Quoting here a post I found on a forum that felt very important.
" A patient who does not advocate for themself may end up with a fool for a doctor. My experience as I’ve gotten ill has been that a high percentage of doctors are very good at telling and not very good at listening. There’s a strange sort of arrogance on their part, a belief that you, the patient who did not go to medical school cannot possibly know what’s wrong with you. Well the beautiful thing about information is that it belongs to no one and it’s never been more accessible. As much as doc whoever would like to feel that they have exclusive rights to knowledge we can still acquire it. I can read a college textbook too. It’s true that doctors are specialists in the human body and that deserves a certain amount of respect but people, even educated people make mistakes. But only an individual can know they’re own body. A textbook offers a generalization but no two bodies are alike. No two brains are alike. No two souls are alike. Many of us have have been misdiagnosed. We’ve had delayed diagnoses because doc whoever wouldn’t listen to us when we requested the MRI, or the blood test, or the whatever test is necessary. The doctor patient relationship needs to be a partnership. So truthfully we should still listen to our doctors, but our doctors need to listen to us. That’s just my 2 cents. I’d throw an extra cent in there if I could but I’m out of change
ps: after I posted this I had a terrible experience with a condescending doctor. He actually took out a wipe board and explained the difference between “rare” and “common” when talking about ailments, like I was a child who didn’t know what the words meant. My wife sat in on the appointment(I had brought her intentionally to see if he would take me more seriously) She cried all the way home. It was incredibly insulting to our intelligence. So I’m carrying a bit more fire than when I first posted this.
I believe everyone has a story worth hearing, few give time to listen to it. I suspect its mainly a time issue rather than an arrogance issue in a Rheumatology Clinic. If someone isn't listening, you don't necessarily have the power to be your own advocate, unless you literally refuse to leave the room!
This I think is a very important point. Especially in the beginning it's quite hard to mobilize strength to be your own advocate. You know so little and you are so scared but as time goes by, since it's not a question of a curable disease, you adjust and you build up new courage and you can find out new things about your situation and illness. In a perfect world you would have the same doctor who would follow you through different phases of your illness, who would really get to know and build up a partner ship.