What do I ask the Reumatologist?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by swiss, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. swiss

    swiss New Member

    I am going to see a reumatloogist for the first time, next week. My main problem is fatigue- lots and lots of fatigue! I am not exactly sure what I should be asking the doctor for or about. Any suggestions??
    I am so thankful that all of you are so supportive!
  2. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    I didn't actually have many questions, because I went for a different problem, and came away finding out I have fibro.

    When I go to a new specialist, I make a list ahead of time. I write down an outline like we did in high school. What are my issues I am seeing them for. I prioritize them... then under each, I write what I have tried for that issue, be it meds, exercise, etc, and how it worked or if it didn't. What tests I have had (try to take copies of any tests and results with you) I make notes etc, till I get it all down.

    Then, I recopy it "pretty" and give it to the nurse who takes my history. Most Dr's. will read it and appreciate it. I have had a couple ignore it. Make sure to take a copy for yourself so you can refer to it and cover all the things you have questions about.

    Be sure to take a list of all your current meds, and also a list of all the meds you have been on that you have had problems or side effects with.

  3. Musica

    Musica New Member

    I don't know what all your symptoms are, and if you have already been dx'd with FMS, but since fatigue is part of other diseases, as well, and a lot of these seem to come in pairs, you might consider these. Do take a list of your symptoms, when they started, how severe, etc. Don't take too much or it puts some rheumys off, but at least it should give you something to refer to. A lot of times a lot of stuff goes out of our heads once we get into an exam room!

    Do try to have a few specific examples, though - what can't you do when you are fatigued? Can you make yourself get out of bed and go to work? How long can you clean house, garden, do mental activities, etc. before it hits? Do you ever feel rested after a good night's sleep? Can you sleep all night? Do you snore?

    Definitely bring in a list of all meds, the strength and frequency. And all the doctors you have seen and their specialty, and tests. Even better, test results if you have them.

    Good luck, I know how momentous a thing a first rheumy visit can feel like!
  4. swiss

    swiss New Member

  5. backporchrags

    backporchrags New Member

    these days with giving out dxes. I find it is a must to write down every little thing you have done prior to your visit.
    Write down:
    How much exersize you get weekly
    What over the counter drugs you have tried
    Any meds you are currently on
    A brief overview of your lifestyle choices
    like how much sleep, your diet, vitamin regimines, activity levels, stress levels, etc
    Your quality of life, how much pain you are in day to day, any signs of depression, fatigue.

    Then list all of your concerns and symptoms you need addressed.
    Many docs have their practices set up like an assembly line. They want you in and out quickly. Be sure not to let him/her usher you out before your needs are met. If the doc is short on time and not giving you his full attention ask to set up anopther appointment, one alloting more time for you.
    Don't be afraid to be pushy. If you are not firm in making him/her answer all questions they will give you ambiguous answers.
  6. Musica

    Musica New Member

    And if you do write those things down, you might want to have them put in your medical file, as part of your incoming visit. Docs can be so strange, sometimes, about what they put in their file notes, makes you wonder if you were in the same room. A written record - YOUR written record - is a good thing to have in file. And to get their chart notes periodically (or regularly) to see what they say. If it says something really weird, either discuss it with him or submit something in writing about the way it really is. Sorry, I'm getting ahead of things. Just remember the importance of the written word in your file. Or at least keep a running diary of symptoms so you can show him "look, on this date, I was feeling this way. How could you have said THAT?"

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