Beginner's Advice

Melanie17
Melanie17 Member Posts: 67
Hello.Am new to forum and would be grateful for beginner's advice!As a result of blood test results,and examination of my joints,my GP made an urgent referral to a rheumatologist.The first appointment is 18 November and I am worried because my symptoms seem to be worsening.What can I do,if anything,to get a quicker appointment.Also,any advice please on the best rheumatologist-I am in East Kent.Thank you.

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Melanie


    Welcome to the forums where I'm sure you will get a lot of help and good advice from all the lovely people on here.

    It is a little quiet being the weekend, but I'm sure that someone will be along shortly to help.

    We are here if you need any support to do with using the forums. Many of the mods have some of the many varieties of arthritis and we all know about the feelings that go along with having it.

    I have moved your post into a new topic so that Helplines and forum members can reply to you alone, without confusing it with the old topic you posted this to.

    Do read and post across the different topics that you will find here.
    All best wishes
    Mod B
  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 745
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Melanie, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear that your symptoms are getting worse, while your rheumatology appointment is such a long way away.

    If I have a hospital appointment, I usually phone the department and tell them that I will accept a cancellation. This has worked well for me in the past, so it's certainly worth doing. I'm afraid I can't help you with the best rheumatologist, as I don't live in your area.

    Take care and I hope you get an appointment soon.

    Meg
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Melanie and welcome from me too. Like megrose I'm just an ordinary forum member not one of the Helpline team.

    That's a good point that megrose makes. Quite a few people on here benefit from saying they will take a cancellation though you would need to have an appointment first before ringing to suggest this as you need to know which rheumatologist at which hospital. It sounds, from what you ask about recommendations for a good rheumatologist, that you might not actually have an appointment yet.

    A month must seem a long time to wait in increasing pain but it's quite an average wait for a first appointment. It's good, in terms of disease outlook, to get on appropriate medication as soon as possible but a month is unlikely to make much difference either way. Has your GP prescribed something such as an anti-inflammatory or steroids in the meantime? They might help but they might also mask the symptoms making your rheumatologist's diagnosis harder.

    I don't think our Helpline people are allowed to make recommendations. If you put a thread up on the Living With Arthritis forum, any other forum members from your part of the country might see it and step in. As a general guideline, teaching hospitals usually attract the best consultants but potentially the longer waiting lists as a consequence. Meanwhile we are always here for support.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,779
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello.Am new to forum and would be grateful for beginner's advice!As a result of blood test results,and examination of my joints,my GP made an urgent referral to a rheumatologist.The first appointment is 18 November and I am worried because my symptoms seem to be worsening.What can I do,if anything,to get a quicker appointment.Also,any advice please on the best rheumatologist-I am in East Kent.Thank you.

    Hi melanie17,

    Thanks for your post to Helplines. I'm sorry to hear that your symptoms are causing you concern, while you are waiting for the specialist. You can ring your GP for some support and if they feel they can prescribe anything to tide you over I'm sure they will. I wonder whether you've tried posting on our forum Living with arthritis and listing what is happening in more detail - often forum members are very knowledgeable about managing pain or a flare up.

    I'm glad that the cancellation suggestion has been offered.

    Do have a look at our booklets: http://bit.ly/1j0Bv3L

    If you'd like some support, do ring us for a chat. 0808 800 4050 10am to 4pm weekdays.

    Kind regards

    Guy
  • Melanie17
    Melanie17 Member Posts: 67
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Many thanks for your kind replies.I did call the consultant's secretary today and she told me that she would do her best to improve on the appointment date for me.That's a huge bonus,and thanks for the suggestion.I think that I panicked a little,as I now realise that I may have started with RA as long as a year ago-I had a knee arthroscopy,the result of which was that my knee symptoms worsened.The consultant and doctor seemed to assume that I was just unlucky until symptoms started in other joints and a more 'with it' GP did a blood test.
    I am very grateful to have found this forum and have already been helped greatly,
    Kind Regards,
    Melanie

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