I am a better person because I sleep.
What I have also learned is that you are your best advocate. You know your body and you know when something isn't right. And you need to make sure the professionals who are treating you respect that and if they don't help you, find some that will. I can't imagine what it would have been like had I not found such compassionate, caring doctors the first time around.