Tip of the Day

Help your doctor help you. After all, two heads are better than one! Join forces with your doctor to buck fibromyalgia. Here are some great tips: –Approach your doctor as a partner. “The most helpful patients are those who feel we have the same goal, that we are on the same team,” says Robert Speira, M.D., director of rheumatology at New York Bone and Joint Center, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. –Be open to new approaches. Even if you disagree, talk through possibilities with your doctor. Be open, for example, to examining your sleep patterns or emotional issues that may be complicating your return to wellness. –Be active on your behalf. Stick to a fitness plan. Anything that helps you feel better and stay fit helps both you and your doctor as well. –Know your medical history. “You need to pull data together and inform your physician and keep informing him,” says nurse Karen Schaefer, who has fibromyalgia. “Keep a record of your experiences and show it to him.” –Give your doctor a chance to do his/her work. “It’s important to develop a relationship,” says neurologist Gary Starkman, M.D. “It’s not helpful when patients shop around and try different medications in different combinations.” (Source: Arthritis Today Magazine, July-August 2002)

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