I had my first appointment with my new rheumatologist earlier this month. I had originally wanted to see a different rheum, but he was booked too far in advance, so I decided to see someone else that I could get in to see sooner, who my new primary care doctor recommended.
My new rheum is young and very thorough. She seemed to agree that my current treatment needs to change, although we did not talk about specifics because we are waiting to get all of the test results back.
And she was shocked that I had never had any X-rays of my joints, so she sent me for X-rays of my hands, feet, and right hip.
During my appointment, she really went over my entire body. She played around with all of my joints to see what hurt and where, and the mobility of each joint.
And we spent a lot of time talking about my diagnosis, what medications I had been on over the years, what some of the main issues have been, and things like that.
I was really skeptical about having to find a new doctor. Although I sometimes had issues with my old rheum, I had a fear that a new doctor would totally disagree with everything my old doctor told me, especially my diagnoses.
I guess that maybe having that worry suggests that maybe it was time for me to find a new doctor, not just because I was moving from Michigan to New York.
I am happy that she has experience with both lupus and RA, as my old rheum was mainly an RA man. She also seemed to be very knowledgeable and concerned about secondary problems related to lupus and RA that I have experienced.
It’s really stressful when you are trying to acclimate to a new city, a new living situation, a new graduate program, and everything else, when setting up and finding appropriate medical care is also super important.
And for me, I think my rheum is really the most critical part of my medical team. While I have referrals for other specialists, I feel like I only need to make an appointment with those doctors if I have a need to. But it was critical for me to find a new rheum.
For now, I am very satisfied with my new rheum. She utilizes the health care portal, which is very useful, and she really seems to be with it.
I have another appointment with my new rheum in January, and hopefully we will make some treatment decisions then, especially getting rid of the steroids that are currently terrorizing me.
I also hope that once we start talking about treatment, we can have a conversation and think about the goals of treatment and the future, which was something that my old rheum often had difficulty talking about.
Published On: January 13, 2014