Schedule conversations, not appointments
Think of your time with your HCP as a conversation: two people, on equal ground, working together to help you live better with RA.
You are the expert of you
Your HCP is an expert in understanding how to treat RA, but from head to toe, you know your body better than anyone. You know when you’re meeting your goals or not. Acknowledge the expert in you by trusting your instinct and being honest when speaking with your HCP about how you’re really doing.
Prepare in advance and prioritize questions
Time with your HCP is never as long as either of you would prefer. To maximize your time, always have updates and questions ready before the conversation, and try to prioritize your questions.
When your HCP asks you: "How are you doing?" try to use more descriptive words than simply stating "fine" "good" or "OK." Ask yourself: "Am I really 'fine' or am I just trying to be strong? I don't want to be seen as a difficult patient."
Setting goals that can be measured during each conversation with your HCP is one of the most important things you can do. Discuss progress towards goals at each visit to better track the management of your RA and ensure that you're working towards what you truly want in your life.