Suggestions for Dr. visit?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ellyray7, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. ellyray7

    ellyray7 New Member

    Hi! I am new here and wondered if you could give me any advice. Over the past few years I have had many medical concerns that have led to many tests which have resulted in nothing. Finally, last May I went to see a Neurologist that said it was likely that I had FM and maybe a sleep disorder. He didn't diagnose me but the symtoms do seem to fit. Then, over the summer I moved and needed to switch doctors. I requested my records be sent to my new dr. but something went wrong and they never made it. Anyway, it has been a few months and I was feeling fine so I didn't worry about it too much. Then, I started to experience signs that a flare up was coming. Since I was never actually diagnosed with FM I thought I should discuss my symptoms with my new dr. When I started to explain what all I had been through, the tests that had been done, and the types of symptoms I was experiencing I could tell she was completely not listening. My heartrate was fast (which is one of the problems I have had, don't know if it is FM-related or not) so she told me I was nervous. When I was trying to explain everything she actually said "shhh" to me and told me she only had 15 minutes to talk to me which I thought was very rude. She told me I needed to switch pillows and that was the extent of her interest in my symptoms. If it were that easy I would be cured!!

    So, obviously I was not happy with the results of that visit (I am used to my dr. actually listening and taking me seriously!) I decided to switch drs. I have an appt. next week. I was wondering if you have any advice on exactly what I could say so that I am taken seriously and not blown off. I feel like I am wording things wrong and coming off sounding like a hypochondriac. Any suggestions would be VERY appreciated!!
  2. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Well first off, you are definately right to find a new doctor. No doctor treating fibro can allocate only 15 minutes for an appointment. A cold takes 15 minutes. And traditionally new patient appointments are given twice the time as a regular patient appointment since there is so much history to cover. And a doctor telling you to shush during an appointment is completely unprofessional.

    So.. tips..

    1. Start making notes. I always write down the points that I want to talk to my doctor about, in order of importance. It's easy to forget what you want to say when you get in there, and its good to make the most of the time you have.

    2. Be polite. It IS easy for some doctors to think we are hypochondriacs, so I would detail my cheif symptoms to the doctor, bring any test results that you've had recently, and then just say something like 'My last doctor at home told me that it was probable I had Fibromyalgia. What do you think of that possibility?' You don't want to act like you know everything, and self-diagnose yourself. Some doctors get offended by that, so you want to stay on their good side.

    3. A good doctor will not only discuss your symptoms with you, but the impact these symptoms have made on your life. You don't need to get into a therapy session or anything, but its a good idea to mention the difference in your life that these symptoms have made.

    4. Have in mind all of the medications, and lifestyle changes you might have already tried so you can mention these to the doctor. It is good to show your sincerity to do whatever it takes to improve your quality of life.

    And a good fibromyalgia workup will include your doctor checking the Fibro 'trigger points' which are areas on the body that have pain when pressed on.

    Good luck with your appointment! I hope it goes well.
  3. ellyray7

    ellyray7 New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make some suggestions for me! They were very helpful and practical. I will definitely use those tips for my next doctor's visit. I am hoping it turns out better than the last!
  4. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    Butterfly said it very well and I only have this to add:

    You might want to not only make notes but make them on the computer. That way you can add/delete anytime you think of something and its neat enough to take to the doctor.

    When I started this I just told my doc that I thought it might make the appointment go faster.

    Good luck,

    Shar
  5. ellyray7

    ellyray7 New Member

    Thank you for all of the info. I have definitely learned a lot and it helps to listen to people who have been through all of this before! :)