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Thread: What should I ask/look for in my doc?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Default What should I ask/look for in my doc?

    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?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    I am no expert but I don't really believe you know if the Dr. is good until you actually go see him or her. Sometimes it only takes one visit to know, sometimes more. This one sounds very unprofessional to me. Recommendations for Drs. from friends, colleagues and relatives are always good. I have found that even highly credentialed Drs. can be jerks. I had one once who was some bigwig from an extremely well know university here in Southern California who accused me of aborting my baby. He even taught other Drs. He was supposedly a teaching Dr. at this prestigious university. I told him I would never do anything like that I was not that kind of person. He didn't believe me. Come to find out I had a bicornate uterus and the baby spontaneously aborted through no fault of mine. What a jerk! Later my sister-in-law and I saw him in a grocery line one day and she said really loudly "that's the Dr. who accused my sister-in-law of having aborted her baby". That Dr. got beet red! Jerk that he was. We got back at him and hopefully embarrassed the you no what out of him. Good luck in your search, I hope you find a professional, caring Dr. who will help you reach your goal of going back to work.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Victorville, California
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    HI Abbyrition;
    You have the right to expect and demand a rheumatologist who will listen to you, care about you and your symptoms, and who is dedicated to helping you. Therefore, it might be helpful to make a list of your questions and concerns and interview the doctor. Letting him/her know that you are knowledgeable about the disease and how it affects you and that you want a doctor who will listen to you and help you. Not one who will dismiss you, dismiss you symptoms, or not take you seriously. Ask him/her if he feels that he can do that for you? If he/she says yes, then hold them to it. If you don't like their answer - or they don't like your questions- find another doctor!
    I wish you the best of luck.

    Peace and Blessings
    Look For The Good and Praise It!

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