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confused by new rheumatologist

  • By 28ffyfb

    She says my hand pain, wrist pain, dry inflamed eyes, flu-like feelings, low grade fevers, fatigue are not RA related because my blood work doesn’t support that I am experiencing inflammation. Even my lymph nodes in my throat get sore – always have – when I am flaring and she says that’s not RA related either. Does this make sense?

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  • By Jillian S Moderator

    28fttyb,
    Thank you for starting this new topic on our forums! We are sorry to hear that you are confused by your new rheumatologist. It is possible that a flare won’t show up on test results. I thought you may be able to relate to this article on bloodwork testing: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/testing-testing-1-2-3/
    Also, if you are not thrilled with your current doctor, many people in our community find it helpful to get a second opinion– https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/finding-excellent-doctors/
    Best,
    Jillian (RA.net Team)

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  • By janlorraine

    I know it is stressful and difficult to find another doctor. I have done it once and I am considering doing it again, but you are certainly suffering enough without having to hear such nonsense. One thing I have found helpful is to write a short essay about how your illness began and what has happened to you since. Give this to your doctor to read and put in your file so that you are both on the same page (no pun intended). Also, be sure to always get copies of all tests and records and keep them organized. Once when I mentioned to my first rheumatologist that I had just read an article that stated that men in pain were taken more seriously than women his response was, “Well, women are good at dissimulating.” I should have known right then to leave his practice because since I now have all my records from our four years together, I see that he was always dissimulating in an effort to find out if I was faking my symptoms and pain. I think the most important thing for patients with an often invisible disease like RD is to have a doctor who trusts and believes you. Take this to heart and don’t let a doctor beat you up like that.

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi Janlorraine ~

    That’s great advice for staying organized – which will help you become a better advocate for yourself as a patient! There’s some interesting research out there about women being taken less seriously than men in a medical setting. I’m actually working on an article about it now, so keep your eyes on the site and hopefully I’ll be able to share it soon! Thanks for helping others find the strength to stand up for themselves.

    Best!
    ~Mariah~

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  • By StillFlaring

    I would ask her what comorbidities that may go with RA, that these symptoms describe. I would suggest you look up some things, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc. One thing RA can do is inflame the tendon and/or nerve sheaths – and inflammation may not show in your blood work, but you can certainly tell when you can’t pick up or hold things! One thing I think we can all see, is RA can be different to all of us.

    And the advice to “Also, be sure to always get copies of ALL tests and records and keep them organized. ” is EXCELLENT advice, I am working on mine now as well.

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    • By Jillian S Moderator

      StillFlaring,
      It is so nice to hear from you again.
      You provide excellent feedback on our forums that I am sure our members greatly appreciate.
      I thought you might be interested in this article we have on The Healing Power of Your Own Medical Records:

      The Healing Power of Your Own Medical Records

      Good luck with getting your copies!
      Jillian (Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team)

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  • By Eebtool

    I am puzzled here, or am i just not getting something.
    You go to see a doctor and she tells you what it IS NOT but offers no suggestion to what it COULD be or does anything medically to narrow down what other illness you could have?
    To me, that is like, — Yep you could be sick,— Send in the next patient please.
    WOW!!

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  • By sugarpine

    She must be related to my Rheumatologist!.He is continually trying to “undiagnose” me because at this time I am seronegative for the Rheumatioid factor. All other blood work supports RA, especially my CRP. I was diagnosed 17 years ago in my early 50s with hand pain and stiffness also positive blood work. I grew to dislike her and saw three other docs, none of whom treated my RA. I stuck with my Internist, who believes I have RA and has been giving me low dose prednisone for a few years. The Rheumatologist who does not believe I have RA, had me taper my prednisone to 1 mg a day and after a month I had a flare. Still no treatment. I even had one Rheumatologist tell me on my first visit I was “just old and fat”! When I went back to get me blood work results I took my daughter (age 43) and he told me I had “mild RA”

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