by kara (6614 Posts), Thu Jan 21, 2010 00:58 am
I wouldn't start dr google because you'll scare yourself half to death over things that are VERY rare. My rheum told me they look for a couple different signs through your fingernails. Forget what exactly though. They'll be gentle while flexing you. They are looking for damage, limited range of motion, rubbing, clicking, etc.., and whether it's joint or soft tissue. They'll listen to your lungs - the whole 9 yards.
Here's the thing. Don't get your hopes up about getting a diagnosis. It's more about ruling things out, unless you have an abundance of clinical and lab findings for a specific disorder. My docs have said that time will tell. As I get older, something more definitive might pop up. My MFM was scared about lupus and MS, and rheum won't rule out lupus or APS, but she can't rule it in either - even though I meet the Saporo criteria for APS.
I've started having joint swelling in my ankles and knees that I've never had before, and it's specific to the joint and not the rest of the appendage. And now I've moved so I have to find a new rheumie - which isn't as easy as it should be. OB thought another pregnancy might also unmask something more. It can be a journey....