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What to expect at a rheumatology appointment?

(21 Posts)
HALashley Tue 10-Oct-17 15:37:17

Hi I have my first rheumatology appointment in 2 days and I was just wondering if anyone knew what to expect. My GP has said that he strongly believes I have Fibromyalgia, but has referred me to a rheumatologist to confirm. Does anyone with fibro or a similar condition know what to expect? Like tests etc.

Also, my referall letter says to bring a urine sample? Might be a silly question but is this necessary? I have had urine samples in the past done after I had symptoms and nothing showed up. If it is necessary should I bring the sample in a urine cup or can I ask for one at the appointment? Sorry I'm really nervous. Help would be appreciated greatly!

Floralnomad Tue 10-Oct-17 15:41:00

I would just do the sample there if they want one . I saw a rheumatologist a few years ago for my shoulder pain and it was basically a standard first consult i.e. explaining what was wrong etc and then I went for bloods and she booked me for a scan and then I went back to see her in about 6 weeks when the results were back .

holdthewine Tue 10-Oct-17 15:42:19

I have RA but not fibromyalgia. You can usually get a sterile sample bottle from any chemist. You may get more response by asking MN to move this to health/general or health/auto-immune diseases.

SnowBallsAreHere Tue 10-Oct-17 15:44:36

I never had to give a urine sample with the rheumatologist. Just explained my symptoms, he examined me for sore points and I only realised after I'd put my knickers on inside out and referred me back to the GP for further blood tests before the next appointment. Since then I've been put on more medication and sent for physio.

HALashley Tue 10-Oct-17 15:54:26

holdthewine Thank you. I'm still quite new here so sometimes I'm puzzled where to put certain threads. I will do that.

SnowBallsAreHere When they examined you for sore points, did you have to remove any clothing? Or did he just do it over your clothes?

HALashley Tue 10-Oct-17 15:55:30

holdthewine Sorry is this not General Health?

SnowBallsAreHere Tue 10-Oct-17 15:56:17

I was in my underwear. Complete with inside out knickers grin

I forgot, as well as the blood tests, I was sent for X-rays too.

Rulerruler Tue 10-Oct-17 15:58:32

I worked in Rheumatology - we did need a urine sample but it just had dipstick testing so a small clean container would be ok.

Examinations were generally very straightforward - often not needing any undressing at all.

Anditstartsagain Tue 10-Oct-17 16:00:57

Very interesting to read I got my letter for my first appointment yesterday. I was wondering what to expect.

HALashley Tue 10-Oct-17 16:08:54

SnowBallsAreHere oh my goodness! That sounds both hilarious and cringey! Makes me feel a bit more comfortable having a female doctor if it turns out I need to strip in front of them, especially if my underwear is inside out lol

SnowBallsAreHere Tue 10-Oct-17 17:30:43

I didn't notice until I got home. blush

Cocolepew Tue 10-Oct-17 17:34:39

I did a sample there on my first appointment.
Also get weighed every time sad.
I was there for Lupus not fibro but it was just asking about my symptons.
Take notes with you if you have questions you want to ask. It can be a bit rushed.

HALashley Tue 10-Oct-17 17:48:07

SnowBalls that's ok not to worry. I just though for a second that I put it in the wrong thread for a bit!

I think I'm going to take a list, so I don't forget anything. Took me ages to get this appointment and I'm not going to waste it by forgetting things

DaisyRaine90 Tue 10-Oct-17 17:50:15

Took 6 months for mine shock

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Tue 10-Oct-17 18:04:13

my fibro diagnosis appointment involved pressing on the "sore points" over my clothes. She wanted to look at my feet (not relevant to the fibro, I don't think), no wee sample though. Weight and BP done by the nurse before the appointment.

I'd had an armful of blood tests previously (to rule out B12 and Vit D deficiency, check it wasn't RA or similar), so it was a diagnosis of elimination (you've not got any of these things we can test for, it's fibro).

HALashley Tue 10-Oct-17 19:19:35

Yeah I do agree with that. Can't explain your symptoms = Fibro. That's not to say that it is not a legitimate condition because it is, I just think that sometimes the diagnosis is handed out Willy nilly by physicians when they can't "logically" explain a patient's symptoms, even if they're not consistent with fibro.

LivingInMidnight Tue 10-Oct-17 20:12:55

I had to take a urine sample. Only on the first appointment. It generally went:
Nurse weighing and doing dipstick thing
Dr and lots of poking to see what hurt. Full examination in underwear the first time but fully clothed all the other times. You'd probably be OK with shorts if you're worried.
Blood tests. A lot of them, but the nurses were the best I've ever known at taking them!
X rays

Lots of waiting between each bit so take a book or something to distract you.

HALashley Wed 11-Oct-17 04:29:44

Thanks for the tip. I had no idea they could take that long. Despite how nervous I am, I'm quite excited too. I think my symptoms will be a bit easier to deal with when it has a name if that makes sense? I've spent a lot of time thinking that they were all in my head, which one doctor flat out told me they were! Changed surgeries after that

holdthewine Wed 11-Oct-17 09:45:58

HAL good luck today. I think many of us have had the negative experience. My first rheumatologist told me “go away and forget about it, we all have aches and pains as we get older” I was 49 and unable to do up my own bra at the time! AND I had Rheumatoid factor and a high CRP. Bastard. Luckily I have insurance so went private and have a lovely rheumatologist who was found how I’d been treated “disappointing”. The first one is notorious where I live for only been interested in the most severe cases when apparently he’s good hmm

Hope you get some answers - sadly not everything has a name, my DD has an immunological problem with no name. It’s HoldthewinesDDsyndrome, she would find it easier if she could say I have X, so I know where you’re coming from.

IF you’re diagnosed with RA pop over to the auto-immune board where there are quite a few of us.

Cocolepew Wed 11-Oct-17 13:23:30

Good luck for your appointment flowers

holdthewine Sat 14-Oct-17 10:17:22

How did it go?

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