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Thread: First Rheumy visit --what to expect?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Thanked 20 Times in 15 Posts

    Default First Rheumy visit --what to expect?

    Hello group!

    Tuesday is the day! What sort of testing/diagnostic procedures can I expect on the first rheumy visit? I'm assuming just blood tests, but I would like to be prepared for anything she might throw my way. Of course I realize all doctors are different, but I'm guessing there are some standard practices that most rheumatologists adhere to.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Seaside, Ca.
    Thanked 948 Times in 732 Posts


    Hi Jolynn,
    Unfortunately, most rheumys rely solely on the blood tests. Some will refer you for an MRI if you are having neurological symptoms. If you are having joint pain and swelling that might indicate arthritis, they might ask for x-rays of the joints.
    My very good rheumy in San Antonio had a form that I had to fill out each time I went in, describing where and how intense my pain was since the last time that I saw her. She always tried to tackle my biggest complaint of each visit. The one that I have now doesn't do any of that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Blog Entries
    Thanked 81 Times in 70 Posts


    hi jolynn,

    marla is exactly correct, rheumy's like their own lab work, and so your first appointment may not appear to be very productive.

    i would like to add that along with the lab results, there are certain criteria that contribute to the diagnosis. Remember that Lupus/auto immune diseases are very individual. they affect different people in different ways. also, attacks are intermittent. you might have had an attack a year ago, that is not present toady...this is still very important information to share with your rheumy.

    so, what i am rambling on about...when the rheumy asks you about different symptoms, you need to answer yes even if you are not experiencing the symptom at the current time. this means that you should spend a little time looking through this website about the symptoms of lupus, and then spend some time making notes about any of the symptoms that you have experienced at some time.

    this is something that i learned after joining this forum, and if it had shared this information with my rheumy, it probably would not have taken almost 10 years to get a diagnosis.

    best of luck., hope you feel better soon.

    share a smile today

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