I have to admit to being somewhat of a technology snob, although I’ve slowed down in recent years as “new” technology seems to come at an ever-faster rate. (I’ll admit to not yet owning a 3-D television … and I may not EVER own a 3-D television…)
I’ve resisted the urge to get an iPhone for two reasons. First, I tend to use my phone for phone calls (what a concept) and second, I have been a Sprint customer for more than 10 years and Sprint didn’t offer the iPhone.
Then two things happened almost simultaneously. I saw an article in a tech magazine about what good “outdated” smart phones are and it had a picture of my current phone as its poster child. And Sprint began offering the iPhone 4 and 4S.
So last Friday my new iPhone 4S showed up on my doorstep. And I must say, now that I’ve got it, I get it. There are some amazing, useful, productive, and entertaining things you can do with it. I’ve only had it a few days, but already my favorite “app” is from Kindle. It lets me access my Kindle library from my phone — it even syncs to the last page read. So yesterday when I had to make an emergency trip to the dentist — and had to wait since they were working me in. I had my book with me to read while I was waiting. When I got home, I simply synced with my Kindle and continued reading where I had left off at the dentist’s office.
So in searching for new apps, I wondered if they had anything to help manage/track RA symptoms. The answer is: apparently not for patients, but they have an app for doctors. It even comes in a deluxe version. And it’s free. Apparently it contains diagnostic tools, formulas for plugging in test results and counts of sore joints, and presto-chango, you have a diagnosis complete with treatment strategies.
Just yesterday there was an article in the Dallas Morning News about the importance of the physical exam — both from a diagnostic viewpoint and to build the connection between doctors and patients. The physical exam is going by the wayside because it is time intensive and doctors are under more and more pressure to see more and more patients.
And now we have an app for that.
I know that since the dawn of medicine, doctors have stepped out of the exam room to look things up in their medical journals or, more recently, on their computers. However, using written research to confirm or further explore a diagnosis is, to me, a lot different from using a “free” hand-held app to do your work for you.
I want a doctor (and thankfully I have one) who will look me in the eye and understand that even though my joints may not be swollen, that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt; that a debilitating flare is a frightening experience; and that I am trying to balance the tough choices between effective treatment and potential horrendous side effects.
There is no app for that.
Today is my rheumatologist appointment and we’re going to discuss just those topics. I don’t know what the outcome will be. I (think I) hope for another steroid shot for the bursitis in my hip, but I have to admit that I have a high degree of anxiety about adding or changing drugs. We’ll see.
Wishing you an “appy” day. Thanks for checking in.