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What are your tips for preparing for a visit with your doctor?

Share your best tips for preparing for a doctor's visit when dealing with AS/AxSpa. Whether it's gathering medical history, noting down symptoms, or bringing up concerns, your insights can help others make the most of their appointments.

  1. Make a list of topics and issues to address.

    1. Read my chart.blood reports

      1. ,
        That's a good suggestion.
        It helps to be aware of your test results prior to your doctor's visit.
        ~Doreen (Team Member)

    2. My AS began at 20 years old while serving in the military. Now, at 82 years old I see the rheumatologist at the VA. He has my entire history and med list at his fingertips. When we meet we review my most recent experience with pain, and have another review of meds that could improve my lot, which by the way is not horrible. Unfortunately, I have a med list and other conditions that would be affected by side effects from most anything available. Beside the Sulfasalazine, Folic Acid and Methotrexate I currently take, there are other meds for other issues that can contribute to pain relief.
      My AS was never diagnosed until 5 years ago, and in 2020 the VA approved the addition of a Spinal Cord Nerve Stimulator. This little implant has done a very good job of keeping the pain down to a very tolerable level. Mornings are worse and when I change the setting to something similar to a Tens unit for about an hour or two calming my lumbar pain to nearly disappear. It doesn’t always work, but with 62 years of experience, I’ve learned to tolerate as much as possible before turning to pain medication. My life is good, I cannot do much of what I once could, but I’m happy to be alive with a relatively moderate case of AS as I live my life doing what I can. The whole point for me is to maintain a positive attitude and laugh as much as possible. I’m a lucky man!

      1. ,
        Thank you for sharing your incredible story and wonderful perspective!
        I'm glad you have found a few things that provide some relief.
        We appreciate you being a part of this community and spreading your positive attitude.
        All my best, Doreen (Team Member)

      2. Your attitude is truly admirable! Maintaining a positive outlook and finding joy in everyday moments are powerful coping mechanisms for dealing with chronic illness. It's heartening to hear that you prioritize humor and happiness in your life despite the challenges you face. Your resilience and gratitude shine through, inspiring both yourself and those around you.

        It's disheartening to hear that it took so long to receive a diagnosis. Spondyloarthritis is indeed a complex condition that can be challenging to identify. However, it's wonderful that the spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is providing you with significant relief. While it may not work for everyone, it's uplifting to know that it's making a positive difference in your life.

        Your story serves as a beacon of hope for others navigating similar journeys. We love to see positive accounts like yours on our website, as they provide encouragement and support for those facing similar challenges. Your experiences offer hope and motivation to others, showing them that it's possible to thrive despite the obstacles they may encounter.

        Thanks for sharing this with us. Wishing you only the best - Thoughtfully - Rebecca (team member)

    3. I do an overview of how I have been, any new symptom and episode worth reporting since I last saw the doctor, I read again some correspondence I may have had with the doctors, and I write down my questions and think of any tests / documents to bring.

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