Hello just joined

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AnitaC
AnitaC Member Posts: 5
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hello

I have joined after seeing all the information on the site. I am newly diagnosed with RA and trying to find out as much as I can. It’s complicated by the fact that I live abroad but am moving back to the UK next week. I have a GP’s appointment next week and need a referral to a Rheumatologist but not sure where to look/go or even what to expect in terms of times etc.

I have just started taking medication but need to have regular checks so hopefully I won’t have to wait long. Any tips would be gratefully appreciated!

Looking forward to hearing everyone’s stories of dealing with this.

Thank You!

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Anita and welcome to the forum. I have RA too but have had it for yonks. I take methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine and we all need regular blood checks with DMARDS.

    I really can't say what will happen here as everywhere seems to do things differently. You'll probably have a long wait to see a rheumatologist as that bit's common to all over the UK :roll: but, as for bloods - probably your GP's practice will do them though some have to attend their nearest hospital.

    I suggest that, when you see your GP, you take a repeat prescription form with you. That way (s)he can see at a glance which meds you're taking and that will make things quicker.

    I hope the move goes smoothly :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • AnitaC
    AnitaC Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks, I have a supply of meds and can call my previous doctor if needed. Just concerned as I am being reviewed every couple of weeks and am going traveling from January (grey gap year).

    Any tips on how to choose a Rheumatologist?

    So much to take in at the moment 😏
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi AnitaC

    Sorry to read you have just been diagnosed with RA.
    Please see attached website address for the versus arthritis website which should be you some information regarding RA.

    https://www.versusarthritis.org

    Also have a look around the other forums and have a chat to other people on here and don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Amanda-Jane x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, I've been playing the arthritis game for over 20 years, it ain't fun but it is necessary. Choice is not a feature of the disease, my rheumatologists have all been NHS-based so choice was not a factor. A private rheumatologist can do nothing differently to a NHS one apart from charging, I know my meds are unaffordable (thank god for the NHS) and I have just had to cancel my flu jab as my chest is infected with something (probably courtesy of my husband who insists on mixing with the filthy hoi polloi when he goes swimming and to his yoga group). I remember being given choices of medication and after a few years finally hit upon a combination which is doing its best. Things are different now, the doctors move more quickly with the meds than they used hich is definitely improving outcomes for some patients.

    If the medication choice for you is tablet-based then that will simplify taking stuff abroad with you but I have no idea how you would go about organising repeat scripts (medication is life-long). I reckon it's usually easier to cross bridges once they've been reached so let's get you back first, find out precisely what is what then take it from there. I am sorry the dross has come to you, it was always on the cards for me but if you are coming at it from a healthy background it is a very steep learning curve. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hey, you've been out of the UK a long time if you think we get to choose our consultants :lol: Basically, we get what we're given though I think we can choose hospitals.

    I'd suggest, whether or not you have a supply of meds, you get as much sorted medically as possible. A no-deal Brexit could cause a problem with meds.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Bluebell7
    Bluebell7 Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    AnitaC wrote:
    Hello

    I have joined after seeing all the information on the site. I am newly diagnosed with RA and trying to find out as much as I can. It’s complicated by the fact that I live abroad but am moving back to the UK next week. I have a GP’s appointment next week and need a referral to a Rheumatologist but not sure where to look/go or even what to expect in terms of times etc.

    I have just started taking medication but need to have regular checks so hopefully I won’t have to wait long. Any tips would be gratefully appreciated!

    Looking forward to hearing everyone’s stories of dealing with this.

    Thank You!




    Hi,
    You can choose your consultant, thru choose and book.
    Tell your GP which hospital you'd like to attend, before that Google which rheumatalogists they have then choose. Often some info is provided about the Drs interests. Pick one that has RA as an interest if possible.
    Good luck.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    That's interesting, Bluebell, thank you for broadening my education - I had no idea that scheme existed as I have been safely under the same hospital for 25 years. Personally I would hope that any rheumatologist had an interest in all auto-immune arthritis and how they vary.

    The orthopaedic surgeon who fiddled about with my knees listed his interests as doing triathlons. Lucky him. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    This gives a bit more info about choice.
    https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/patient-choice/Documents/patient-choice-leaflet.pdf

    Something you would need to check if you hope to see a named person is whether that will happen or whether, as is mentioned in the leaflet, you see 'Consultant A's team'. So you might see Consultant A in person, or someone who works with him/her?
  • AnitaC
    AnitaC Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    moderator wrote:
    Hi AnitaC

    Sorry to read you have just been diagnosed with RA.
    Please see attached website address for the versus arthritis website which should be you some information regarding RA.

    https://www.versusarthritis.org

    Also have a look around the other forums and have a chat to other people on here and don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Amanda-Jane x
  • AnitaC
    AnitaC Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks everyone

    I have seen a GP and asked for a referral. He was a bit dismissive so I’ve booked another app. My sister told me about the NHS choice and I think St Helens would be a good place, so let’s see what happens. Definitely one step at a time.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,506
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Anita nice to meet you :)

    I suggest you take your sister with you when you go back if she can come because I definitely got a better response when I took my bro or my husband!

    Best of luck

    Toni
    x