Nearly time

The wait is nearly over, well 1 1/12 days till my first appointment with the Rheumatologist - I really can't wait!

I wondered if someone could tell me on average how long is the appointment?

I wanted to know the most important questions to ask?

Will I have a physical examination and or xrays? And any meds?

How long is wait for the follow up appointment?


7 Replies

I find that I have time to ask all I need to and never feel rushed after my consultation I went for a xary of my hands and feet had bloods taken waiting at the other department took up about 1hour it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be but I am having long waits for follow up appointments

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Take a question list and Take photos with you if you can and someone as you'll find you only take in so much.

Ask about blood test results and does he have a provisional diagnosis.

Ask will they be going to do any more tests

Tell him about your pain stiffness and swellings if any

Talk about how hard it is in The mornings and how hard it is up dress if applicable

Ask when he/ she will see you again and when

Ask if he has a treatment plan

If you want someone , say to look at your feet , ask eg if they have a podiatrist or physios on the team .

ask how to contact the hospital or helpline if they have one

Ask for a copy of the clinic letter

Good luck and get as much out of it as possible as u may be seeing them for long term and it's good to be able to feel comfortable enough to discuss your needs. Xx


I get the feeling that rheumies usually give more time to first appointments, I think mine was about 30 minutes instead of the usual 10/15. Doctors are quite good at giving you subtle signals that your appointment is over, but if you haven't had your questions answered then ignore them and keep talking!

You might have a physical exam, often just hands and feet, but put your best undies on just in case. And you may or may not be sent for x-Rays and more blood tests, depends on the procedure in that hospital. If so, you probably won't get a prescription for any meds straight away, although it's quite common to be offered a steroid jab to tide you over.

In my hospital the doc gives you a follow up sheet on leaving, which you take back to reception and get your next appointment booked in. Which is great. Generally you'll be seen fairly frequently to start with if you are diagnosed with one of these diseases - 2 to 6 weeks. Eventually it stretches out & I now see mine once every 9 months.

And Allanah's ideas are great ones.


Thanks for all your replies very useful. I was mainly worried about the time issue.

I am hoping that I can get affective treatment quickly I am struggling alot especially in the last week mainly as I have run down the Naproxen.


I think Allanah's covered most I would advise, try to keep your list to bullet points then if your Rheumy wants to look at it it's easy to follow. This link explains will happen but I've added some more below

Take a notepad & pen, if you're given any instructions, when to take meds etc don't rely on his/her writing, the medical profession are renowned for rubbish handwriting.

My h always accompanies me, even nearly 8 years on. I don't always take everything in & your first appointment unfamiliar words & med names may be thrown at you.

It's a bit late now to be finding out if you don't know but you may be asked about family medical history. I was asked if I had RD in my family, any cardio events etc.

If you're already on meds for anything take a list of them, the dose & how often you take them.

I hope you have a good appointment, let us know how it goes.


Thanks for that, the link is really useful too.I will go well prepared.

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Was there nearly three hours. Had thorough examination. Hand/feet x-ray. bloods. And chest x-ray. All standard I was told.

Also a jab in bum for luck.


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