Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Failed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Control Quiz

My Response to WebMd's Quiz on Rheumatoid Arthritis Control - Can you tell my doctor?

WARNING: Sarcasm ahead.

WebMd sent me a quiz in my email box. I never do online quizzes. I heard they collect data for later use. Besides, my wrists and fingers hurt, so I have been trying to resist any pointless typing or mousing.

But if it is Rheumatoid Arthritis data, that might help someone some day. So, I made an exception and filled out the quiz. To my surprise, there was an instant diagnosis (reply). How nice! My other docs make me wait hours. Is the WebMdDoc (WMDoc) a real doc or does it just play one on the internet? Could I stay home and get my prescriptions from here…

Here is part of the answer WMDoc gave to me:

“According to your responses, you don't have good control over your RA symptoms. The condition is taking a toll on you, emotionally and physically. You may also worry about the future -- what happens if your symptoms get even worse?”

I did not try to reply to the WMDoc’s email. I know there are thousands of patients waiting to be next on the quiz. However, I will share some of my responses with you:

“Control”? I don’t have “good control”? Look, if I were in control, I’d tell the RA to get out of my body, out of my house, out of this world, and never show its horrible face again. Yes, WMDoc, I guess you’re right; I am not in control of the Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“A toll on me”? YA THINK? “Emotionally and spiritually,” huh? Yes, a toll higher than the Beeline to Disney collects each day. And how about tolls PHYSICALLY, FINANCIALLY, and RELATIONALLY? I am not sure you really understand my plight, WMDoc. Did they require any empathy classes at your medical school?

My “future”? Am I worried about whether the “symptoms will get even worse”? Uh, yeah… That’s why I am taking all these meds and seeing so many doctors like you. Thanks for mentioning that it might get worse. I do know that since I have friends who are worse off than I am. However, I do get lost in hope of a cure sometimes and it’s great to be brought back to earth.

Another excerpt from your reply:

“But now is the time to take action. It sounds like your current medications aren't doing enough. It may be time for a new treatment approach. See a rheumatologist -- or arthritis expert -- to see what you can do. With a good treatment plan, you can get your life back.”

I can see that paragraph is meant to be encouraging. Please forgive me if I sound picky, but I must question your choice of words again: You said, “You can get your life back.” I have heard that one before. Where did you learn that? How long did you really study Rheumatoid Arthritis in medical school? Was it summed up in one morning seminar?

It would take me hours to explain to you the truth about RA and whether I get my life back with “a good treatment plan.” Can I suggest a little blog I know? You could learn a lot about how Rheumatoid Arthritis actually affects people’s lives. Don’t forget to read the comment sections. There is a lot of valid data there too. Most of the folks who participate are real Rheumatoid Arthritis patients – they don’t just “play one” on the internet.

By the way, would you be willing to do a consult with my other RA doc? He says that my Rheumatoid Arthritis is under perfect control and that I appear to him to be doing fine and dandy.


Lizzie said...

LOL. Yeah, I don't need an online quiz to tell me my RA is so far out of control it is worse than a naughty teenager. Which is what I often compare my out of control RA to.

Grill is ready for me to make burgers on. I reign supreme griller in the hooooouse!

Kelly said...

Good one. :D

MissDazey said...

Kelly, do you know which drug company is sponsoring that online quiz?

Kelly said...

It was WebMd's site.
In part, WebMd is funded by Abbott.
They make Humira.
However, WebMd claims to have editorial control over all of their own content.

purplespiderspider said...

Things like this make me so mad - I'm glad you can take a positive view and laugh at it, I think it could really upset some people.

We all know that there is a possibility of our symptoms getting worse, but sometimes you just don't want reminding (especially by something like this with zero bedside manner!)



tharr said...

This kind of crap is just insulting. We have a progressive disease that causes joint destruction and functional disability, were not stupid. My favorite thing about it was "The condition is taking a toll on you, emotionally and physically" ROTFL This would really be hilarious if it weren't meant to be serious

Glad we can laugh about it!

Kelly said...

I am so thankful to have ya'll to laugh about it with!

It's just one more: OMG, Can you believe this one?

I especially loved Purple's "bedside manner" one and Tharr's "that causes...disability... not stupid"!!