I have a second opinion appointment set up with a new rheumatologist.
I'd like to know what I should ask and what I should be looking for to know this is the right doctor for me. Can you provide input on how you weeded through the bad ones to find a good one?
Background: I was diagnosed last July with SLE with secondary Sjogren's. I always got the feeling my Rheumatologist was one the edge of being a pill mill if not already there. I didn't care, as long as he was a good doctor for me, as I wasn't interested in pain meds. I was interested in going into remission and going back to work.
I'm seeking a new potential Rheumatologist because mine hasn't been consistent and the last visit I was a bit berated just after I was getting to a point of acceptance.
When I started going to my Rheumy I said I need to get this issue corrected and get back to work. The doc said he'd have me back to work in 3 weeks. But then I was allergic to Plaquinil. So 3 weeks turned into a couple months, but he was positive I'd be well enough to get back to work. Then my hair was falling out in clumps, and I was growing a mustache on my moon face. Even with all of this I wasn't getting relief, nor back to work. In January, We spoke about the best path to get me back to work, as it had been 9 months at that point. He said the words that ended hope... "Oh, you'll never be able to work again. You'll never be able to be reliable with the disease you have." After 9 months out of work he only said what I had been suspecting, and fearing. So I started wrapping my head around this and prepping myself to apply for Ssdi. Then at my next appointment the doc asks if I'm back to work... What? I said no, that my hands still don't work on a daily basis, and I still need to take naps daily to offset the fatigue. (Not to mention the numerous other symptoms.) he said, maybe you should get one of those devices like Stephen Hawking has where you can type with your eyes or head nods. What? Where did this come from? I went from you'll never work again when I was looking for hope to just get this insanely expensive piece of equipment so you can type.
I'm all looking forward to hope, and being productive, but this just seemed cruel and unusual. I still haven't applied for Ssdi because I am not ready for that change, that end of hope of just "getting better and back to normal". Work is what I'd love. I've been waiting 14 months now to be able to get back to work, and am not better enough even to do part time work on any sort of regular basis. But it's time.
So I'm looking for a doctor that knows what their doing, that will listen, that will work with me to get me as better as I can be. How do you know when going to your first visit that your doctor is these things?