- Where is the pain? Be as specific as you can.
- When do you experience the pain? Again, be specif
Having a productive conversation with your doctor is not always be easy. Unless your primary care doctor is willing to listen, understand, and work with you, I would recommend finding a reputable rheumatologist. I started out with my primary care doctor because I couldn't figure out what was causing all the symptoms I was experiencing. For a year she ran all kinds of tests and tried different remedies, until she finally sent me to a rheumatologist. At our first appointment he took copious notes, asked really good questions, and performed the trigger point test on me. Having pain in 11 of the 18 trigger points is an indicator of fibromyalgia. At the end of that appointment I had my diagnosis, and felt understood and really heard for the first time in years. You have to be your own advocate for your health. Ask good questions, bring a list of symptoms and their severity, take good notes (ask to record the conversation on your smartphone, or bring someone along to take notes for you), and be open to trying what the doctor recommends. In fact, I would encourage you to keep an ongoing health journal that you can bring to your appointments. Never minimize your symptoms or the impact they have on your daily life. Be completely honest — your doctor is not a mind reader. If you don't understand something that is said, ask for an explanation. Some questions to be prepared for: