Before leaving the dermatologist's office, he told me he would be contacting my family dr. to discuss the diagnosis. I left the office and went back to work.
I had been back to work for a few minutes when I received a phone call from my family dr. She said she had just gotten off the phone with the dermatologist and that we needed to get an appointment scheduled with a rheumatologist as soon as possible. She asked if I had a preference, which I did not. I didn't know any rheumatologists so I was trusting her judgment.
About another hour later my family dr. called back. She told me she had contacted the rheumatologist and scheduled my appointment and gave me the information. I was to see the rheumatologist in about 2 weeks.
She paused for a moment then said, "Do you realize this is a pretty serious condition?"
I said, "Yes. I've read about it on the internet so I know it can be serious."
Family dr.: "I will need to see you again prior to your visit to Dr. (rheumatologist). I want to discuss this more and we have some other things we need to do."
I was back in my family dr.'s office within a week. The reason she wanted to see me face to face was to tell me something I had not learned from the internet. She informed me that DM can sometimes be caused by an undiagnosed cancer and I needed to be screened pretty thoroughly to rule out cancer as a cause. I was taken back a little by this but I had to make sure this was not the case.
We scheduled numerous tests over the next few weeks. I was poked, prodded and scanned. In the end, I did not have cancer. What a relief. I don't know if I could have handled a double whammy.
One thing I learned very early in this battle was how important it is to have doctors on your team that you trust and you feel really care about you and your recovery.
This was a doctor I had seen for the first time ever about6 or 7 weeks prior. The fact that she personally scheduled my appointment and personally called me back went a very long way to building what would become a strong bond.
She showed her concern for ME. I wasn't a file she looked at when I came to her office. She knew me and cared.
Now on to the business of fighting the DM. Next stop, rheumatologist.