From the Archives: Fall 2008 issue of Lupus Now
Teen Talk: Crossing the Bridge
by Matt McMillen
A big part of growing up is taking responsibility for your own health. That means leaving your pediatrician -- and your parents -- behind as you make the transition from child to adult health care. For this issue’s Teen Talk column, we asked young people with lupus how they have approached the transition from pediatric to adult care. We spoke with Samantha Gallegos, 18, diagnosed at age 12; Matthew Butler, 19, diagnosed at age 16; Kamila Rankin, 19, diagnosed at age 17; and Kate Mcfarlane, 20, diagnosed at age 16.
Lupus Now: Is it difficult to find a new doctor?
Kate: I flew to college a day early to see a rheumatologist my doctor recommended. But I've been healthy so far, so I have not had to see her again. Instead, I've used the student health center.
Samantha: I was so used to all my doctors and staff at Children's Hospital in Seattle. When I was sick and went to the emergency room, my life was in their hands. I didn't want to leave my doctor, and I still don't want to think about not seeing her. I haven't found a doctor yet. I'm looking for one who will listen to and answer my questions and who will check up on me. But if I can't find everything I'm looking for, I can adapt.
Matt: I asked my pediatrician about the age limit at my clinic, the Duke Lupus Clinic. She said she'd be willing to see me through college and then will help me find an adult physician. It’s weird when you are the oldest person in the waiting room, but I like the continuity.
Kamila: I'm still looking for the right doctor. My insurance company will only cover one particular rheumatologist in Charlotte, NC, and my appointment wasn't the greatest experience. He was really impersonal. But now that I will be in college a couple hours from home, I hope to find someone there.
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