Whining to my Rheumatologist

Dear Ms. Meniscus,Whining to my Rheumatologist

My rheumatologist asks me how I’m feeling and I don’t know whether to tell him about all my aches. I’m afraid he’ll think I’m whining.

I feel great when I see him, but other times I feel pretty bad. I like him a lot and I don’t want to be a pain by talking about my pain. Should I?

– Suffering in Silence

Dear Suffering in Silence,

Without a doubt, you should be disclosing to your rheumatologist all your aches, pains, discomforts, or anything else that is out of the ordinary.

Let your rheumatologist determine the importance of the information you are telling him or her. If your doctor doesn’t want to hear your whining, decide whether you need to find another doctor, but have the conversation first.

Your rheumatologist needs as much intel about your case as possible in order to help determine your best treatment path. X-rays are helpful, and make sure you get them because this is the only way to track joint health. But your personal account of the aches and pain is important, too, so your rheumatologist can determine whether treatment is working for you. Every person reacts differently to treatment options.

Failure to disclose can render your treatment ineffective. Pain or discomfort could be a serious side-effect of the medication you are taking, or an indication that it is not working, and your doctor needs to know you’re having pain in order to determine whether you should switch treatment or, in the case of some drugs, reduce your dosage.

Do you go to the mechanic for a tune-up and omit the fact that your brakes don’t seem to be working anymore? Or would you neglect to mention a food allergy to someone who is cooking dinner for you? No. So why would you hide something from the person trying to keep you healthy?

Failure to disclose can render your treatment ineffective. Pain or discomfort could be a serious side-effect of the medication you are taking, or an indication that it is not working, and your doctor needs to know you’re having pain in order to determine whether you should switch treatment or, in the case of some drugs, reduce your dosage.

— M

Have a question for Ms. Meniscus? Contact her below

Add Your Comment

Click here to log-in now and post a comment.

Register 1 Register 2 Register 3 Register 4 Register 5