Being an advocate for your loved one or even yourself can be exhausting, but necessary when it comes to following up on health issues. Unfortunately, even with the best and most trusted doctors, things can fall through the cracks. It's when you don't speak up, afraid to bother them, that can be the time the MRI was approved but never got called in. So now you're put out even farther out waiting on resolve for an issue.
Don't be afraid to speak up. When it comes to seeing your/your loved one's doctor, there are a few essential tips that can alleviate issues later:
Make a list of important questions and concerns. List them from most important to least. I add these to my 'NOTES' section on my phone, which makes it easy to add on and not forget the list when you're at the visit.
Go into the doctors visit with your loved one to avoid any miscommunication. I always used; "Mom, would you mind if I went with you this time so that I can understand what's happening and not bother you later?"
Keep track of medical records through your health provider and consider downloading images or results that you may want to question or reference later with another physician.
When possible, be sure to update medications online before visits with your doctor to avoid last-minute scrambling. I see my regular physician as well as a Naturopath, so it is essential to be able to cross-reference when needed.
Take notes. Do not rely on your memory, staying intact after walking out the door about anything you've discussed. Especially under duress, it's too much to try and remember.
Don't forget to let the doctor know about any emotions/cognitive issues that may be happening. Many times those can be a result of medications or underlying symptoms and are important.
When health issues arise life can get complicated. There are many things to start keeping track of, so finding a way to simplify your days is important. If you’ve found ideas/tips that you’d like to share with us we would enjoy hearing from you! Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget in the middle of it all, to B-R-E-A-T-H-E.