Appointments in general are a thing, but doctor’s appointments can easily be the toughest to get through. I’m no stranger to the doctor, even before being thrown headfirst into the spoonie life, there’s been talking my friends to go to the doctor in college because swine flu was thing and so was quarantine. Talking my friend and co-worker to go to the doctor because she’s planning to go on a trip and that includes a plane with all the limited and communal air and a baby who’s young enough to have an immune system like mine naturally.
I get it, no one likes the doctor, or the dentist, or the optometrist nor does anyone like paying for it. But the alternative could be worse and you’ll spend a hella lot more guaranteed… so I’m put together a few of my best tips when dealing with those of the medical variety for your adulting accomplishments and with strep season upon us and flu season on the way, please take care of yourselves.
It’s easy to feel intimidated and sometimes powerless when you’re going to the doctor. It’s normal and it happens, but it doesn’t mean that you have to go through the motions. It’s important to take control of your health for whatever may come your way, spoonie or not. It’s easy to hear and say “be your own advocate”, but how do you do that? Well here’s what I do, so check it out and try what you like and if it works for you too, great and if not, well you have a starting point and can make it work for you. Afterwards, if you don’t mind, report back!
Part 1: Notes
Whether you use an app on your phone or a physical notebook to write on, do it because I can just about guarantee that you will not remember by the time you leave that office. Now I will say that doctors don’t generally like seeing phones out and may ask you to put them away. I prefer to write things down because you can develop your own shorthand without the threat of autocorrect.
Now let me break this down:
Date/Time/Doctor – standard information especially if you have multiple doctors or if you’re a caregiver to someone else. Do you have a hard time setting up the appointment? Well stay tuned because that's coming up soon because I know that for a lot of people, that's not easy.
Reason – is it a follow up? Do you have symptoms? Describe them. If it’s pain, does it throb or is it stabbing or just sharp? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever experienced, where are you currently or when it was at its worst? How many times have you felt it, whatever ‘it’ may be?
List of Medications – It’s important to know what you’re taking and how much you’re taking between Rx Prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and even vitamins or holistic practices. They all are chemical reactions happening in your gut and body, so it’s important for the doctor and the pharmacist to know so you don’t make yourself worse.
Vitals – every place does it so write them down, even the weight because unexplained weight gain or loss can be a symptom. Especially for us in the plus sized community, we know that a lot of attention gets directed at this number. So do yourself a favor and write it down because you know your habits and what has changed vs what hasn’t. Writing it down gives you evidence and backup to your case that there is a problem even if your clue is weight loss.
The rest is for your notes, what is the doctor’s plan? Is he giving you a prescription? What is it and what is the dosage? How long do you have to take it?
What is your diagnosis? If you don’t have one, what tests are being ordered and what is the procedure for that test or what is it supposed to show?
If you come up with questions after the appointment, write them down to either call the doctor back or to save for the next appointment.
So here’s part one. Take what you will and I hope it helps you get that annual physical or handle multiple visits for yourself or someone else. Stick around for the next tip because as much as we don’t want to do or would rather have mom do it, we need it.
In the meantime, here are other posts that are not medically related so stick around a while...
Good Reads and the Like ~ http://bit.ly/Yareads22
Planning ~ http://bit.ly/HLPlanner
Streaming FOMO ~ http://bit.ly/streamingFOMO
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