View Full Version : rheumatologists

05-16-2007, 04:06 AM
Hi everyone,

Hope everbody is feeling well today. I have a quick question. The last couple of days my knees have hurt soo bad it has been difficult to go up and down steps and to sit down and get up. It has been very hard to play with my kids and that is what I love to do the most. Also, my elbow is so painful I first thought it was from carrying my son (he is 19 lbs!) but it has not gone away.

Anyway, I have never felt this pain this bad before. I have had some pain before but not like this. I talked to my mom about it and she insists that I go to a rheumatologist. Some of you on here know my situation with not having any insurance. Well, my mom is going to pay for it. I told her they will want to do more tests, bloodwork, rx's and what not and that it would be way to expensive for her but still she keeps saying "you just do what I tell you!" ha ha, my mom...gotta love her.

She has RA so she totally knows what it's like. Sorry for rambling, but my question is: What should I be looking for in a rheumatologist? And what to expect? I'm afraid I will end up like some on here that were not happy with their doctors. You know how doctors think they know everything. I had quite an experience with my doctors when I had both my kids. (Very LONG story) So I am very skeptical about going to one even though I know I need too. Any thoughts? Thanks so much for reading.

05-16-2007, 04:27 AM
Oh and I wanted to ask also:

Should I be going to a rheumatoligist or an immunologist? What is the difference between the two?

05-16-2007, 07:14 AM
JANET, find the roomy, and go to the doctor,for me those symptoms were the indications of a major flare, they got to a point that i couldnt get out of a chair, started losing weight and appetite, please read some of brians, trials and tribulations, he explains hesistation very well

as for picking a rheumy, this is usually a trial and error situation or by word of mouth, but in any case you need one that can examine all options

dad gum it :? :? :?

05-16-2007, 07:26 AM
Thanks Teri. See the thing is... I have never been *officially* diagnosed with SLE. I have only been diagnosed with DLE. I have had the pain from time to time, but NEVER like this. It is not too bad today.

I did look into a rheumy in my area and there is only one and they do not accept self paying patients. WTH? Now what?

05-16-2007, 07:39 AM
wow, american cash in no good!!!!
what city do you live close to
ive have time to do some reseach for you,
do you or your husband have any past military or civil experiences

what that rheumys name i would like to send him a copy of the hypocratic oath

05-16-2007, 07:52 AM
What's the hypocratic oath? I will send it to him. ha ha.

It is a practice with several rheumatologists but the only practice here in Wilmington. I checked and there is one a bit further away in another town but I have not called him yet because I think he also practices at this one. That is very nice of you! I am going to check around and see if there may be one further away that will accept me. I might end up having to drive to Myrtle Beach or Raleigh. UGH! It's about 2 hours to both place from here.

I mean really, what do they expect those without insurance to do? I am willing to pay everything up front. I don't even want a payment plan. What is the big deal in accepting my cash? Ya think maybe because they can milk the insurance for more than the actual costs?

05-16-2007, 08:05 AM
the hypocratic oath is what drs have swear to in order to become doctors,

i spent two weeks in a hospital in Raleigh, broken leg-car accident

i think your right about the over-billing of insurance companies


05-16-2007, 09:23 AM
Well I took a chance and called the rheumy in my area, the one that I thought was insurance only....and they said that policy has changed! I will have to pay $400 upfront deposit. After I am seen, I will pay the remainder, or if the visit is less, then the remaining money goes towards a credit for the next appt. I am waiting for them to call me back for an appt. I don't know yet what kind a wait there is to be seen.

05-16-2007, 09:27 AM
A tip on finding a good doctor (no matter what kind):

I knew about a top-notch Internist who had a Boutique Practice (meaning he catered to the super rich, and only had 50 patients total... did house calls, everything...) I couldn't afford him, but knew he had all of the 'in's' so I called his office and asked him who a good Cardiologist was (I needed one)... I asked him, "Who would you send your mother to?" He said, "I'll tell you who I do send my mother to..." and gave me my Cardiologist's name. I have been with this Cardiologist for 8 years now.

