1st Doc. visit need help with ?'s

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kloet4, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Kloet4

    Kloet4 New Member

    I am having my first doctor visit with a doctor that mine recommended. He is a doctor involved in Internal Medicine. I have done so much reading on this site that I am not exactly sure what to ask. I am not exactly sure if I have CFS or if it is to do with my Thyroid. I know both are sort of alike. So I am not sure exactly how I should proceed with this visit. I want to go well educated and my husband said to be forcefull. So any advice would be appreciated. I am not taking any meds at this time for CFS or thyroid just Effexor 75mg per day for depression. My mother also has low thyroid.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Have a great day to all. God Bless.

    Lisa
  2. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    Write things down--your symptoms, your questions, whatever. Madwolf had a good post recently about how to talk to your doctor. Just do a search on that. (I haven't read it yet, but did print it out.)

    Don't let the doc dismiss you, that's what you should be assertive about. (My first doc, whom I'd seen for 6 years, didn't believe I had CFS. Even though I offered several other possibilities--Lyme, FMS, Lupus, MS, AIDS, etc., she latched onto my "self-diagnosis" of CFS. Look lady, SOMEthing's wrong.)

    Don't think I'm much help, but it's a start
  3. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    and if possible for how long, and levels of each, for example average fatigue is ___ on a scale of 0 - 10, 0 being in bed, 10 jumping around with energy.

    If there is time, you may also want to chart your body temperature which can be indicative of a thyroid issue.

    If there is time, you might want to document your sleeping patterns. there are sleep journals/whatchamacallits...you know, like a spreadsheet to fill in that you can find in books on insomnia or maybe on the web.

    Perhaps, from your previous research, decide what tests YOU want done and request any that your doc hasn't ordered,but have documents with you explaining why. Or maybe leave that for a second appointment depending on what shows up after your first blood tests.

    Dr. Teitelbaum's site has plenty of suggestions/recommendations for avenues to explore medically.

    I know eventually at least I had my thyroid levels checked, EBV titers, 4 mycoplasmas [I had to pay for that one], chlamydia pneumoniae, HIV [negative of course], DHEA, hematocrit [recently low for some reason], and all sorts of other ones.

    If you really really really want, I could try to go through my records and check, if you ask me and I am feeling up to it.

    The more you can document for yourself and in case of anything your doctor questions you about the better, I think.

    Some people keep a daily journal of their energy levels. I did for a short while to take to my dis hearing to show what my typical days were like.

    Hope it goes well,

    jen
  4. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    Jen has some great ideas!!!

    If you do track your temperature, make sure you also record you "basal" temp, before you get out of bed.

    I keep track of all my symptoms in a spreadsheet, recording the severity of each (I use a 0-5 scale, with 5 being severe, but maybe I'm doing it wrong! Seriously. Docs might be more familiar with a 0-10 scale and in the form Jen mentioned). I also write notes whenever things happen--like forgetting to turn up the heat in the morning (habits--what are they?), good examples of forgetfulness, etc. Then I transcribe them to the back of the spreadsheet and give a copy to my doc at the end of a month. Then he puts them in my chart, so they're part of the medical record. This is a good thing to do when you try new treatments, or when you're trying to get disability. It also doesn't take much time to do this each day (maybe a minute); transcribing my post-its takes the most time.

    I once had a doctor who was amazed that I was doing it, and she figured since I spent "so much time" doing this I must be able to work! Sheesh--she didn't remain my doc for long.