Lupus Center
Lupus | What to Expect

Preparing for your Appointment with The Lupus Center

This Lupus Center multidisciplinary health care team provides the full range of health care services needed for the best possible treatment of lupus. Team members communicate with each other to provide you with the best care, personalized for each patient.

Here are some tips to help them help you:

  • Always provide complete and accurate information about your health.
  • Be honest and share your point of view with members of the health care team.
  • Make a list of your questions and concerns before you meet with members of the health care team.
  • If you don't understand something, ask that it be more fully or clearly explained.
  • Don't hesitate to discuss sensitive issues, such as contraception or pregnancy.
  • Do not make any changes in your treatment plan unless you discuss them first with one of the doctors.

Your first visit to the Lupus Center will involve getting to know you, your medical history and your current condition. Members of the Lupus Center health care team will have in-depth discussions with you and meet family members you bring with you.

Here is what you can expect at your first visit:

  • Register at the front desk in the Lupus Center.
  • You will be called and have vital statistics taken, such as height and weight, and brought to an examination room.
  • A nurse will ask you about your medical history and any medications.
  • You may also see a fellow, a physician who has completed training as an intern and resident and is receiving further training or research in a specialty, such as nephrology or rheumatology.
  • You will see an attending physician, a Lupus Center staff physician. 
  • You will have a complete physical exam.
  • You will have laboratory tests, including a complete blood count (CBC) and urinalysis.
  • Depending on your medical condition and your personal needs, you may talk to other members of the Lupus Center health care team, such as the nutritionist, social worker and the physical and occupational therapists. 
  • If necessary, you will receive prescriptions for medications. 
  • Lupus Center healthcare team members will talk to you about lupus and self-management of the disease, answer your questions, and tell you how you can continue to educate yourself and talk to your friends and family about lupus. 
  • Research team members may ask you if you would like to participate in a research study and explain what that would involve.

Not all visits to the Lupus Center will be the same. The first visit will probably take longer than other visits, but at all visits you should be prepared to discuss your health history and any changes since your last visit. You should also know what medications you are on, including dosage, and what refills you need.

You will receive follow-up exams and lab tests on a regular basis to allow members of our team to note any new symptoms or other changes. This will also help to identify and treat flares.

Call the Lupus Center if you:

  • Develop new symptoms or have concerns between scheduled visits
  • Have chest pain
  • Get severe, persistent headaches
  • Have problems with vision
  • Find it difficult to follow your treatment plan 
  • Want to ask about test results
  • Run out of medication between visits and don't have refills
  • Are not able to take medications as prescribed
  • Have questions or concerns about disease or medications
  • React differently to medications

You should have a doctor paged or go to the hospital if you have:

  • Chest pain with shortness of breath
  • Severe pain of any kind
  • Fever 
  • An allergic reaction to medication
  • Difficulty taking medications or are unable to take them at all
  • Questions or concerns that shouldn't wait until the next business day