You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may be referred immediately to a rheumatologist, infectious disease specialist or other specialist.
Here's some information to help you prepare for you appointment.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Create a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to absorb all the information you get during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions for your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. For Lyme disease, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What tests do I need?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment at any time.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
Oct. 03, 2012
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Did a tick bite you?
- Have you been in wooded areas?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Lyme disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/. Accessed June 19, 2012.
- Bismacine/chromacine. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm150503.htm. Accessed June 19, 2012.
- Wormser GP, et al. The clinical assessment, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis and babesiosis: Clinical practice guidelines by the Infectious Disease Society of America. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2006;43:1089.
- Lyme disease. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/lymeDisease/understanding/Pages/intro.aspx. Accessed June 19, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online.18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9102369. Accessed June 19, 2012.