Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:09 AM
Posted 05 July 2008 - 05:21 AM
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.
Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:11 AM
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.
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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:53 AM
Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:29 AM
Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:04 PM
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.
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