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Old 10-14-2005, 10:26 PM   #1
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Have my first appt with rheumy!

I have my first appt with the rheumatologist next week and I received the paperwork in the mail the other day that I have to complete prior to my visit. In the information packet, it says that the appt will take about 2 hours. What are they going to do to me? I am being referred to the rheumy for possible fibromyalgia and/or CFS. I was just surprised to hear that the appt was going to take that long. What can I expect on my first visit? I'm scared.

Thanks!

 
Old 10-15-2005, 04:22 AM   #2
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Re: Have my first appt with rheumy!

On my first visit the dr. asked questions like how long ago did pain start, where is pain, describe pain, other health questions like previous health problems, meds, surgries.He wanted to know if anything happened before thie pain began, like maybe an accident,have I fallen or have surgry. What all meds did I take. He drew blood to test for lupus and for RA. He said they needed to be rules out. He pushed, pressed really, trigger points to see how I reacted to them. He also set up me getting x-rays and a bone density test. He told me what he suspected and what he didn't. A week or so later I had the x-rays and bone density test and then saw him again about a week later. All in all a pretty painless experience, I guess mainl because he acted like he understood my pain and didn't act like he had no idea. which is how my reg. dr. had been acting. My rhuem. dr. is also a lot better about prescribing pain pills. He doesn't prescribe them like he thinks I won't hurt anymore after a weeks worth of pills.
Good luck with your appt. Let us know.
April

 
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Old 10-15-2005, 06:27 AM   #3
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Re: Have my first appt with rheumy!

I love turtles - 2 hours - that's great! I've seen many doctors and yet to get a 2 hour appointment. I'm thrilled when I get more than 20 minutes with a doctor one on one. (Sad huh?).

If you have time before your appointment it's sometimes helpful to jot down your symptoms in advance - put the ones that bother you the most first. It's helpful to be able to refer to them when you're there. (Without it I'd often forget something important). Also try to write down any questions that you want to ask & take those with you as well.

The first appointment usually is a complete medical history - physical exam - blood pressure check - discussion of your symptoms & concerns etc.,. The rhemu will probably order some blood tests to rule out other diseases as well. Many doctors though will not prescribe medications on the first visit so it's helpful to go in with an open mind that it might be a few appointments before they get you on a plan for your condition. Getting a good doctor who believes in you is the first step towards getting better. Take it one visit at a time.

Take care & keep us posted!

Last edited by Sun_Shine; 10-15-2005 at 06:29 AM.

 
Old 10-16-2005, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: Have my first appt with rheumy!

Turtles, I'm sure they are taking into account the time it will take you to fill out more paperwork when you get there and for them to put a file together for you and the nurse to ask you a ton of questions and then of course the doc will want to take extra time with you. It sounds great that they are allowing that much time, use all of it. Try to write down questions and make quick notes of the answers that is always so helpful. Of course on the first visit the doc may not have too many answers. Don't forget to take a list of all the symptoms too. Good Luck! Keep us posted.

Glojer

 
Old 10-17-2005, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: Have my first appt with rheumy!

Hi everyone, Thank you so much for responding back to me

The doctor's office mailed me a bunch of paperwork to complete before I go to my appointment tomorrow. Ugh! So much information they want to know But I guess that is good.

Great idea on writing down the questions before I go. I will definately keep you all updated on what the doc says

By the way, what is lupus?

I am getting kind of nervous. What if I get there and all of this is just in my head?? I guess other doctors have made me feel this way. With fibro, do you have good days and bad days? I don't know if this can contribute to developing fibro, but I have had 4 laparoscopies and a hysterectomy due to endometriosis in the past two years.

Thanks again!

 
Old 10-17-2005, 10:05 AM   #6
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Re: Have my first appt with rheumy!

hi turtle,
your new doc will do an examination of your body, order blood tests to rule out anything like arthritis, lupus, thyroid and a whole host of other goodies. it is standard to diagnosing fm or cf. everything else has to be ruled out or found first.
your new doc will ask alot of questions. there is a thread called "the list." i think it is at the top of the front page. print that out and fill it out. take it with you.
i have a letter of introduction i keep in my computer. it lists all my surgeries, meds, and diagnosed illnesses. it also is worded in an upbeat way with a bit of humor thrown in.
i had a hysterectomy 30 years ago. isn't it great not having a period!!!!!
2 hours is normal for a first exam with a rhuemy. it is the amount of time needed to do it right.
peace,
bluelakelady

 
Old 10-18-2005, 07:22 PM   #7
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Talking Re: Have my first appt with rheumy! **UPDATE**

Well, today I had my first appointment with the rheumatologist and it went pretty good. He was really nice and wants to find out why I am having the pain and fatigue. He ordered x-rays (pelvis, cervical and lumbar spine) and the following labs; ANA SCR, CBC, CRP, ESR (SED RATE), and RA FACTOR. He wants to wait for the results of these tests to see what to do next and I am to follow-up with him in a couple of weeks. Does anyone know what these lab tests mean? Also, he did press on the trigger points and it only bothered me in a few spots. Wouldn't you know, of all days, I felt pretty good today and wasn't in much pain.

Thanks

 
Old 10-19-2005, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: Have my first appt with rheumy!

Hi turtles, lets see if I can help with these blood tests.

ANA is the antinuclear antibody test to see if it is elevated which may indicate some other auto immune problem.

CBC is just a complete blood count, that tells a lot of things and is pretty common test.

ESR is the sed rate which checks to see if there is an inflammatory condition.

The RA factor is the test for rhuematiod arthritis.

The CRP I think is the C reactive protien test and that checks for infections.

And you got me on the SCR not sure about that one.

Believe me I am not a medical professional, and have no medical training these are just cursory explanations. I have however had all these tests done.

Please don't worry about these blood tests, they are necessary to rule out things. I hope you get to feeling better soon and I am glad your appt. went well and your doc is moving ahead.

Glojer

 
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