7 Signs It Was Time to Find a New Doctor

7 Signs It Was Time to Find a New Doctor

I was in the waiting room dreading yet another appointment with my rheumatologist. It was nine months prior that I was diagnosed by my primary physician with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and I didn’t know what my doctor-patient relationship should look like. At that third appointment with Dr. “A,” I determined it was time for me to find a new doctor to treat my RA and fibromyalgia.

The Red Flags

How did I know when the time was right to find a new doctor? Here are the seven red flags that helped to make that decision.

  1. My doctor did not listen to me. Often times, it felt like Dr. A was not listening to my concerns. She would interrupt me or even repeat the same questions she previously asked. Moreover, at each visit, she seemed uninformed about my health and why I was there. It was as if I was seeing a new doctor at each appointment. Moreover, she refused to change my medications despite the side effects I endured. For example, I brought to her attention that my vision had worsened since I started on Plaquenil and she refused to acknowledge that this was a side effect of the medication and insisted that I continue taking it.
  2. I felt that she did not believe I was sick. My doctor was a rheumatologist and she still would not attribute some of my symptoms to RA. She would suggest things like stress and hormones. Further, even though she had diagnosed my fibromyalgia, she refused to prescribe anything for it. She told me to lose weight and change my diet. I could not understand the reasoning behind her thinking and it made me skeptical to share with her how I was feeling. Under her care, I was not getting better; I was getting worse.

READ MORE AT http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-articles/340-7-signs-it-was-time-to-find-a-new-doctor?category=newly+diagnosed

Your Medical Health Team with Chronic Illness

If you have a chronic health condition, you will need to work with your doctor to put together a team of support. It can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out what it takes to manage your chronic illness so teamwork is important if your disease or your symptoms worsen and to keep your disease managed.

Members of your medical health team could include various specialists, nurses, a psychiatrist or other mental health therapist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a social worker, a nutritionist or dietitian, and your primary care doctor.  Each one plays a role in your healthcare, including with medical treatment, emotional health, rehabilitation to take care of yourself and do daily talks, practical support with insurance and managing financial care, diet, and strategies to stay as healthy as possible.

It is important to speak up about any concerns you have about your health and specific condition with your doctor or specialist.  Make sure your doctor is someone you are comfortable with and who respects and listens to you. Take into consideration your travel time, insurance coverage and other factors that affect office visits.

Once you have found the right person to treat you, be prepared to communicate with about the concerns you have and to follow advice he or she gives about your specific condition.  Make sure you are prepared for your appointments by tracking how you have been feeling and keeping an updated list of medications and contact information for other doctors you see.  Ask your doctor about your biggest concerns and speak up, even about issues that are hard to discuss, such as sexual changes, moods and bowel trouble.  Moreover, be concise and clear and don’t be afraid to ask for more information or clarification if you don’t understand something.  Most importantly, let your doctor know if you are feeling hopeless or helpless, are afraid of treatments, have had bad experiences with other providers or are confused by different messages from other members of your health care team.

If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, remember to reach out to a member of your health team.  You are not required to go at it alone and these people are available to support you so don’t hesitate to seek them out.

Find out more about the doctor-patient relationship at: http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-articles/299-the-all-important-relationship-with-your-doctor-8-tips-to-improve-your-medical-care#4DlLIpeAbV9A6IyM.97

7 Signs It Was Time to Find a New Doctor

7 Signs It Was Time to Find a New Doctor

I was in the waiting room dreading yet another appointment with my rheumatologist. It was nine months prior that I was diagnosed by my primary physician with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and I didn’t know what my doctor-patient relationship should look like. At that third appointment with Dr. “A,” I determined it was time for me to find a new doctor to treat my RA and fibromyalgia.

The Red Flags

How did I know when the time was right to find a new doctor? Here are the seven red flags that helped to make that decision.

  1. My doctor did not listen to me. Often times, it felt like Dr. A was not listening to my concerns. She would interrupt me or even repeat the same questions she previously asked. Moreover, at each visit, she seemed uninformed about my health and why I was there. It was as if I was seeing a new doctor at each appointment. Moreover, she refused to change my medications despite the side effects I endured. For example, I brought to her attention that my vision had worsened since I started on Plaquenil and she refused to acknowledge that this was a side effect of the medication and insisted that I continue taking it.
  2. I felt that she did not believe I was sick. My doctor was a rheumatologist and she still would not attribute some of my symptoms to RA. She would suggest things like stress and hormones. Further, even though she had diagnosed my fibromyalgia, she refused to prescribe anything for it. She told me to lose weight and change my diet. I could not understand the reasoning behind her thinking and it made me skeptical to share with her how I was feeling. Under her care, I was not getting better; I was getting worse.

Read more at http://www.fibromyalgiaconnect.com/fibromyalgia-articles/318-7-signs-it-was-time-to-find-a-new-doctor#J2tXu07TlcwquwlX.99

7 Tips to Improve Communication with Your Rheumatologist

Building a relationship with your rheumatologist can be beneficial for you and your doctor

7 Tips to Improve Communication with Your Rheumatologist

Arthritis patients do best when they have a rheumatologist they can communicate well with. A strong doctor-patient relationship can improve patient outcomes, promote a better quality of life and increase compliance with treatment.

Your rheumatologist only has an average of about fifteen minutes to spend with you during your visit and if communication is lacking, the experience can be confusing and frustrating. Here are seven tips to help you to improve communication with your rheumatologist.

  1. Prepare. Before your appointment, write down the concerns you want to share with your rheumatologist so that your conversation is focused and your concerns are addressed. You should also carry a list of all the medications you are taking because you cannot rely on memory. Your list should include all prescribed medications, over the counter medications and any supplements and vitamins. Before leaving your rheumatologist’s office, take a look at your notes to make sure you’ve covered everything.

    READ MORE.