Here is what I have learned over the last two months of dealing with health issues that still have no resolution. Everyone needs to plan ~ and needs a plan! That's right - to plan and a plan.
I began to jot down all symptoms whether they seemed connected or not. Let the experts connect the dots and put the puzzle together. The more I was questioned, the more I wanted to know. So, I also initiated some online research of my symptoms, which led to a list of questions alongside my list of symptoms. The more I researched my personal situation, the more possibilities I found for diagnosis.
I took my lists to the doctor visits, and one-by-one, asked my questions and was able to check a few off as answered or not applicable. My focus was narrowing as I learned the lungs and the heart were both working like they should. You see how this is working? It helps to be a part of the process and feel like you are helping to figure things out. There is less anxiety.
In my case, the next step is to see a Rheumatologist. Since I had never seen one and was not familiar with what they did, I headed for the computer again. Google is my friend. I also learned a few things about how to prepare for the initial visit. Much of what I have just mentioned was on that list, along with common sense things like arrive early and doing your new patient paperwork online if possible, bringing your insurance cards, etc.
So back to the "to plan and a plan" idea. In a nutshell, before seeing a new doctor, or even your old doctor for a new problem, here are some suggestions:
- Write down all of your symptoms whether you think they are important or not.
- Note what you were doing/eating when the symptoms occurred.
- Make a list of questions to ask.
- Research your symptoms online or in medical books.
- Add more questions and/or symptoms now that you are smarter.
- Follow the common sense tips above and get to your appointment early, with your lists and insurance info handy. Have your paperwork all filled out and ready to hand over. Bring all pertinent medical records with you.
Now, perhaps I can chalk this post up to a little mojo rejuvenation. Maybe not. But it felt good to write about something you may be able to use. Do you have a plan before heading to a doctor appointment? How do you prepare?
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