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Painful Patches: Rheumatoid Arthritis – My First Rheumatology Appt

March 19, 2017

If you want to start at the beginning of my RA journey, click here.

Once I received the referral from my family doctor, it was three months before I could see the rheumatologist for the first time. My husband was out of town so I had my friend Margaret go with me.

Honestly, I had the appointment built up in my mind. The office is an hour (YES, an hour) from my house so I had not gone by the building before my appoinment. Honestly, it was anti-clammatic. I am not sure what I expected; it was just a regular doctor’s office.

There was a lot of paperwork to fill out ahead of time, but my rheumatologist came in and went over every piece of my history with me. We talked about the swan-neck deformed pinkies, the scleritis, the chronic tendonitis, the fatigue, the pains in my feet. She mentioned my positive CCP and said she was rerunning all of my labs.

The doctor and I laughed over my home remedy for my aching ring finger. (Sorry for the tacky nail polish. This picture was taken a few weeks before my first appointment. I texted this picture to my husband after I “invented” this advanced bracing system.) All giggles aside, the post-it kept my joint stable so it didn’t hurt. 


She had x-rays taken of my hands and feet. At the end, we discussed treatment options: 10 mg of prednisone daily and 10 mg of Methotrexate once a week.

The doctor never said, “Yes, you have RA.” so my friend and I had differing ideas about the appointment. I took it as yes, I had it. In my mind, she did X-rays and told me how she was going to treat it. My friend took it as she was rerunning the tests and she would call me if it was positive.

I think this is important to note because it is frequently recommended that you take another person along to important appointments. That doesn’t mean that you will always hear the same thing. My friend Margaret is my go-to-person for fun stuff, and she is my medical appointment buddy. I value her ears at my appointments. I think I heard what I did because I had already reconciled myself to having the disease. I knew what the positive CCP and the swan neck deformity meant.

Early the next week, the nurse contacted me to let me know they had called in the  Methotrexate; however, I didn’t start the medicine for a few weeks. That is a story for another post.

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