Anyway, I now go to my Cardiologist to ask for references. He knows the "in" crowd at UCLA/Encino-Tarzana Hospitals, and frequently sees them/meets with them just to talk about my case. Through him I found a heart surgeon (this cardiologist doesn't do electrophysiological surgery), GI doc, Opthamologist, Rheumy, Internist, Oncologist, ENT surgeon... And they've all been terrific.

So, recommendations from trusted doctors can get you not only good doctors, but can get you a real "team" that really do meet and discuss your case.

Good luck :)

05-16-2007, 09:42 AM
thats good, im glad to hear your going to get care

05-16-2007, 11:27 AM
hi there! im so glad you are getting yourself to the doctor!! teri is right what he said about brian. it can start with a ban (like mine did) or start with painful knees, you never know what will get lupus started. and it not matter if dle too. lupus still in the name!!

an immunologist mainly deal with allergies and asthma.

keep us posted sweetie!

05-16-2007, 12:42 PM
Thanks everyone for your encouraging words but my appt. will be delayed. they just called to set up the appt. and informed me that I will have to pay $100 just to be able to set one because of a no show back almost 2 years ago. I remember when I had the appt. and I could not go at the last minute because of babysitting issues.

It's things like this that make me feel the way I do about doctors.

05-16-2007, 04:50 PM
I'm also waiting, literally on pins and needles with the neuropathy, to see a rheumatologist. My GP gave me the ANA results (1:160) and told me that her guess was that I have Lupus about three weeks ago. I went home very worried and looked it up on the internet. Everything just fell into place -the awful fatigue, the joint pain, the rashes on my face and neck, the shortness of breath and pain on deep breathing, the sores that pop out on my arms during warm weather or stress, the tingling and numbness in my toes and feet, the frequent migraines, and the episode of peeing blood last fall when my beloved mother-in-law passed away. Now I have to wait until July 13 before I can see the rheumatologist. It's the end of a rough school year and I'm totally exhausted, and really feeling nervous until I can see the guy. I keep reading about "permanent organ damage" and I wonder how much I might have, since all of my "little" complaints were ignored by my previous GP, and I've had most of these symtoms for over 7 years.
Oh, and I could write a book on maternity care! That is why, after I had my first in a hospital, I went looking for homebirth options and had the next 4 at home. I even went to work for my midwife and helped to deliver 35 babies. We've heard many, many interesting stories!

05-16-2007, 09:19 PM
Hi Camyskitties!

I'm SO glad to hear that you are getting yourself to the Rheumatologist! Please let us know when the appointment is and how it goes!

Gees and I thought that my Rheumatologist was expensive! :shock:

Keep well! :)

05-17-2007, 09:37 PM
If it's going to take you too long to get in to see that Rheumy, might I suggest a sooner appt with an Internist, who can probably order at least some of the labs the Rheumy would be ordering? Then, you might have some labs to work with when you have the Rheumy appt, too.

Just a thought, especially if you are feeling crummy......

05-18-2007, 05:35 AM
my dermo is a total rooster,
i tell ya,
you know i askeed him a simple question the other day like what type of lupus i have and he said cutaneous lupus e, what ever that word is, and i said what type, no answer, asked i am due for blood test( last blood sdec last year) and he said no need till dec, now i know i am no where nere as as bad as some but you need to know where your at. i have an appointment with a rhemuy next week hopefully i make some ground cause the 57 doctors(well it feels that many) i have seen don't know shit


05-18-2007, 06:40 PM
Yeah, take it from me that derms don't know half as much about DLE or SLE as much as they let on. My derm is more concerned about his plastic surgery, botox, chemical peel patients than me who has a REAL skin issues. Best bet is go to a rheumatologist, absolutely! Good luck with it!