I know doctors are so busy, but there is a lot we have to cover during our appointments. Even before our long anticipated visit, we are waiting at times, for a very long duration, just to see our valued specialist. After we arrive in the waiting room, once again, we have time on our hands. We try to read, but the lingering about is a bit distracting.
You would think that with all of the time waiting we would have everything on the tip of our tongues..
Guess what happens to me? I get tongue tied and forget a lot of the important facts that needed to share with my doctor. I rehearse over and over again, but because of the emotion of finally getting a chance to talk, I forget so many important facts that I should say. We have all of these really embarrassing questions we need to ask. They have to do with pooping peeing, sex, passing gas. All of the topics we NEVER talk about to ANYONE and here we go… we need to get down and dirty in 5-10 minutes.
I have found bringing a list to my doctor appointments really helps. When the questions I need to ask, make my toes curl with shame and horror, just reading them helps. I realize my doctor can’t read my mind. If I am better organized it gives the doctor a better chance of giving me what I need which is solid advice, empathy, and empowerment.
My list might include;
1. My symptoms, you can put them on a calendar so the doctor can see the spacing. In this area it helps to be really clear. Maybe it is something little or insignificant to you but perhaps the symptom can be a real clue to the cause of your discomfort or affliction. How long? How uncomfortable from a scale from one to ten?
2. Cures or ways to eliminate my symptom’s
3 New findings in my disability that can help me.
4. Can they give me other tips they have learned from other patients, as to how others cope.
5. Have a shopping list of meds that you can’t buy over the counter such as extra antibiotics, sleeping aids, etc. Get them now if you can it is a perfect time to get advice as to what can help you.
You might consider bringing a family member or a trusted friend to the doctor’s appointment, if you have the guts, and the friend or family member won't hold the information she hears against you! Sometimes it is hard to remember. The person can give you support. Just slip them an amnesia drug after the appointment..tee hee..
Keeping a notebook, calendar, is a good idea. You can write in it after your appointment or have your family member take notes. On the front pages of the notebook have a list of medications you are taking, include the herbal supplements and vitamins as well. When a doctor prescribes a medication, write the exact spelling of the medication and what the side effects can be.
For myself, I see several different doctors. They do not communicate many times, keeping a notebook helps me help them keep things straight.
Hope this helps, more later…