Seeing the Doc

It’s really weird to expect a quick in-and-out appointment, and instead have the doctor bring up an extra topic.

I thought I was seeing my PCP to refill my headache-prevention medicine.  He did that – fairly quickly.  He was also interested in what’s going on with the RA, and I hadn’t realized that would be up for discussion.  See, my PCP has a new policy posted in his exam rooms.  I don’t have the exact wording, but the gist of it is we’ll deal with everything you bring up, but multiple issues might need to be documented as two separate appointments which will require a second co-pay .  I’ve been tempted to ask if he can do that retroactively to get additional compensation for one of my extremely lengthy appointments last year.

But I digress.  When the whole point of the appointment was to get a refill, I wasn’t sure it would be okay to ask about anything else.  Then he brought up a different subject.

It turns out that my rheumatologist sends a letter to my PCP whenever she sees me.  He’s been getting lab results and a letter every month.  Unfortunately, it’s apparent in her written communication that English is not my rheumatologist’s native language, so my PCP wasn’t sure exactly what the current plan is.  He asked.  We talked about it.  So simple.

It provided an opportunity to ask another question (since we were on RA anyway).  The warning label on biologics gives a list of symptoms which warrant a call to your doctor.  Which doctor?!   So I asked.  We discussed it.  Dang, this is easy.

I’m a lot more comfortable talking to my doctor now than I used to be.  That’s partly due to the fact that I’ve had to do it so frequently, but mostly due to what I’ve learned reading medblogs.  A few posts I’ve found helpful are here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here  and even here and here.

 ***

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6 thoughts on “Seeing the Doc

  1. Socks:

    Here’s to a great holiday season to you and yours. Congrats on successfully navigating the holiday party and thanks for the tips for the T-shirts. Those are great. I may have to get some for New Year’s gifts since Christmas is already upon us.

    Cheers.

  2. Isn’t it nice to discover your doctor CARES?

    I’m always pleasantly surprised — even touched — when my PCP or rheumatologist asks about my life in general (though it happens very seldom). Such interest on their part reassures me that I’m not simply the “blonde with the RA hands” or the walking “pre-metabolic syndrome” to my doctors — I’m a generally likeable, nice person whose life is affected daily by whatever compelled me to come for their help in the first place. It also feels nice that they’re willing to share an extra minute or so of their valuable time with me.

    Thanks for all those links — there’s some very good advice in them. You rock, Socks!

  3. I learned the same thing this week…generalists showed a lot of care and compassion when they find out you have RA! Don’t know if this is always the case but it felt nice.

    Andrew

  4. Sounds like a very good appointment.

    Like Wren, I really appreciate it when my docs ask about other aspects of my life – even when my cardiologist asks about my RA and my rheumatologist asks how my heart is. It’s nice to know they think of me as more than just another case of whatever-itis.

    Great list of links, too!

    Merry Christmas, WarmSocks.

  5. I’ve had the same experience as Wren. I can’t help wondering if we suddenly become ‘interesting’ instead of ‘whinger’ when we’ve got a proper diagnosis. ;o) I’m glad you had such a positive experience anyway, and I hope you also had a great Christmas!

  6. Pingback: What Works? « ∞ itis

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