Preparing for Doctor Appointment

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FiBrailey

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Trying to keep this short.

After nearly a year of worsening symptoms I've finally made an appointment with a doctor that I *think* will take the time to listen to me and look into the root of my problems rather than simply treating the symptom.

I guess I'm just looking for some advice. Despite months of research, essentially all of my symptoms relating to Fibromyalgia to some extent, and finding a doctor I think will be thorough, I am beyond anxious to go to the doctor. I don't know if I should go and present all this evidence I have, or if I should just give them my symptoms and let them do what they think they need to do. I don't want to go in there and act like "Doctor Google," but I also want the doctor to take me and my problems seriously.

Any advice is welcomed with open arms ❤️
 

sunkacola

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hello and welcome to the forum.
You are right not to want to go into a doctor and play "Dr. Google". I personally would advise not bringing a bunch of "evidence" to the doctor, as if you do it may result in their seeing you and someone who just wants a certain diagnosis, and that's not really what you want to convey. Just tell the doctor your symptoms, and let them take it from there.

fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of elimination, so in order to have that formal diagnosis most people need to get tested for all of the other things that it might be. Fibro is what they say you have if you have all the symptoms but no diagnosis of anything else; it is a sort of umbrella term.

As for taking you seriously, here is my best advice. Be completely unemotional, except for being friendly. State facts, not feelings. Don't repeat yourself. Take notes if that will help you to remember everything you need to mention, but don't suggest to the doctor what you think it is or might be.
Have dates or times, such as "This started 23 months ago" or, "this happens about four times a week", or "it lasts for anywhere from two to six hours", so that you can be precise.
Take with you any medications you are currently taking and any recent medical records or results of tests that are pertinent to this.
Have in mind a response well thought out in case the doctor tries to tell you that you are imagining things or tries to brush you off.
Again, do not get emotional. Use facts again for this. Say how many days of work you have missed. Tell the doctor how much of a favorite activity you have missed, those sorts of things.

And best of luck to you. If you don't feel heard, go to a different doctor. Many people here have been to several before finding one that would listen. I hope that doesn't happen to you but if it does don't take it personally and know you are not alone.
 

JayCS

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Adding a few more suggestions to all @sunkacola's ideas:
Try posing questions, but (only) where you feel they are going to be able to deepen on it, or if you can see contradictions between things they or to things you have experienced.
I am beyond anxious to go to the doctor
This, the high expectations, if these aren't down yet from sunkacola's post, could (seem to) ruin it with a blackout or close... Would me... So praps try to find things to prevent that ... relaxing now, and before, write a priority list of your symptoms and your questions (unfortunately none of my docs like me giving them lists, apart from my GP wanting my gigantic supplement chart.), realizing that they are only human, will maybe have a bad day, neither they nor you will be able to satisfy 100% of all your detailed thoughts in one single appointment... etc... And if you are disappointed afterwards - forgive them, forgive yourself, take heart that there will be a next time, sometime soon...
Also, my experience is that all my 50 doctors together have only managed to help me with max. 5-10% of my improvements, whilst my cryotherapist/acupressurist alone has managed maybe 40% of my improvements, the rest myself symptom analysis & trigger hunting, with the help of forum ideas.
What my doctors could do is say I have a very unusual body (in a polite way) and they looked very carefully, but can hardly find anything (so their help is usually like sunkacola says the work of exclusion, something we can't of course do alone), and that I am doing well and everything as well as I can and good luck with that, please do gladly come again if anything gets worse... There were of course a few that 'knew exactly pretty what the problem was' and had 'great' treatments for me in store. They suggested things like depression & hormones, and it turned out they gave the feeling of being thorough and caring, but weren't listening, forgot important things I said and they'd said, and gave me extremely harmful treatments, which thankfully my wife questioned and helped me stop from continuing...
 
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