Rheumatologist appointment - should I go?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 3/27/2007 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
My PCP (who admits he doesn't have a clue as to what is wrong with me) has referred me to a rheumatologist at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville (my insurance won't pay for Mayo Clinic.) My appointment is set for May 14. (Nashville is about a three hour drive from here.)

Today, I received the usual paperwork to fill out before the appointment. As I was reading through the forms and the questions, I realized that none of the questions pertain to any of my symptoms. It's asking all about joint pain and stiffness and things like that, but I don't have any symptoms like that. In addition, my blood tests last week for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus were all normal.

The neurologist I'm seeing agrees that there is something neurological going on, especially since I have messed up reflexes in my legs (Babinski, hyperactive knee jerk, and absent ankle reflexes.)

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and keep the appointment with the rheumatologist, especially since my symptoms are obviously neurological. I don't mind going, but I just hate to make that long drive and take all that time if it's not going to help.

Lisa ~
Living in Limboland!
Negative MRIs + Negative LP + Positive symptoms = A lot of confusion + A ton of frustration!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 3/27/2007 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   

These are questions you need to ask -- no answers coming from me...just questions:

1.  Does your neurologist know about the referral to the Rheumatologist? What does HE think? If he doesn't think it necessary, then cancel.

2. Does your PCP know you're seeing the neurologist, and have they talked with each other? Has the neuro told your PCP that there "seems to be something neurological going on", but it can't be confirmed (yet) by usual testing? If so -- then why did your pcp make the referral to the rheumy?

3. Which doctor did your blood tests for rheumatological stuff -- the pcp or the neuro? If those tests did indeed come back "normal", why did they make the referral (or was it made before the tests were run?)

4. How confident are you in your neuro? If you feel confident that he really is trying to figure out what is wrong..and is convinced that it is neurological...then you might reconsider the rheumy appointment.  If you don't think either the pcp or the neuro really have a clue about what's going on with you, then you might go.

5. If you DO go, and the rheumy says, "whatever's wrong with you, it isn't rheumatological"...then ask HIM "what next?" or "where should I go, next?". It might give you some direction as to what is ailing you.



...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 3/27/2007 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I am going to a rheumotologist next week. I have been diagnosed with MS and my doc thinks I have another "autoimmune issue" as well so I am being sent to a rheumotologist as well as a hemotologist (b/c my blood work came back weird)...Anywho.... I really think uppitycats is asking the right questions, make sure it is worth the drive b4 you put yourself through it!
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