Subject: Re: Waiting to see specialist
1st off, hang in there mate. Once you get on decent meds, you'll be able to return to some 'normality'.. whatever that is!
I've had alot of problems with GP's in the past, fatigue means i usually forget to say half the symptoms, pain levels etc.
A good way around this is to write down the points you want to talk about. I'd especially suggest you do this before your rheumy appt. Also it's a good idea to take someone else with you if possible. You might want to even make an audio recording of the appointment, as i tend to forget half of what they say.
Ok, you got a shit GP, no worries, nearly all of them are in my experience. It's not there fault - it's an impossible job.
In my opinion, (i'm not a health professional) you shouldn't be on diclofenic, alot of 'old' GP's prescribe it, because they have had good results with it in the past. However (w/o knowing your case history at all) there are better newer NSAIDS (anti-inflammatories) out there. I was prescribed it 20 odd years ago, and it was effective, but ARCOXIA/Etoricoxib is the bomb. It's prescribed for RA/gout, the drug isn't w/o it's risks, but is generally considered safer than diclofenic.
Chronic pain is an arse, it may sound far fetched, but there are alot of treatments and drugs to help with it. It's really important to treat pain, it produces stress hormones etc, and in my experience leads to mental health issues. Weirdly the 'stronger' (male interpretation of the word!) you are the more likely this is to happen.
There are many ways to treat it, your shit GP will probably offer cocodamol. Try them, everyones different. The advice i received when i was referred to the chronic pain clinic, was to take http://uk.ask.com/wiki/Pregabalin another awesome drug. Changed my life when i started taking them. There are side effects, and they're not for everyone. The other perhaps more important bit of advice was to take paracetamol when needed. Lessening your pain even slightly can have a dramatic effect. Oh, acupuncture is good for chronic pain too, used to be given on the NHS by our PCT till the cuts happened.
Just rereading your post:
tiredness/lack of energy/feeling like you've got the flu.
All these are symptoms of inflammation. Once the inflammation gets under control these will hopefully disappear or at least greatly decrease. This will need to be treated with medication unfortunately. However, there is a crap load out there - your Rheumy will take you through the process (although arcoxia will help).
Lastly, you are not alone. Immuno disorders are on the rise in the 'west'. You could reach out to a support group, there's crap loads of us suffering at home in silence.
All the best mate,
(as said i'm not a health professional, i'm a random internet idiot, take it all in that sense)