You probably do not need to do extensive preparation for an appointment to discuss psoriatic arthritis, but a few simple preparations may help you get the most out of your appointment. After all, a physician is the best resource for information pertaining to psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
In most cases of psoriatic arthritis, patients will first have psoriasis. If you are going to the doctor for the skin lesions associated with psoriasis, the doctor will probably examine you for joint pain and may ask you questions on t his subject. In some cases, both the skin lesions and joint pain may develop at the same time and psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may be diagnosed at the same time.
Ask Your Questions
This is your best opportunity to ask questions about psoriatic arthritis. It is a rather complex issue and may be confusing for some, so be sure to ask any question that you have or for clarification on any topic. Physicians are used to questions so don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask a questions. The chances are that the doctor has heard it before. Some common questions to ask during your appointment include:
• If I have psoriasis, is it inevitable that I will develop psoriatic arthritis?
• What lifestyle or environmental changes may help to relieve my joint pain, swelling and other symptoms?
• What causes the skin lesions and joint pain associated with these diseases?
• Was there anything I could have done to prevent developing the condition?
• What treatments may be helpful in relieving symptoms?
• Are there alternatives to your recommended treatment?
• Are there side effects associated with these treatments?
Try to think of some of your own questions as well and write them down. You don't want to get side tracked in the course of your appointment and forget to ask a question you wanted answered.
Bring a Buddy
Take a friend or family member along as well. It should be somebody you are comfortable with and you know well. You will be told and discuss a lot of information during your appointment and having an extra set of ears may help to absorb more information than if you go alone. Don't be afraid to write information down if that helps you remember it.