Patient Tips and Guidelines
I visited www.arthritis.org and requested their “Let’s Talk RA” package. Arthritis.com promotes you and your physicians teaming up to work on improving your quality of life and treatment.
The Arthritis Foundation states that communication is the key. A good relationship between you and your rheumatologist is the key to having the best possible care. In order to have that type of relationship you have to be able to trust your rheumatologist, trust their knowledge and experience. In order for the rheumatologist to help you accurately is by you feeling comfortable enough to freely ask any and all questions and to tell them what your concerns and symptoms are. Your rheumatologist will be able to tell about possible treatments, side effects, and any other information you will need.
To begin with you should prepare for your visit. “Let’s Talk RA” suggests the following to help with this:Don’t visit the doctor’s office without an appointment. Arrange to have your medical records transferred if you are a new patient. Make a list of everything you want to ask or tell your doctor. Be prepared to describe the sequence and time when your symptoms usually begin to bother you. (Suggestions are for a diary for tracking your RA symptoms between visits.) Create a summary of anything that has happened since your last visit. Keep a log of the names and dosages of all medications you are taking. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbal. If this is a return visit, prepare a list of medications that need to be refilled. List any alternative treatments you use, for instance: chiropractic care, acupuncture or massage therapy.
These are very good tips to follow. I am scheduled for a second opinion from a different rheumatologist this week. Receiving this information packet clued me into what I need to have ready before my visit.
Next post I will go over some steps to being a better patient.