Preparation for your Rheumatology consultation



Try to have answers to these questions

1   Age / sex and general medical background
2   Are the symptoms worse in the morning.
3   Is there morning stiffness.
4   How long does that stiffness last in the morning.
5   Is there active swelling visible now ? , or are the joints just "feeling" swollen.
6   What are the joints involved.
7   Are there any skin rashes especially psoriasis, or sun sensitivity.
8   Is there any history of mouth / genital ulcers.
9   Is there any history of bowel disturbance - especially diarrhoea / blood in the stools / mucus in the stools.
10   Is there any history of eye problems.
11   What aggravates the symptoms / any history of trauma
12   Is there a family history of arthritis.
13   What is the sleep pattern like.
14   What is the impact on daily life.

Key things to remember


Give your OWN story from scratch -Not what doctors / other people have interpreted it as being.


If you are going to write things down - Write down your thoughts in point form - (don’t write a book) and expand on these as a prompt for yourself.


Avoid the "Oh I forgot to tell you" syndrome -Just as you’re about to leave the consulting room.


Make a FULL list of your medications including natural therapies
This is fundamental and VERY important.
It should include all prescription medications as well as over - the - counter (OTC) medications


Bring ALL your X-rays scans -Even if you think they would be irrelevant.
Leave it to the doc to decide what he wants to see. 
If available bring the original discs which are usually available from the radiologist centre


Make a priority list of your problems -Try to ensure that your Doctor has understood all the problems as they affect you as a patient.
Don’t get too bogged down in fine detail 

Give your doctor an idea of trends of change of your problem:

Precipitating factors
Progression over the time
Impact on daily life and function.


 Ask Questions - Don’t be scared to ask questions - there is NO such thing as a stupid question...


Ask your doc if he has literature to review on the problem -It is always good to educate yourself regarding the problem

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