Well after being diagnosed with GCA several months ago I had my first visit to a Rheumatologist. Well I will admit to feeling very anxious but I had first class treatment - spoke with the Registrar who took all the details regarding my medical history and then me gave a thorough examination. She seemed to ask all the right questions and was very understanding. She then introduced me to the doctor who also gave me a thorough examination and again asked many questions.
In summary he has given me a planned schedule for reducing the preds, along with blood test requests and an emergency number to call if I have a flare-up or any concerns when reducing the preds, strict instructions on what to do if the flare-up occurs out-of-hours and reassurance that the A & E Department will deal with this as an emergency and that they will call him. He organised for me to have a chest x-ray and a multitude of blood tests today. On top of that he will refer me so that I can have a belated biopsy and also a referral to a neurologist.
All in all both of them made me feel like a person not a number and that they are concerned for me - they want to try and reach a firm diagnosis of GCA - get me off the preds - and both said that even if I haven't got GCA I can remain on the Support Group and help others who have this terrible thing!
I feel a lot more positive now. Tired after being prodded and poked about but at least I feel that I am in the right hands. If only this had happened months ago.