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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
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    Default My First Appointment tomorrow - you must reply to this!!


    so I have first appointment with Rheumatologist tomorrow morning- and I want to get my moneys worth, so far I have written out my diary of symptoms, I have all my recent blood test results ready with me. Is there anything else I should take - questions I must ask to decide if this doctor is any good etc?? Do they normally do a physical exam while you are there?

    thanks and please reply no answer is a dumb answer and it all means something to me!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Dallas, Tx
    Thanked 418 Times in 343 Posts


    Hi Heather,

    I think all rheumy's do their own thing, depending on how extensive your bloodwork was, he might order more. My rheumy, always does a physical exam, looks at my joints and pokes here and there. But they are all different.
    Having a list of your symptoms is good, but I have heard of doctors, who won't even look at those. If that is the case, tell him, what hurts the most and what symptoms bother you the most.
    Good luck, I hope you have found a good one.

    I may have been dealt a bad hand, but at least I'm still playing with a full deck. ( most of the time anyway).

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  4. #3
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    Mar 2011
    pinjarra, western australia
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    i was not afraid to ask if my rhuemy had much experience in auto immune disorders.

    to my surprise......
    he has a sister with lupus.
    he is on a research panel.

    unfortunatelly for you he lives in WA.
    but dont be afraid to ask.
    When you're stressed, You eat Ice cream, Cake, Chocolate & Sweets. Why? Because stressed spelled backwards is DESSERTS.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Northern Rockies
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    I read a good article on being an empowered patient recently, and the author -- a doctor herself -- suggested three questions you should always ask your doctor:

    1. What is my diagnosis? (Or, if you can't diagnose me, what are the possible diagnoses that could be causing my symptoms?)

    2. What are my treatment options?

    3. If you were in my position, what treatment option would you choose?

    Of course, this isn't an exclusive list. You'll have other questions. But I find these questions are quite helpful for making sure you get the most out of your visit.

    Regarding physical exams, my rheumatologist did a thorough exam on my first visit. Now, when I see him, we sometimes just talk about my current symptoms, and sometimes he will do a quick check of certain things like looking at my nailfold capillaries or listening to my lungs.

    I hope your appointment goes well!

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Lesmurdie , Perth , WA
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    Hi Steve,

    Where about's in WA as I saw a rheumatologist who practises in Mt Lawley and Mt Helena.
    He Seems to be ok , he has ordered more test in 3 weeks as my Prednisolone has been upped from 10 mg to 37mg a day now.
    I have only just been diagnosed with SLE 2 weeks ago.
    My husband I are now learning each day how to cope and deal with my SLE .

    Also we are finding its getting quite expensive seeing the doctor then the rheumatologist plus the tests.
    You certainly see the bills mount up.



  9. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Thanked 318 Times in 192 Posts


    Make sure he's somebody you can communicate well with - somebody who listens to you and is not arrogant or dismissive. This is the start of an important relationship, so make sure he's somebody you want to work with on a VERY IMPORTANT project - your health and well-being.

    It's okay to disagree, but disagree honestly, as mature adults. My doc is not real big on "natural treatments" like supplements, etc - but we have an honest and respectful relationship, so if I want to try some new thing or change my medication, he trusts that I will talk to him FIRST. He may not think it's going to help, but he is willing to let me try things and will tell me if he thinks it might be harmful. If it's helpful, great! But in any case, I want us to trust each other - kinda like we're a team fighting the Lupus, and we need to do that TOGETHER.

    It's awful how many times people seem to have an adversarial relationship with their doctors - try to make sure from the very beginning that it's not going to be that way.

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Houston, Texas
    Thanked 1,757 Times in 1,220 Posts


    I have found that a good Rhuemy initial visit is at least an hour or more. Sadly I didn't know this early on and thought the 15 min. visit I had was normal since it was like most doctors visits. As was mentioned above, if they are familiar with AI diseases other than just RA they will be looking for all kinds of things with a physical exam and will ask many, many questions.

    I would suggest, instead of just taking all of your labs, making a sheet that has all of your "out of range" tests on it. Put the test name, what is normal, and what you were. This step isn't as important if you are just getting sick and you only have one set of labs but for many of us it takes a very long time to actually get the diagnosis and this paper is much easier for the doctor to see. I always handed it to the doc when he came in, never the nurse. I didn't want it shoved in a file.

    Good luck!

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    ~Winston Churchill~

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