It’s very important to describe your symptoms in a clear, organized way. A written list can help. In addition to printing the results from the Fibromyalgia Pain Assessment Tool, you may want to be prepared to explain:
- The timeframe in which your symptoms appeared (how long you have been in pain). But limit details to only the most important facts
- What improves/worsens your symptoms (for example, activities, rest, medication)
- What treatments you have tried (so the doctor does not repeat what has already been tried)
You may not feel comfortable asking questions. Some people also feel uncomfortable telling their doctor what they think. The fact is that the more your doctor knows about you and what you’re dealing with, the better he or she can help. Try some of these conversation starters along with any other questions you may have:
- Why do I have good days and bad days?
- Sometimes I don’t know which is worse, my chronic pain or chronic fatigue. Could they be related?
- My muscles get very stiff if I sit too long. Is stretching ok? How often should I do it?
- How do you approach the treatment of fibromyalgia with your other patients?
- Are there any foods I should avoid? Are there foods I should eat more of? Is there a good fibromyalgia diet for me?
- Should I keep track of my symptoms?
You may not want to be seen as someone who complains. So you may feel it’s best to minimize what you’re going through. To help you find a treatment plan that’s best for you, your doctor needs to fully understand what you’re feeling. So it’s important that you:
- Be specific about how your life is affected by your symptoms
- Feel free to ask questions
- Tell your doctor if you don’t understand an explanation