Speak to your rheumatologist
Your RA treatment is just that…yours. You have the right to try and find the most suitable treatment for you; remember your rheumatologist is there to help you achieve this and to try and find the most effective treatment for your RA.
However, it is vital that you speak to your rheumatologist, and not leave any of your questions or problems unspoken. This website is here to provide you with the information, advice and tools you need to best explain how you feel and ensure that your rheumatologist knows all the facts.
It helps if you have a clear understanding of your problems; using the TRACK Diary can help you record how you have been feeling. Showing this to your rheumatologist at your appointment can give them an excellent insight into how your RA is progressing, and how your treatment may be improved. The TRACK Diary also acts as a great conversation starter, allowing you to easily voice your concerns.
Be open and honest with your rheumatologist
In order for you to get the greatest benefit from your treatment, it is important that you are open and honest with your rheumatologist. As you may have learned from interactions with family and friends, the extent of your RA isn’t always easily visible at first glance. Only you can really know how you feel day-to-day, the pain your RA causes, and what effect this can have on your life.
Be sure to fully communicate how your disease is making you feel – it’s important that your rheumatologist has a clear idea of your particular case to understand how you’re feeling and help you find the most appropriate treatment. If you feel your RA is being underestimated, you should say so – just because your disease is one that isn’t easily visible doesn’t mean that your symptoms are any less painful or deserve any less recognition.
Be confident in discussing your RA
Don’t forget to tell your rheumatologist about the good times as well – if a particular treatment has improved your RA and isn’t having as many unwanted effects, let your rheumatologist know. Equally, don’t just focus on your joints: RA can have effects on other parts of your body too. Talk about any concerns you have anywhere in your body as they could be related to your RA or your treatment.
If you are having trouble taking your medication, there are steps that can be taken to help you. For example, if you sometimes forget to take your medication your rheumatologist may be able to suggest a simpler treatment plan or give you tools to help you remember what to take and when to take it. In the meantime make sure you continue taking your current medication to keep your RA in check.