4 Reasons To Seek A Second Opinion
You’ve been waiting MONTHS for an appointment with a rheumatologist. During those months you’ve diagnosed yourself with every possible rheumatic disease. The day of your appointment has come and you’re so excited, in a weird way, to talk with this doctor and hopefully find some answers. You choose this doctor based on a friend's review.
You get there with high hopes. The doctor comes in, asks you a couple questions, and listens to your lungs. Says that your labs are borderline but nothing worries him. Tells you that he can’t do anything for you at this time, and leaves the room!
Once he’s gone you just sit there blinking, wondering if you just imagined that encounter. But sadly you haven’t.
This happens so many times and is probably the most frustrating part of trying to get a diagnosis. For all the strange and awful issues you have been dealing with for who knows how long. So now you’re wondering what you should do.
I was in this situation myself in 2016. I was having hemiplegic migraines. Along with a constant migraine for over 6 months. My lupus was in a super flare, my adrenal glands had stop working and I was up and walking with a blood pressure in the 80/30 range. Sadly there was no one in my area, or state for that matter, that knew what to do with me.
Seeking a second opinion
So I made the decision and went to Mayo Clinic for a week. I saw every specialty possible and it was the best thing I ever did for myself and my health.
The very best thing you can do is get a second opinion:
- You have unexplained symptoms and no reason for the issue. - Sadly it often takes 6 years and a few doctors to get a diagnosis.1 So it may take more than a second opinion, to finally get your diagnosis. But you have to keep pushing till you get the diagnosis.
- If you have been diagnosed with a rare disease - research has shown that their over 7000 rare diseases like Graves’ disease and 30 million people in the US living with one of those disease.2 It is important to seek a second opinion because many doctors might not fully understand your condition. So it’s good to see a second or even a third opinion so you can feel comfortable and confident with your diagnosis and potential treatments.
- If you’ve undergone treatment for your condition and are seeing little to no improvement. - due to the fact that so many of the rare and autoimmune diseases have very limited options of treatments. If you’ve been on a treatment for a length of time and your doctor isn’t willing to changing the course of treatment, in this scenario seeing someone new can be so important. Again, so you can be confident in your doctor and course of treatment.
- Seek a second option if the treatment options are super risky, invasive or have life long consequences. If you have been diagnosed and told that the only options are really risky or invasive. It’s so important to seek a second or third opinion to ensure that the treatment options you have been given. You should never just jump into treatment that could be life changing.
Have you or a loved one had to seek a second opinion? Share your experience with others in the lupus community below!
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