I am very happy to have discovered this site. After years of wondering what was going on with my health, I finally feel like I have some answers.
I received a lupus diagnosis about a month ago from a great rheumatologist who started me on plaquenil, which I hope starts working within the next month or so.
My question to the rest of you - did you get a second opinion when you were diagnosed? My first rheumatologist visit was with hands down the best doctor I had ever seen - she spent three hours with me and the second visit where I received the diagnosis was about three hours as well. She studied under lupus experts at UCLA, and I really trust her opinion. However, my family kept encouraging me to get a second diagnosis, which does make sense, given that lupus is a serious illness. I felt guilty doing so because I am perfectly happy with my rheumatologist and had accepted the diagnosis but thought it would help my family accept it better if I got a second opinion. I figured the second doctor would probably confirm the diagnosis, so it couldn't hurt. I saw this doctor a few days ago. Before she even looked at my information, after I told her why I was there (to get a second opinion on lupus treatment) the first words out of her mouth were "if you even have that at all". She knew I was coming in for a second opinion and that I had lab results already, so she only gave a very brief exam. She said she really hesitates to give a lupus diagnosis as it can have serious consequences (like not being able to get life insurance) and thought I should have my thyroid checked as that could potentially explain a lot of my symptoms. She doubted the lupus diagnosis despite a positive ANA (although only 1:80), arthritis in back, neck, knees, spine, bursitis in hip, malar rash, photosensitivity, and a list of other things found by the first rheumatologist. I guess since my blood work was relatively normal (except for slight anemia, positive ANA, and high c-reactive protein) she was dismissive of the long list of clinical symptoms found by the first doctor.
I know it is very common to take a long time to get a diagnosis and that many doctors hesitate to give it - but just wanted to see if it is common to get another opinion - even if just on treatment. It has taken about five years of having various symptoms and seeing numerous doctors before getting to this point, so I was actually very relieved when I found out and the second opinion put a small seed of doubt in my mind. However, my gut tells me to just stay with the first opinion so I think that is what I will do, even though my husband keeps telling me I should get a third opinion.
Before a month ago, I knew very little about lupus. Two people at work also have it, but I don't have much opportunity to talk to them about it, so I hope to meet some more people who can relate to what I am going through.
Anyway, sorry to ramble, just wanted to say "hi" and I look forward to meeting some new people
Last edited by lrs76; 08-06-2011 at 06:58 PM.