By Allan Bucka Jones
Pride Health Columnist
Whether you are starting with a new doctor or continuing with the doctor you have seen for years, you need to plan for each appointment.
Some patients, when they visit a doctor, have the attitude that they are putting themselves in the hands of a professional, and they expect the doctor to make all their decisions for them. It is better to have patients get involved in their own care and engage the doctor in a cooperative effort to determine the best course of action. So if you want to help your doctor help you, you need to help your doctor. Here is how you can help your doctor.
It is a good idea to have a notebook to record your health concerns on an ongoing basis. That way you are able to recall events when you get a chance to see your doctor. Do not be reluctant to discuss concerns with the doctor. If you do not write information down, it is likely you will forget to bring it up in a pressure setting, when you are face to face with the doctor. You may then have to wait for a long time before you can see the doctor again.
For the visit, place your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal remedies or supplements, in a bag and take them with you. Some doctors recommend you bring a list of everything you take and the dose. You should also take your health insurance card.
Sometimes it is helpful to bring a family member or close friend with you. Let the family member or friend know in advance what you want from your visit. They are able to remind you what you planned to discuss with the doctor if you forget. They can take notes for you and can help you remember what the doctor said.
Many older people use glasses or need a hearing aid. Remember to take your eyeglasses to the doctor’s visit. If you have a hearing aid, make sure that it is working well and wear it. Let the doctor or staff know if you have a hard time seeing or hearing.
Let your doctor know what has happened in your life since your last visit. If you have been treated in the emergency room or by some other doctor, it is important that you tell your doctor. Mention any changes you have noticed in your appetite, weight, sleep, or energy level. Also tell the doctor about any recent changes in any medications you take, or the effects they have on you.
You, as the patient, have the ultimate responsibility for your health. Be open and honest with your doctor. I have heard many individuals say they do not take the medicine their doctor prescribed, but they would not tell their doctor. On the other hand, many are using herbal remedies prescribed by a naturopath or through self-medication, and do not share this information with their family doctor.
You should remember that natural remedies, like the Moringa plant or Guinea Hen Weed for example, are fairly potent “medicines” and have the potential to interact with the medications prescribed by the doctor. I am not suggesting that these natural remedies are bad for you, in fact it is well documented that Guinea Hen Weed possess cancer fighting properties. However, you should not be reluctant to let your doctor know everything you take to improve your health. All I am saying, is that you should feel free to share this information with your doctor.
So prepare yourself adequately before you see a doctor, to make the experience more beneficial to patient and doctor. Start today by recording symptoms or feelings you experience, so you can share it with your doctor when you next meet.
Allan Bucka Jones is a Health Promoter and Broadcaster. He can be heard on “Allan Bucka Jones LIVE”, Sundays from 3 to 5pm on CHRY 105.5 FM, CHRY RADIO App, www.chry.fm option RDO.to, Rogers Digital Cable 945, Bell Fibe 973 or mobile app TuneIn Radio. You can contact Allan Bucka Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.