I have posted before about Dr D. in MA and based on info I got here and elsewhere I decided he was a good choice for me so I made an appointment. Now the time has finally come and my appt with him is this week. I'm so nervous! My husband is coming with me, but I would like to ask what are the most important things I should ask at my appointment?
I have copies of all my bloodwork and procedures for the past year and a half, a list of tests or procedures I requested that were denied (for example, a sleep study or a new complete thyroid panel since the last one was almost 4 years ago now), a list of my symptoms, all of which are Lyme symptoms, including dates when they started, a list of my current medications (currently just adderall for energy, prilosec for GERD), a list of medications I've tried previously, a list of what I'm allergic to, a list of the supplements I have taken and am currently taking. I'm bringing a little notebook for either me or my husband to take notes.
I want to get better and I want to take advantage of the fact that Dr. D. is not only an LLMD but has extensive knowledge of things like fibromyalgia and CFS that my other doctors do not seem to know about. I do not want to go to this appointment with the mindset that I must be diagnosed and treated for Lyme and then I will get my life back, because if there's a chance it's not Lyme and I'm treated and it doesn't work I will be disappointed and feel even worse unless I mentally prepare myself that it could be something else.
I have been trying to get well for so long and have been waiting to see an LLMD, and I just want to make sure I make the most of my visit and don't forget anything while I am there! Any tips on things to remember for the first visit would be super appreciated. Thanks!
Write down everything that you want to talk about so that you don't forget. Don't worry, you have nothing to worry about. Really. It's just like any other doctor appt., except this doctor will actually LISTEN.
As you say, you are going to an LLMD. I am a patient of Dr. D too. My first appointment was a breeze because he, unlike the other many many doctors I went to, knew what to ask! He actually has an in take assistant (at least he did for me) who asked me the details of the symptoms and test history and then she went to confer with Dr. D and then Dr D came in and spoke with me. I had already faxed most of my info to them previously so the assistant was merely confirming and hearing what I had to say. she also did some usual (and some unique) office tests on me.
Relax- you are in the hands of an expert now. I know it is hard to believe you can actually let the doctor take control of the visit without missing something important but you really can. I cannot tell you how relieved I was when I got out of that first visit! I felt like I was walking on air!
I have been under his care for 5 months and am feeling much better. Best of luck for your appt.
Good luck with your appt. this week! It will be a breeze, Dr. D is very easy to talk to. His assistant is very knowledgeable, too, she knows it all. I trust her, as well.
I have been a patient of Dr. D's for almost 2 yrs. I do feel better than I did, it's taken a long time but I am feeling better. I'm glad you got an appt. with him. I've met so many people in his office while in the waiting room, it's quite interesting to talk to other people with the same problems. It seems everyone is ready to chat about it, so talk to them, you will feel better, and you learn things. They actually understand what your saying! And just to let you know...he always runs late so bring a book or something to occupy yourself! (He does have magazines tho)
Did you ever get an actual lyme test? He pretty much knows from reading your test what is going on, and if its a negative test, he will look at other symptoms and tests you have had--thyroid, etc. I have a small problem with my thyroid, too. Seems like alot of us lymies have thyroid problems.
Don't worry, Dr. D will NOT treat you if he doesn't believe you have a strong chance of lyme. Just trust his decision, he knows what he is talking about, and he is the closest to you, right? It's worth a shot. Which office are you going to? North or South?
Best of luck! Please let us know how your appt. goes. That's great that you've written everything down and have some history of your symptoms to present to him. I always do that, or I will forget for sure. It does help, too, to take someone in with you so you won't forget things that are said. It's overwhelming and sometimes your mind can wander. It's just good back-up.
Thanks for the responses. It's so great to hear from others who have seen LLMDs, particularly the same one I'm seeing.
Can I ask how long your initial appts lasted? My regular doc is like ordering fast food, in, out, barely time to remember why you're there. I don't need hours but more than 15 minutes would be comforting.
I have to go alone becuase of the timing, but I'm bringing a notebook and will make sure to write things down as they're said and not try to remember later (because I won't remember!)
As I said, I like that Dr D is knowledgeable about fibro and CFS. I'm not positive I have Lyme (my ELISA and Western Blot were both negative) but I've been sick for over four years. When I first got sick I don't remember getting bit, but at the time I was on antibiotics for acne, and was on them for several years, which I've heard could compromise the test results, but I don't know about that. Also, just being on the abx for so long could be the cause of some of my symptoms.
In any event, my other doctors have simply said, "It's fibro. Here's a book from the Arthritis foundation. Read it and learn how to manage your symptoms. See ya." There are several tests I've wanted that my other doctors have refused to do, such as a complete thryoid (not just TSH), even though thyroid problems run in my family. So I'm very happy to hear that Dr. Donta and his assistant are willing to explore all options.