Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Lupus Book By Dr. Wallace

Day 13 of WEGO Health's National Health Blog Post Month focuses on my favorite topic of all: books. Specifically "Book report. What’s your favorite book and how can you tie it to your health or life?"

Well, I own over 300 books. Since I've gotten rid of all the books I didn't want to read again and again, I struggled to pick just one book.

The Lupus Book: A Guide For Patients and Their Families

The Lupus Book is the ultimate guide for Lupus patients. If you have a question about Lupus, this is the book to read. I have learned so much from this book I'm an expert on the topic. And as long as I have Lupus, this book will stay relevant.

Did you know only joints lined by synovium can be affected by Lupus? No? Well you can read all about it in the chapter about Arthritis. It even has pictures! Want to learn about skin problems? It's in there. Liver? Check. Some background history on Lupus? That's in there, too.

Babe Ruth, full-length portrait, standing, fac...
Babe Ruth, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly right, in baseball uniform, holding baseball bat. Facsimile signature on image: "Yours truly "Babe" Ruth." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you really want to know what's going on in your body, this is the book for you. And it's written by a doctor whose history speaks for itself. He is the real deal. Dr. Daniel J. Wallace is like the Babe Ruth of Lupus. He's written textbooks on the subject, he's the founders of Lupus LA, and his Curriculum Vitae is as long as my arm. Probably longer because my arms aren't that long.

Dr. Wallace

On top of being one of the top lupus know-it-alls, he's the doctor who diagnosed me when no one else could.

Ever since my pediatrician retired, I've been very distrustful of doctors. When six months of doctors came up with no answers and new worries, I wasn't sure I was going to find a doctor who could diagnose me.

 I think what helped me start to trust him, before I got to see just how knowledgeable he is, was the shelves of books in his office.

Most doctors have books in their offices. It's like a standard practice for most doctors to have at least a bookshelf, usually behind their desk, full of books on their expertise. I should know because I've seen enough of them. But in most doctors' offices, or most other professionals, the books look unused. Like they're just for looks.

Not in Dr. Wallace's office. His books looked well-read. 

I bet you're thinking "So what?". I mean, who really cares if a doctor likes to read books?

 If a doctor is willing to read through a book to look something up or confirm an initial suspicion, or for whatever reason he chooses to pick up the book,  and to look through it enough times that it looks used, it shows he is taking the time to make sure he is doing his job correctly. It means he isn't stopping his learning or relying on his brains just because he has a degree hanging on his wall. Some very nice degrees, might I add. VERY nice degrees. It shows that he wants the best for his patients.

And he's not afraid to tell his patients to go see a specialist in a certain field when they need it. He doesn't pretend he has all the answers. That is a sign of a good doctor. A doctor whose primary concern is the health of the patient. I wish there were more doctors like him.

I trust Dr. Wallace with my life, not because I have to or because the books in his office look used, but because he has proven to me time and again that he knows what he is doing. In a world where I have to tell Urgent Care and ER doctors and nurses what Lupus is, having someone who so thoroughly knows what they're doing is the most comforting feeling in the world.

And In Case He Ever Sees This...

(Which I hope he doesn't because it would make me feel awkward knowing he knows how much I appreciate him. It's a pet peeve of mine. Strange, I know.)

I am so grateful that there is a doctor out there who cares so much about his patients. I love knowing that if I send a quick e-mail expressing my concern over some new symptom, I will get a timely response. I love that I never have to wait long to be seen. His staff are the nicest individuals. And the woman who draws your blood in his office is probably the best in the world. It is always the least painful blood-drawing I have ever had. I no longer start to cry when I get my blood taken. Instead I can sit there in mild discomfort with my insides wiggling like worms. I like the fact that I can't weasel my way out of shots I need like I can with other doctors. He doesn't let me skimp out on treatment just because needles remind me of snake fangs. 

Except steroid shots. I would rather suffer than get that pain in the a** (literally). Why get a shot when they have those dose packs? And don't even try to tell me it works faster. I would rather go without and be miserable.

Anyways, I have to thank Dr. Wallace for being one of the best doctors I have ever had. He is one of the main reasons why I am so certain I will conquer in spite of.

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