Jul 08, 2010
I could have written more in the letter but I had teenage kids hanging over my shoulder anxious to get on the computer so I wrote what I could. Here is a copy of the letter. I hope they don't take his name out or delete this because people should know about him and more than likely the only ones who will read this are my friends and they don't live here!!! I left off his address!
Dear Dr. Elston,
I am writing this letter to you in regards to comments you made to me personally during my last office visit on June 23rd, 2010.
I had come to you due to a positive ANA test that my neurologist, Dr. Augustine Joseph, had ordered. You also ordered a variety of lab work and a whole body bone scan, all of which came back normal or negative. That was encouraging. However, after that, you made the comment “Why did your doctor send you to me” Hello, he sent me to you because I had a positive ANA test.
I was sitting in your office in horrible pain in my neck, shoulders and upper arms and was near tears. I asked you if it could be fibromyalgia (a legitimate question to ask a Rheumatologist) and your reply was “Fibromyalgia is a psychosomatic illness and I don’t believe in it”. The previous year when I had visited your office and told you that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you made the same comment and that was the reason I did not return to your office. Unfortunately for me, you are the only doctor covered by my insurance so I was forced to see you again.
Below is a direct quote from the Mayo Clinic regarding Fibromyalgia:
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.
Fibromyalgia occurs in about 2 percent of the population in the United States. Women are much more likely to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age. Fibromyalgia symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event.
Widespread pain and tender points
The pain associated with fibromyalgia is described as a constant dull ache, typically arising from muscles. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by additional pain when firm pressure is applied to specific areas of your body, called tender points. Tender point locations include:
Back of the head
Between shoulder blades
Top of shoulders
Front sides of neck
Sides of hips
Fatigue and sleep disturbances
People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Experts believe that these people rarely reach the deep restorative stage of sleep. Sleep disorders that have been linked to fibromyalgia include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
Many people who have fibromyalgia also may have:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Restless legs syndrome
Obviously, there is more on the Mayo Clinic website, but I do believe I have made my point. There is no excuse for a doctor that specializes in the above co-existing conditions to tell me that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia is “all in my head”. You are a disgrace to doctors in general and to rheumatologists in particular.
I will be sending copies of this letter to the following organizations to which you belong. They need to be made aware of the complete inconsideration, rudeness and cockiness of your attitude and treatment.
Cc: American College of Rheumatology
American College of Physicians (Internal Medicine)