20 Essential Facts About My Own Rheumatoid Arthritis No Doctor Ever Asked Me

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Essential Rheumatoid Arthritis facts only you could know

Last month, we talked about 10 Essential Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis No Doctor Ever Told Me. We were talking about some essential RA facts of life that many RA patients have to figure out on our own. Let’s look at another angle: What about some truly essential facts on Rheumatoid Arthritis your doctors need to ask you? These facts about your own RA might be critical to your diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis.

  1. What are the symptoms of your Rheumatoid Arthritis? What is the most bothersome symptom?
  2. Where does it hurt?
  3. Do you have fevers?
  4. Are you able to manage to take care of yourself?
  5. Can you do your regular work?
  6. Are you able to eat well? Have you lost weight?
  7. Do you have a family history of heart disease?
  8. Do you have any other auto-immune diagnoses? Co-morbidities?
  9. When / how did your symptoms start?
  10. Do you have a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  11. Do you have problems with your voice? (larynx) Or trouble breathing?
  12. Are you having side effects from treatments? Would you like to change them?
  13. Do you ever have a rash? Or flushing? Or sores? Or damaged fingernails…?
  14. Do your eyes bother you?
  15. Have you had any Rheumatoid nodules?
  16. Do you have fatigue?
  17. Are your joints weak or unstable? Do they make a lot of noise?

facts on rheumatoid arthritis

Bonus! 3 essential questions about my own Rheumatoid Arthritis: These questions are not on the above list because they were finally asked by my current doc:

     18. Are you depressed? How are you coping with the pain and disability?
     19. Are you taking your medication?
     20. Is the treatment helping you?

Shouldn’t those facts about my Rheumatoid Arthritis be shared with the doctor?

Usually, I end up telling doctors something that I want them to know. Most of the time, I keep it as short as possible in an effort to not irritate them. With a former rheum doctor, I mentioned some things from that list and was met with scoffing. I thought maybe it was just me until I met another patient of the same doctor who told me the doctor scoffed!

Do you have any important facts about your own Rheumatoid Arthritis that you think your doctor needs to know? Only you would know. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to read the post on Patient Assertiveness again & the awesome advice in the comments.

Recommended reading:

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 6:00 am and is filed under RA Education, Reality Check. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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