Productive Conversation with a Rheumatologist

VOICE-OVER (CHARIS): I have to be able to communicate with my students and to do that I need to be able to physically write, and because of RA, I, I, have a hard time sometimes. Ultimately, I have to represent myself. I have to speak up for myself, and for my symptoms.

VOICE-OVER (MONICA): Because I didn’t speak up for myself it took me literally eight years to get diagnosed. It took me a while to find the right rheumatologist, and to be honest, when I met this one I said, “I know you’re gonna think I’m crazy, that nothing’s wrong with me.” And the bond was established when she said, “I know something’s wrong with you otherwise you wouldn’t be here.” The best thing I learned was, speak up for yourself, don’t be hesitant.

VOICE-OVER (CAROL): I think it’s really important to have that open line of communication with your rheumatologist. They don’t know what my activity level was before, only I would know that and I think it’s really important to explain that to your rheumatologist so they fully understand your goals, and devise a treatment plan so you can achieve those goals.

Recommended topics and resources.

Explore these resources to help you develop a well-informed, meaningful partnership with your rheumatologist.