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Laurie (@roch)

Questions to ask at your doctors appointment

Cancer | Last Active: Nov 15, 2020 | Replies (12)

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As I have aged I find I cannot remember all the questions. Computers are wonderful!! I first hand-write my questions or concerns in a notebook that I keep by my chair. Sometimes the thoughts come in spurts and not all at once. I also consult my husband on questions he thinks I might should ask. Two minds of thoughts.. most of the time.. are better than one. (I also insist he come to my appointments to help me hear and understand) I then type the list of questions out on the computer with room enough to write a synopsis of the answers.. and other information that may come up during the appointment. I used to make just one copy, but my family doctor started taking it from me and go down the list and make notes I could not read. So I now make two copies so I can write my own notes.

Computers are also great for making charts of your medications with dosage, number of times a day taken and prescribing doctor. At the top I have my Name, address and phone numbers. . and emergency contact. Underneath that I list the medications I am allergic to or have adverse reactions to and what the reactions to said medication was.. such as hives, achy muscles or even depression. At the bottom of my medication list I have an Over-the -Counter section and list all that I take on a regular basis. Such as vitamins and allergy medications. I have 3 different pharmacies I use… not by choice, but because of necessity. Our main pharmacy does not carry all my medications (my husband is retired Army and we use the small Marine base pharmacy that is about 15 miles away from our home) and because of this one prescription is by mail. We use another for non-regular medications like antibiotics. I let each pharmacy have a copy of my medication list. .. and try to keep it updated for them. I have the copy in my purse to help me out.

I also make a chart of my surgeries with my name and contact information at top just like on the medications chart. I have had so many surgeries that I cannot remember them all anymore. I put a brief description of the surgery, when done, and by what doctor and what facility it was done at (which hospital or which practice's surgery center).

I keep a copy of both charts in my purse. Copies can be easily made or changed from the computer, so I let the doctor's office or hospital have their own copies. We usually make several copies at a time and keep in a large office envelope. That way in case their is a computer problem, we have hard copies.

My doctors and the hospitals are always grateful for these printouts of questions, medications, and surgeries. They say they wish all their patients did this. Many people.. like me and my doctor.. have awful penmanship and the handwriting can be very difficult to read.

@hopeful33250 @johnbishop Those are great additional questions.

My family doctor tells me he wishes his patients would tell them what brought them to him that day. My mom was one of those patients that it was like pulling teeth to get the reason for the visit. She lived with my brother and at the time .. my dad had passed away in 2000. I was not able to meet them much at the doctor's office because of my own health. The doctor would ask mama what was going on and she would say I'm fine. Then he would ask more questions and slowly got something out of her. My brother would sit there and look like he was asleep. After me attending the first session like that. I would make notes from my phone calls with her. She lived 35 miles from me. I would also encourage my brother to write questions down.. especially when I could not attend. He would tell me he forgot the list and he could not remember what he wrote. Basically the visit winds up being a hello to the doctor. Mama did not know the right words to describe some things. She grew up in a very rural area and what is considered crude or rude words now were the norm for her family. I told mama to use whatever words she needed to.. our family doctor even though young was raised in a rural area and knew all the different words for body parts and functions. I would help her with the words when I could go to the appointments.

I did not mean for this to be so long, but maybe something in it will help someone.

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Thanks for those great suggestions, @fourof5zs, and for sharing your experiences talking with doctors. You've really perfected this part of your medical treatment!

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