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Rheumatologist


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#1 fri83

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:09 AM

can anyone tell me what to expect at my appointment with the rheumatologist? this will be my first appt and im just not sure what to expect?

#2 Snowbird

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 05:21 AM

Hi Fri83

The rheumatologist will do a physical exam (touch all your joints and move your legs/arms, etc. to see how flexible you are for mobility), will look closely at your hands and skin for the T-spots and skin hardening (and likely even use a magnifier glass to check your capillaries in your nailbeds), sometimes the capillaries are evident to them without the magnifier. They will/should discuss all your symptoms with you and your concerns. Then, when all is done, they will send you for more bloodwork and tests, depending on what they find/anything they might need to help confirm any type of diagnosis. Have a list of any questions you have for them ready...be sure to bring a list of any/all medications you are taking, including vitamin supplements.
Sending good wishes your way!

#3 janey

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:11 AM

Fri83,
Ditto to everything that Snowbird said. I would only add - along with a list of questions and mediations, take in a separate list of symptoms. Be very descriptive with this list. It's amazing how our mind shuts down in front of a doctor, so if you have good descriptions, you can just hand him the list. I had 3 pages on my first visit. He read every word of it and said that it really helped with his diagnosis. I was diagnosed on the first visit!

Please let us know how it goes.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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(Retired) ISN News Director
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#4 lizzie

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:53 AM

In addition to the things Snowbird and Janey have said, he/she will also probably first ask about your past medical history and any relevant family history. As with the symptoms, I find it a good idea to write it down as I always forget something!
good luck
Lizzie

#5 fri83

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:29 AM

i really appreciate the good input and ideas. I just always feel like the doctors think you are a hypochondriac when you take in a list of problems. also, its hard to know what is important to tell them and what is just part of getting older.

#6 smurfette

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:04 PM

If it is at all possible do not go it alone. Whenever you go to the doctor for the first time and are going to be dealing with something new and complicated it is always good to have another set of ears and a "secretary" who can take notes. It is good to have someone who can be more objective and clear headed. You are going to be asking a lot of questions and receiving a lot of new information. I always try to bring someone who can be there to serve as the cooler head to keep me on track and help me to remember to ask all the right questions and get all the answers I need so that I leave the office with all the information that I need.
It can be a very emotional time discussing the disease and all of the meds and the prognosis with the doctor. It always helps me to have someone with me who can be objective. That other person can also help you evaluate the rapport with the doctor - sometimes you leave the office with a certain vibe and you are not sure if it is you or not. Having another person there can help you assess if you are right about your feelings about the doctors manner and his command of his knowledge of the disease.
Good luck!
Smurfette

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