6 Tips for Working with Your Doctor
January 3, 2012
Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or are enduring an ongoing battle with mesothelioma, we know dealing with doctors can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of useful tips that will help you during those doctor visits when you feel like you are sinking in a pool of medical information.
Here are 6 tips to feel better during your treatment:
Take someone with you Seems like the simplest thing to do, but it can be hard to ask someone to accompany you if you don’t want to burden someone else. Taking someone with you ensures that you have someone there not only for moral and emotional support, but to help you remember all the topics your doctor has covered. They can also make sure you didn’t forget to ask any questions and help you get to and from the appointment if you aren’t feeling well.
Don’t be afraid to take notes We know that when you are receiving a diagnosis, your mind is full of thoughts or you may even feel in a state of shock. Trying to remember every little thing your doctor discusses with you will be impossible to do, unless you take notes. Taking notes is a great way to refresh your memory on the subjects your doctor has gone over that may have slipped your mind. Taking someone with you to take the notes is especially helpful, that way you can focus on what the doctor says while your friend or loved one takes detailed notes. Asking for helpful handouts from the doctor is a good idea, too.
Consider taping your appointments If taking notes isn’t something you feel you can manage, ask your doctor if it’s alright for you to tape or video your appointment for personal use only. This will be a great resource for you to reflect back on when you have questions about what was discussed regarding diagnosis and treatment options.
Organization is key The information you will receive after being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be overwhelming. The best way to combat this is to be meticulous with your organization of that information. Many cancer patients find it easiest to just get an accordion file to keep all of their medical information sorted in. This will make it simple to locate any paperwork you might need for a doctor’s visit or just to reference.
Get a real breakdown It is important for you to really understand what is happening to your body and what exactly your treatment options will do to combat the cancer. No one knows your body better than you do, so it’s important for you to have a clear understanding of how the suggested treatments will help you. Remember, knowledge is power and truly comprehending what is going on with your body will only help you in your decision making process.
Keep up a good rapport with your doctor It can never hurt to be on good terms with the person looking out for your health. Doing so will enable you to feel comfortable enough to ask questions and give honest answers during appointments. The more comfortable you are sharing information with your doctor, the more able they will be to give you helpful recommendations.
Do you have any helpful tips you would like to share?