alt=a woman looks anxious and then confident as she advocates for herself at a rheumatologist appointment.

Trying To Find Some Positivity Out of My Rheumatology Appointment

Today was my 3 month follow up appointment with my rheumatologist. I am trying keep a smile on my face and find some positivity out of today's appointment. I don't know about you guys, but every time I have an upcoming appointment, I start to get nervous and anxious. And no matter how prepared I try to get, I will still feel not ready. You only get that one appointment to to say everything that is going on with yourself and your disease.

My appointments have been every 3 months. Today I was hoping to see my rheumatologist right away, but instead I had to go through the resident. I don't know about you, but I hate when I have to see the resident. I had to explain everything like a beginner and at the same time, felt misunderstood and not listened too.

I felt I had to advocate for myself, like I was in court trying to win a case

It brought on so much stress, as it brought memories of being dismissed by so many other doctors. One thing with having this disease, it has taught me to keep fighting. It has taught me to speak up when it comes to your body.

I asked if I can see my rheumatologist for the final examination and I am glad I did. I described to him everything I was feeling lately. Increased pains in my chest and back. I demanded he does more tests, since the last time was 2 and half years ago, right when I got a diagnosis. He agreed to send me for an MRI and do again blood tests.

Medications and side effects

I have been on my biologic for 6 months. This is my 4th biologic. I am usually very sensitive to medication and get almost every side effect. This med has been reacting well with my body. This is a fact, because as I explained to my rheumatologist, last year this time, I was not able to do what I am able to do now. The only bummer is some weight that I have put on and it's been hard to lose the weight I wanted to lose.

So the plan for now, is to continue my biologic and other pain medications. He also recommended a low carb diet to try and reduce my weight. I know I have been trying my best and I will try my best in small steps in eating healthier and moving my body more. My rheumatologist explained to me this is the best we can do for now, as a treatment.

I know having AS you need to keep moving, but it can be hard to do

Standing for long periods of time or even walking can make me feel unwell. But one thing I have learned through all this, is to take one step at a time. Do the best that you can. Listen to your body, as you have control.

This is what is right now for me. My pains will be here to stay for now, with me. I am at least thankful that I have been getting some good days. Looking back to last year, this time, I have come a long way and that what counts. Something to be proud of.

Even though, there are days I feel like giving up, I am not. I will find a way to do what I still love and be the best that I can be, because I know how strong I am and how far I have come. This disease won’t define me completely. I still have so much ahead of me that I want to achieve.

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