Talking to your doctor
It’s important to track your RA symptoms and talk to your doctor about how you're feeling. Even mentioning small things that have changed can help with managing your RA. The more your doctor knows about your overall health and how your symptoms are affecting your life, the better prepared he or she will be to evaluate which treatment is appropriate for you.
To get started, you may find it helpful to ask yourself some of the following questions and jot down the answers in a notebook. This way you can bring it to your doctor at your next appointment and he or she can get a better sense of how you have been managing your RA.
- Am I noticing changes in my RA signs and symptoms (joint pain, stiffness, or swelling)?
- Have I seen changes in my physical function in performing day-to-day tasks?
- How many times a week am I feeling like I’ve had a “good” day with RA?
- What does a “good” day with RA mean for me?
- Am I able to do the tasks I enjoy doing?
- What is something I have trouble doing because of my RA? How do I go about doing that thing differently because of my RA?
- What are some of the activities I’d do more often if my RA was better controlled?
Additional helpful resources and tools are available from the Arthritis Foundation at arthritis.org.