Going to the doctors when you have a chronic illness can sometimes feel pointless. Your symptoms can usually be put down to a disease or syndrome that you’ve already been diagnosed with and you feel like you get nowhere. To make the most of your appointment you need to prepare. Here are some tips to ensure a helpful appointment:
- Think about what is bothering you the most. Is it a specific symptom flaring up? Is it a new symptom? Being specific keeps your appointment concise and to the point.
- Write down relevant points to bring up during your appointment. It’s easy to go blank and forget to mention everything so having it written down helps a lot.
- Key information will help you get the correct method of care. When is the symptom at its worst? Has anything changed for this new symptom to start? How is it impacting your life?
- Tell your doctor what you want to do. You know your body better than anyone else. When you have a chronic illness, chances are you have been passed from pillar to post but never actually got anywhere. It’s infuriating. If you think trying a new medication will help then say so. If you think your problem is a side effect of a current medication then say so. If you think you should see a specialist then say so. It shows the doctor that you have done your research and are willing to do anything to get better.
- Unless it’s urgent, try and make a visit to the doctor a last resort. Speak to a pharmacist to see if there are alternative ways to manage your symptoms. They are very knowledgeable and can possibly advise you on the cause of your symptom and will be able to advise you how to manage it and which (if any) medication will be best to take with your current medication.
- Of course, a doctors appointment can’t always be avoided. If you need to visit the doctor then make sure you tell them what you have done to try and ease the symptom. Show them you’ve been proactive in trying to manage it but now you need more help.
The doctor is there to help you so make sure you feel satisfied with what they have prescribed or suggested before you leave.
These tips are for those with chronic illnesses who have symptoms come and go all the time. If a new symptom arises then don’t wait to see if it just goes away. See your pharmacist and if they suggest you see your doctor, don’t hesitate to make an appointment.