i went to a new private care doctor on friday. i needed someone close to home and the family doctor i grew up seeing was picked by my parents and i dont think i ever even met him.

i asked around for recommendations from fellow yoga teachers at the studio where i teach, knowing yogis who are also moms with kids and husbands must have a good private practice they trust.

sure enough, i got a high recommendation for a guy right down the street from my apartment, dr. spinola. he didn’t have new patient appointments available until october but upon hearing that i was recently diagnosed with ra, he took me on as a patient immediately. a great sign i chose well.

my appointment friday was unlike any other doctors appointment i’ve had in awhile. the doctor introduced himself by first name, not last; sat with me for at least 20 minutes listening to and asking me questions about my family history, recent symptoms, and my life in general; and he gave me specific recommendations for supplements to take.

the past month i’d be overwhelmed by the pills on my counter. most of which were vitamins or herbs but in conjunction with my medicine and the long list of everything i “should be” taking, it was too much. i would take things randomly, picking and choose a vitamin here, a fish oil there. dr. spinola helped me narrow that down. if i take a multivitamin with folic acid included that eliminates the need for an extra folic acid pill (folic acid is good if i don’t get enough veggies everyday and in general recommended for ra patients). he also taught me what to look for when shopping for fish oil (rather complex, if you’ve never tried) and suggested i take 2,000 to 3,000mg of EPA and DHA acids per day. he also wants me taking vitamin d (400mg/day) in conjunction with calcium as the prenisone steroid will make my bones weaker over time. now i know the pills i’m taking are the right thing for me and it’s less overwhelming knowing i have a plan.

it was an awesome feeling to be heard and to have someone trustworthy that i can bounce my rheumatologist’s decisions off of as a second opinion… so far all seems to be in line with both doctors’ opinions on my situation.

i’m looking forward to getting blood work back next week to close the gaps on outstanding questions the first round of blood work didn’t cover: blood type (to alter diet to suit), thyroid issues if any, vitamin deficiencies and cholesterol check.

overall, dr. spinola made me feel healthy at the core, gave me a vote of confidence in my team of healthcare professionals, and told me he’d be emailing me to check in now and again (who does that!? so awesome!).

that said, importance of finding outstanding doctors who you mesh with? totally worth it.