Having RA means having a supersquad of medical specialists who attend you. It can be quite overwhelming at first. After my diagnosis, I felt like I was drowning in doctors and appointments, and I could barely keep straight who I was supposed to see when. One of my medical supersquad was a cardiologist (my rheumatologist had found a heart murmur at my first appointment and wanted me to get it checked out). After having a rather unpleasant run in with an ekocardiogram technician following my first cardiology appointment, I was proclaimed free for a year before my next check up, and I wasn't looking forward to its eventual appearance.
This past Thursday, my number was finally up. I made my way to the towering Beth Israel hospital facility at Union Square, rushed myself into one of the elevators before the doors could close on me, and pushed floor 2. Walking into the busy waiting room for cardiology, I became instantly aware of the fact that I was decades younger than anyone else in that room. I literally mean decades. By far. I was also the only red head wearing heels and a brightly-colored pencil skirt. After checking in at the front desk and paying my $30 copay (choke, choke), I sat down in a corner and waited. To say that I stuck out like a sore thumb (pun intended) was an understatement. People literally gave me a confused once over as if they were sure I had stumbled into the wrong office....so why was I still there?
A few times while I was waiting, a young, fresh faced man or woman would walk through the door and my spirits would start to lift thinking that, finally, here was another 30 something getting their heart checked out. Inevitably though, it turned out that they just worked there. Blerg.
After a spell, I was finally called back to see my doctor. I love it when the actual time with the doctor is way less than the time spent waiting to see them. This was another prime example of this annoying medical phenomenon, but this time, I ended not caring two bits because after a short examination and some questioning, my cardiologist declared that I was totally fine! My heart murmur and atypical rhythm were both completely innocent, my heart was structurally sound and . . . . there was no reason I needed to see her again! EVER!
Woohoo! I walked out of Beth Israel that day feeling just a little more normal. That's one specialist down...now only about three more to go.