What do you wish you'd asked at your first appointment with the rheumatologist?

I've been browsing the site here for a while but this is my first post. I haven't been diagnosed yet but have symptoms and blood tests indicate RA. Thanks for the generosity in sharing experience on here - I've been comforted, reassured and informed by posts on here. I've got my first appointment tomorrow - symptoms started three months ago, so not such a long wait. I've started a list of questions to ask, but wondered what you wish you had asked with the benefit of hindsight? Thanks, Karen

6 Replies

  • one of my wishes would have been, ld wish ld ask what longterm affects taking RA meds would have in the future,l was told my immune system is weaken because of all the different RA pills and injections l have taken over the last 30odd years,As most RA suffers know the worst thing bout new RA pills/injections they work for a while then the evil RA army inside you finds a way to over come the meds and your back to square one,And because its weaken lm getting more chest infections than ever before and as lv COPD aswell,it means lv to be really carefull, and on top of that lv heart problems so lm not sure wherever l should see a doctor or a vet!....keep fighting

  • I'd have taken photos of my joints when bad, mentioned not been able to sleep and got clear information about how and when to contact rhumy team if things don't go according to plan. Good luck

  • I'd have asked about local support groups - online is great, but worth knowing what else there is locally. It's important to know who to turn to if you have problems, and not just about drug-related issues where the healthcare system excels, its the practical day to day living tips to get by.

  • Many thanks for replies and great advice. Off to my appointment now - not sure what to hope for! Diagnosis and explanation of these horrible symptoms will be a relief, but meds sound awful too. But will take advice and ask better questions so thanks!

  • Hi Samsblade,

    Good luck with your appointment. I hope it's not all to daunting and you remember to ask all the questions you want to! I'm in the same position as you, my first appointment is on 10th June. I have also found great support and encouragement from this community. If it hadn't been for advice here I would probably still be waiting on appointment!! I hope to hear how you got on today and if there's any tips you might be able to share?! Best wishes, Lee x

  • Had my appt yesterday and pleased to say that it was a positive experience, although I did get a diagnosis of RA. The consultant was very good - lots of prodding of joints etc and discussion of bloods and x-rays and I am starting methtotrexate (15mg) this weekend, hydroxychloroquinine and folic acid. Had a steroid injection which thankfully , is miraculous! Feeling very fortunate given others experiences, getting an appt within 3 months of onset and a diagnosis even though I am not as bad as I was a month ago. Bertie pm me if you'd like more info about the consultation. Grateful to members of this site that I was well informed before I went.

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