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Dr appointment

Hi, Help, I have a Doctors appointment tomorrow. I never know how to talk to him, because I don't really know what to say. You see, I'm not sure of how I feel. Hear me out, I have been dealing with the aches and pains for so long, I am so use to them. And shrugged and get through my day. So when he asks how are you doing, I'm always like ok, any changes? I don't know, I hurt all the time. not sure if the medicine is helping like its suppose to, because I'm not sure,yeah my hands don't hurt as bad, but they still hurt, sometimes worst than other times. But to me that's normal. Any advice, thanks,

I'm always trying to be tough and not show my weakness. cause some people don't understand, and so when it's suck it up buttercup, you kind of don't want to talk about it to anyone. so it's always I'm fine 😿

  1. Hi, ! If there's ever a time to not put on a brave face, it's at your doctor's appointment! I would definitely write down (if you have time tonight or tomorrow morning) any episodes of pain you have experienced since your last appointment. If you're thinking, "Well, I would be writing for hours!" Then that tells you something. If you experience pain almost every day (as you mentioned), that's something your doctor should know. And when it comes to RA, I know it can be hard to decide if a medication is working or not, as it seems some level of pain is pretty normal when you have this condition. I guess if you can see a trend of pain worsening or if you are adding more body parts to the "what hurts today" list, then that's something to take note of.


    People with RA have notoriously high pain thresholds, so asking them about pain can be kind of misleading. Your idea of "just a little pain" may be someone else's idea of "excruciating levels of discomfort". So, if you have time to really think back over the past six months or year and really try to note some of your highs and lows, that might help you be prepared to answer your physician's questions.


    Don't be afraid to tell him that you're hurting. We know how tough people with RA truly are. It's okay to say once in awhile, "You know what? This sucks and I hurt and I am tired of hurting."


    Your physician may not have all the answers to magically take your pain away, but he may be able to offer some suggestions for changes in treatment.


    Good luck! I hope your appointment is fruitful and that your doctor isn't running behind (I hate waiting extra long in the doctor's office 😉 ).


    Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

    1. Thank You, for your reply. I'm so glad to have found this website, and the nerve to post. Starting to realize I'm not alone. And that talking and asking questions, is a big step for me.

  2. I encourage you to list the things you are having trouble doing due to pain, stiffness or fatigue. That may help the doc understand the impact RA is having on your life. Think of things like, sleeping, walking, grocery shopping, playing with your kids/grandkids, cooking meals, sports, hobbies, etc. And tell him what you said here. Doctors can only try to help the symptoms they are aware of. Take a list or notes with you - it is a sign of awareness and self advocacy. I felt silly the first couple of times, but found my doctors preferred it!

    1. Thank You 🙂

  3. Absolutely true.....you must NOT be stoic. If something hurts, you have to mention it. Don't be shy. This is about YOUR treatment and to be your own best advocate you need to tell the truth. If a med isn't working and the rheumatologist is not inclined to switch to another, insist on it. This is when you need to be assertive. This is YOUR body. It's YOUR life. You only get one chance, so speak up.

    1. is spot-on here. Self-advocacy is SO important. Especially with RA and all of its subtleties. If anyone is interested in HOW to be a better self-advocate, here is an article with 4 tips that may help (https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/self-advocate-chronic-illness) - Reggie (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member)

  4. Hi . As you can see, others here completely get what you are saying about struggling with how to approach a doctor's appointment. On top of the other excellent thoughts and suggestions, I want to share with you this article on questions for the doctor, with an emphasis on goals and managing care: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/questions-for-the-doctor. Wishing you the best and please feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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