Rheumatologist vs Primary Care - if you need meds today?

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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 2/12/2009 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm in the middle of a dilemma and I thought some of you might be able to provide good feedback or share your experience.

I'm having a very tough time painwise & w/ focus/memory, etc. I made an appt. w/ my rheumatologist, but can't get in until March 11th. I tried to beg his assistant to get me in earlier, but can't - put me on the call if cancellation list.

I'm considering going to my primary care instead, since I can get in probobly today or tomorrow. My concern is, my primary care is not treating me for my fibro. I really want to ask for Adderall, because my lack of focus & fatigue is causing me lots of problems at work and I need it fixed NOW. I am doubtful that either doctor will say yes to it, because of all the illegal use out there, but I want to try anyway.

Sorry - where was I? Oh yes, Do I bypass my rheumatologist and see if my primary care will help me? Do rheumatologists tend to dislike that? Do I wait till March and try to muddle through somehow? I would really prefer to discuss the med options with the rhematolog., but waiting a month will be really difficult.

What would you do? Oh, I'm not currently on any meds.




Fibromyalgia since 2007

"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 2/12/2009 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Kerri!

Go ahead and see your Primary Doc. The worse they can do is say "No". Do not live with unneccesary discomfort if there is a possible aid awaiting you. Your Rheumi will be able to further advise you and adjust your meds in March if he does not agree with it.

I commend you for working through the pain and fatigue. This flare sounds like it is wearing you down and you could use some immediate assistance.

Good luck! Get the Meds if you can!!! :)

Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us. {Earl Nightingale} 
Fibro since 2005

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 2/12/2009 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Jokat! I'm glad you were able to advise me.

You are right, the worst they can say is "No". My ability to focus is crucial, as it helps me deal with the pain better. I thought the flare was easing off yesterday, but it turns out it's not the case.

Thanks again. I'll make an appt. for tomorrow. With any luck, I'll be my happy, energetic self again soon.



Fibromyalgia since 2007

"Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."
Robert F. Kennedy 


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 2/12/2009 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   
You could also try calling your rheumy's office and talk to the nurse, explaining what and why. I have been able to fine tune my meds this way, saving me 2 hour drive each way.
Still learning how to manage my Fibromylagia, and all the lovely gifts it brings.   
I had severe spinal stenosis, had fusion done on C5-7, and my life has changed. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 2/12/2009 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you tried Provigil? I think it doesn't have an abuse potential. It does help a lot of people. Hopefully you can tolerate it (it helps me but I can only do small, infrequent doses). It's really the pits to have focus and fatigue problems at work.

I had a similar problem when anxiety was causing me a lot of problems. I made an appt. with my psych, but couldn't get in for a couple of weeks. I went in and saw my PCP and told her about my problem and that I had an appt. in a couple of weeks. I asked her if she could help me "band-aid" it for two weeks til my appt. She was very understanding and helped me with a Rx for two weeks.
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 2/13/2009 6:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I would call ruemy again and explain why you need to see or speak to them. Then If they cant help I would call primary doctor.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 2/13/2009 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
My GP has been helpful in helping bridge gaps in appointments for me, with my specialist. I'm in Canada and we have a critical lack of specialists. It took me two years to see a Pdoc and that was as an emergency. I wouldn't hesitatae to call on him because of our critical lack of specialists. oddly, we have about 1 Rheumatologist in a city of 175,000 people, 1. If I need to see this person, I have about a five year wait. So for Fibro, I have only my PCP. He has reviewed my complete medical history and has his prescription pad ready, when I go. I find it odd that the so called  "War on Drugs" is now targetting folks like you and I. The criminals and abusers have no trouble whatsoever to access whatever medications they want. I could go downtown and stand on a street corner in some raggy, baggy jeans with a fifty dollar bill and get lots of propositions for whatever. But trying to live in pain, within the rules laid down by the crooked, large pharmaceutical lobbyists, who promote and self monitor all the $5.00 a pill meds, which have only been on the market for a year or so, and will likely be pulled when people start dying from the side effects. I challenge anyone to bring up the cautions and warnings on one of the new "miracle"drugs and compare that with the warnings on the drugs which cost $8.00 a refill, which have been around for forty years. It's a money thing. I did not fall off the turnip truck this morning. 

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 2/13/2009 10:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Kerri, I have tried both provigil and adderal which my GP rxd. The provigil I think made me feel weird and the adderal caused too much anxiety. I can't remember which one it was but my doc had to write a letter to my ins explaining why I needed it before they would pay for it.
I have an app next week with my rheumy and I'm going to talk to him about the OA in my hands and see what he can do to help but I bounce things off both docs when it comes to fibro. I figure two opinions is better than one but for the most part they have the same opinion on fibro. Actually I have an app Mon with GP, it's time for complete blood workup, and an app Wed with rheumy.
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