Video Q & A:

Talking to a Doctor

Question:

How can I get the most from my doctor's appointment?

Expert:   Betty Keller, MD, FACR, Board Certified Internal Medicine & Rheumatology »

Doing a little prep work before your doctor's appointment can make it more beneficial for both you and your doctor. Watch this for a few prep tips.

Transcript: If you, or someone you know, suffers full-body pain, or thinks she may have fibromyalgia, a doctor’s visit is the first step toward getting a diagnosis and restoring quality of life. But you should do a little prep work to make that appointment more beneficial for both YOU, and your doctor. Write out a timeline that says how long you have had pain; when it comes and goes; and where on the body it is located. In your joints? Along certain muscles? At very specific tender spots? Rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10 for each location so you can communicate the severity. Let the doctor know how often the pain interferes with your sleep, your work life, your memory, or your ability to concentrate. List all the medications you’ve taken, both OTC and prescription, including dosage, frequency and amounts. If you have tried alternative treatments, like therapeutic massage or acupuncture, let the doctor know if they had any effect. On a first visit with a new doctor or specialist, bring copies of recent lab tests and medical records. Write out your questions for the doctor about how the source of your pain will be diagnosed; what your treatment options are; and what relief you should expect – and how soon. If possible take someone with you. It’s often hard to absorb everything a doctor says and having another pair of ears in the room will help you hold onto the info you need. It’s a good idea for someone to take notes. For more information on how to manage fibromyalgia, check out other videos in this series. More »

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