Anticipation. Hope. Two powerful emotions I was feeling on the day I sat waiting to see the doctors at the arthritis clinic in my local hospital.
I was ushered into a patient waiting room and met who would become my current rheumatologist.
We have a great relationship, and I consider myself to be very fortunate to be under his care.
My rheumatologist is:
He’s also a well-respected researcher with deep and extensive knowledge of ankylosing spondylitis and autoimmunity.
I usually visit him every 6 months (remote now due to COVID-19). I usually have questions during our appointments. He answers all of them. I never get the brush-off. He has a wonderful bedside manner. On several occasions he had drained my knees of accumulated fluid that caused extreme swelling. When doing so, he carefully explained what he was about to do in detail so I would understand the procedure and the benefits.
He takes time to explain our pain management plan so I understand the process. And when I discuss an alternative treatment I may want to explore, he’s open to it.
I’m most impressed by his unrelenting pursuit of tweaking and experimenting to address the best approach for my pain management. I can tell he truly cares about the well-being of all his patients.
If you’re on the hunt for a good doctor or rheumatologist, I recommend you find one who:
- Validates your feelings concerning your pain (vs. made up in your head or accuse you of being an attention seeker)
- Answers all your questions to your satisfaction so you’re not leaving your appointment in confusion or tears
- Is open minded to your suggestions in regard to other options you may want to pursue for your pain management
- Is knowledgeable about your particular autoimmune disease (you wouldn’t see a plumber to prepare your financial plan, would you?)
Your doctor should not only be knowledgeable, but they should also be a source of support.
When you’re dating someone new, you ask tons of questions. You’re figuring out if they are a good fit with your values. You’re trying to determine, “can I see myself in a long-term relationship with this person?”
You wouldn’t settle for less with a new partner, so why should you do so with your doctor?
Ask questions. Pay attention to the way the doctor treats you and how you feel in their care. Your relationship with your doctor should be a health partnership. Get involved with the right partner!
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