What questions should I ask my Rheumy?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 11/11/2008 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm going to be seeing a Rheumatologist for the 1st time soon. What questions should I ask relating to Fibro meds/treatments/exercise? I want to make sure I get everything in because its hard to get appointments with these specialists.
Dee-38yrs old 
Diagnosed with UC in 2004-PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression in 2007 & Fibromyalgia 2008
750mg colozal 3 pills 3x a day, .625mg clonazepam, 7.5mg Lexapro
1,000mg canasa suppositories (PM),
 Fioricet-Migraines, Prilosec-Not sure(Heartburn/GERD), Fish Oils
Upper GI and Bowel Series scheduled for 11/17/08

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   Posted 11/11/2008 4:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Keep a journal and write down how you feel doing certain things.  Put your level of pain down too.  When I go to a doctor I try to choose a doctor that I have a lot of respect for and trust his knowledge.  I let him tell me what I need to know.  I definitely would not go in asking for certain meds. 
I am an informed patient and I know what I will and will not do.  My doctor makes suggestions and we discuss the pros and cons of medications and then I make the ultimate decision.
The doctor will suggest certain treatment and exercises.  Your body will tell you what works for you and what doesn't.  That's the problem with fibro.  What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.  But give it a try.  You never know!
I know I take malic acid/magnesium for pain and fatigue and it does work for me.  I did talk to my doctor about it first.  He thought I was wasting my money but agreed that it wouldn't hurt me.  So, I tried it and it did work and he was wrong.  So, you do have to be your own advocate.  Listen to your doctor's advice but also listen to your body.
Once you have the first appointment they might schedule another appointment in a few months to follow you.  It probably won't be so difficult to see them after you become an established patient.

Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1042
   Posted 11/11/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Exactly P-fit!!!! In fact, go get a sheet of paper and print off the questions to ask when others have come along to put their 2 cents worth in

1) Ask their take on fibromyalgia
2) Make sure they dont come off as not having much info on it
3) How will they be treating your pain? Narcotics (lots of docs dont like that one for good reasons sometimes), vitamin supplements?

I cant think of more at the moment...but there are some here who suffer from other illnesses along with the fibro. one of our members here suffers with fibro and Gerd...she isnt here today...but hopefully she will see this and add her perspective.

Good luck with that apptmt and I hope you found a decent rheumy!!!!

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Fibromyagia, R/A, Diabetes, Atrial Fib, depression

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 11/11/2008 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I just went to a new rheumy last month i made sure to take in everything i had my journal, all the meds i was taking prescription or not, and had a list of questions that i was curious about... like lyrica, new research i had heard about and what she thought about some of the things i had found out from here.

I can say that i left feeling alot better about the appointment going in with as much information as i could for her about what was going on up till i saw her. I went in as an informed patient with questions but allowed her to do her job and let her tell me what she thought was best for me

thats all the advice i can give hope that helps
good luck

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 11/11/2008 10:53 PM (GMT -7)   

My first visit to a rheumy was last April - the same appointment where I was diagnosed. 

Going through your journal/diary and see if there are any patterns you can establish would be a good idea.

Be prepared to answer alot of questions as well.  In my evaluation, the doctor definitely wanted to lead the appointment.

He had alot of ground to cover in a limited amount of time.  Things like pain - describe the pain, where, when for how long, is it sharp or dull?  Tingling and Numbness: they are two separate things for a rheumy so being prepared to talk about one or either or both, depending upon your situation, would be helpful. 

A rheumy that is up on things will be interested in what your Vitamin D level is, and should at least offer some info on aquatherapy. If he/she doesn't bring up either, I would ask them about it.  If you have had problems with sleeping, and you haven't already done a sleep study, then I  would ask him about that, too.  Alot of fibro-mites have a sleep disorder, if not sleep apnea. 

I had copies of all my labs, x-ray and MRI results, NS post surgery summary to my GP, etc.  I keep everything in chronological order and use large tabbies (small sticky notes work) and I write the date and what it was on each one.  That way I have a quick easy reference at my fingertips.  I offered it to my rheumy and he was impressed and had a copy made for my file with him. 

(In addition to a 45 minute verbal eval, he did the tender point test. I had all of them.  Between the two he very clearly and firmly told me I had fibromyalgia. 

I see him again this Friday.  I checked in with my GP yesterday to see if they have forwarded copies of my doc's notes and all my tests since I saw the rheumy last.  I have not heard back, and I'll give them until noon tomorrow, then I'll call and tell them I'm coming in to pick it up to take with me. 

I hope you have a productive appointment!

I know I didn't give you a bunch of questions.





*Severe Spinal Stenosis, ACDF Surgery Levels C5-7, Jan 07, Degenerative Disk Disease, Osteoarthritis,  Dx'd Atypical Migraines & Neuropathy Jul 07, Dx'd Fibromyalgia April 08,
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Mom to 2 College students +1 Exchange Student in Germany, stepMom to 2 marrieds, 8 stepGrands and my third job is being a pastor's wife.

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