RCWM – Rheumatology Centers of West Michigan


We know that patients can be anxious about their healthcare. To help you prepare and feel comfortable, here are some common questions and answers.

What is a rheumatic disease?

Rheumatic diseases are painful conditions that are caused by inflammation of connecting or supporting structures of the body, including joints, bones, muscles and ligaments. Some common rheumatic conditions are arthritis, lupus, gout, back pain and tendonitis.

What kind of treatment is available?

Treatment can consist of oral medication, infusions or injections. 

What can I expect at my doctor’s appointments?

Our appointments are basically the same as your regular doctor’s appointments. We will assess your condition, create and/or discuss your treatment plan and answer your questions. During some appointments, your physician may administer injections if that is a part of your treatment plan.

Should someone accompany me to my appointments?

We always recommend bringing a patient advocate with you to your appointments for extra eyes and ears. Also, we highly recommend bringing a family member or friend along for your first infusion, if infusions are a part of your treatment plan.

What is an infusion like?

Not all rheumatic conditions require infusions, but our infusion centers make it easy and convenient for patients to receive infusions.

During therapy, nurses will administer your medication intravenously as you sit in a recliner chair or bed if necessary. Heated blankets are available if you become chilly. We suggest you bring something to occupy your time, like a book, magazine or laptop.

During your first infusion, our nurses will be monitoring you even more closely to prepare for possible allergic reactions. Because of this, we recommend you bring a family member or friend with you at least to your first infusion. Therefore, someone can drive you home if need be.

Will there be a physician on call or after hours if I need one?

Yes, we will always have a physician on call.

When should I call my physician?

Please call your physician if you have a reaction to your medication or if you’re showing signs of an infection.