Our doctor appointment are SO IMPORTANT, and they’re FAST!
So, in order to be fully prepared to take total advantage of the opportunity to meet with my doctor and get all my issues addressed, all my questions answered, I take a manilla file folder and in the days before the appointment, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that comes to mind in relation to that appointment, I write it down on the front of the folder. Sometimes my list even runs onto the back of the folder!
To the left of each issue, I make a little empty box and I don’t leave that office until every little box is checked off.
I gave a talk at the Abilities Expo this summer here in Houston, TX. Here’s some of my outline from that presentation:
The Yoga of Moving Through The Medical System –
How to Get What You Need From The Doctor’s Office:
- Second tool: Medical Calendar.
- It should chart your symptoms and your medical data – whatever you’re supposed to be paying attention to. This will give you a way to identify what makes your symptoms worse. It gives you a graph to watch your progress or decline.
- exhibit A (show 2 of my calendar pages) – present your evidence/proof – what’s THE TRUTH in this picture
- depository – I think of it as an offering/place to let it go. I found that writing it down took it off my mind so I could be more in the present and able to move forward; otherwise, the information kept cycling in my mind (obsessive)
- took some of the emotional charge out of it, to report it
- your body tells the truth – capture the information!!!
- your mind can twist things and misrepresent the truth
- Third Tool: Take Someone With You
- Make sure you never go to a doctor appointment alone.
- Have a friend, family member or caregiver go with you!!
- Give them a copy of your checklist. They are your backup. If you forget to ask the doctor something on the checklist, their job is to point it out so you get all your questions answered before the doctor leaves the room.
- Fourth tool: Appointment Checklist
- Make a checklist for your doctor appointment. In the days and weeks before your appointment, create a checklist of everything you want to ask the doctor. Have it written down and in your hand when you go in the doctor’s office.
- The checklist is critical!
- Doctor appointments are intense/concentrated/pressurized situation
- with a prescribed time frame – the dr is in a rush.
- A good dr will ‘go there’ with you. You are actually helping them by creating this list and
- the dr will see that you’re organized and focused – and that sets the tone and puts you on a different track
- because you are making a statement about who you are and identifying your needs
- – you are a force for that doctor to contend with.
- Give a copy of your checklist to your doctor and
- whoever is with you has a copy of the checklist and takes notes on it.
- take a recorder with you, make an MP3 of the appointment – but you have to get permission first.
- It’s really best if you are not taking notes, you’re paying attention. Let the person who came with you take notes.
- You do not leave the office until both you agree that all the little boxes are checked off.
- If 2 people are in the drs ofc, they hear different things, so you need to compare notes after the appointment.
- The records you create for yourself through your illness will empower you to overcome this challenge. It is vital to keep good files for yourself.
- all the refills and referrals you need are listed and need to be checked off
- write your current weight and BP on that file folder at the beginning of the apt
- if your doctor can’t answer a question, ask them to please direct you to someone who can
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