While I absolutely adore and appreciate my rheumatologist, I don't know if you live in the same area I do. Does your primary care doctor have a recommendation for a good rheumatologist? Maybe the Arthritis Foundation has a list of doctors in your area. It is worth a call for your local chapter.
I made a mistake when I saw my first rheumatologist. I saw the only local doctor in a rural area. I waited 3 months for an appointment; my symptoms had finally subsided has they sometimes do with prednisone prescibed by my orthopedic doctor and this doctor, over 60, didn't do any xrays any diagnosed osteoarthritis that for some unknown reason had come on overnight. His opinion was that if I was RF neg I didn't have RA, symptoms be damned. Well, symptoms came back, swollen knees, ankles, hands, and again, no xrays, still insisting it was osteoarthritis. I said that this happened overnight and he said osteoarthritis takes a long time; it was clear that we were having two separate conversations. After a conversation with my GP she recommended one of the major arthritis centers in the nearby cities, Pittsburgh or Cleveland, saying that's what she would do. I called Cleveland Clinic and had an appointment inside of a few days and a diagoses of undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis with my first exam. And treatment. The point of this long story is that you should look for an up to date arthritis center with recently trained rheumatoligists. The first rheumatologist I saw had an excellent reputation and I'm sure if I had been RF positive I would have been treated appropriately but I am still seronegative. Under his care, I would be in a world of hurt. If your doctor isn't listening to you; if they aren't treating you, you need to seek a second opinion. Good luck!
It took me a long time to find a good Rheumatologist. The firsrt one I saw had a great reputation, but I am seronegative. He didn't treat me, and he was a first class jerk!
The second diagnosed me with Erosive Inflammatory Osteoarthritis. Finally, I talked to my ortho, who I knew had to have other RA patients. He gave me the name of my current RD on the recommendation of his other RA patients. The doc I have now is wonderful........and she does treat seronegative RA.
I guess that just goes to show that word-of-mouth is the best information you can get. Do you have an ortho who could make a recommendation?
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