PMRGCAuk
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Advice for 1st Rheumatology appointment tomorrow

1st Rhumatologist appointment tomorrow and would value advice as dreading it . I've had scan for gca after 2 weeks on 40 mg prendisalone (inconclusive) following symptoms was diagnosed 6 weeks ago with polymyalgia . Got jaw/ head pain at present .

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Hi Debbie,

If it were me I'd make a few notes (not too many) so that you can explain exactly what symptoms you have, along with any major questions. Although your scan may be inconclusive, your jaw & head pains would indicate you do have GCA.

Can you take someone with you, two sets of ears are better than one, because on 1st visits particularly it's difficult to take everything in. And don't be frightened to ask questions, if the Rheumy says something you're not sure about, then ask. I know there's always a time limit, but you need to get as much info as possible, so don't be over-awed by him/her. Another good reason to have someone for moral support. Good luck.

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Thank you unfortunately it's only my 13 yr old daughter but she had been in the journey with me

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You will be examined and asked questions about your symptoms - when, what and so on.

So as DL says - sit down and make some notes this evening. And don't worry about it.

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What like physical examination , will I have to get undressed ?

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I don't think I did - but wear clothes that are easy to remove/roll up sleeves or trouser legs. You may have to take off cardigans/pullovers, let them examine knees and shoulders - so don't wear tight things with loads of buttons! Comfy summer trousers and a t-shirt would be my choice - I never wear a skirt anyway. It's no different to going to the GP.

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Thank you

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Hi Debbie and yes I agree with DL's advice to jot down a few notes about your PMR/GCA 'journey' thus far. Just initial symptoms, dates, blood test results prior to treatment etc. and how you responded to Pred, plus present symptoms. It saves trying to remember everything we want to ask - so easy to forget during the actual appointment. My rheumy was very pleased when I presented him with a couple of sheets of A4 with a potted history of my previous horrid year of non-diagnosis under a previous rheumy. This second rheumy was brilliant and if my legs had let me I would have skipped out of there, I felt so reassured. I wish you a similar experience.

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Here's hoping and thank you .. At present I have mega jaw pain :( could be nerves as I'm not good in social settings

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Good luck Determineddebbie! It will be much better than you fear. The advice you've been given is spot on. It is this Consultant's job to help you to feel better and to ask the right questions. You are the consumer here.🍀

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Thank you Jane x

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