Something peculiar happens to many of us when we get ready to go to the clinic or doctor’s office.
We’re all set. We have some questions and concerns. But at the appointment our minds go blank. Or we get busy with with processing some news about our conditions, and everything we planned to talk about goes out the window.
In the parking lot or on the way back home we suddenly remember what we wanted to talk about.
Preparing for your visit can help prevent this from happening to you.
You should prepare for your visit with us so you can It needn’t take that much time. Just some thought. But be sure to write down what’s on your mind.
People often feel uncomfortable about raising particular issues with their doctors and other health professionals. You might not be sure how to ask the questions. Preparing for your appointment can help you overcome that reluctance.
We want you to think about your health, your questions, and any difficulties you might be having before your visit. Doing so means we can use the appointment time as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Here are our 10 questions to get you started:
How has your health been?
Think about how your health has been over the past few weeks or months since you last saw your health care providers. Here are few questions to ask yourself:
- Has your disease been more or less active?
- Have you been having abdominal pain or cramps. If you have, what makes it worse or better?
- Have you had fevers or night sweats?
- Are you having symptoms outside your GI tract that could be associated with IBD, such as mouth sores or joint aches?
Is it time to change your game plan?
Think about what the game plan you have been using since the last appointment or phone call and whether you have stuck to the plan. Has it helped? If you did not stick with it, why?
Have you started any new treatments?
- any new therapies?
- any over-the-counter medications?
- any supplements or herbal preparations?
- acupuncture, Reiki, or meditation?
Are you worried about medications and side effects?
Do you have questions or concerns about the medications you’re taking? Are you experiencing side effects?
Jot your questions down and bring them to the appointment.
If you are not sure about how to take a particular medication, or which ones you should be taking, bring your medications with you to the appointment.
Have you had any tests since your last visit?
Make sure your care team has access to any lab tests or imaging results (CT scans, MRIs, colonoscopies) that you’ve had since your last visit.
Sometimes these records can be sent digitally. But you should check. You may need to get a copy to bring to the appointment with you.
Do you want someone to come to the visit with you?
Think about whether you would like to have someone come to the visit with you. Often it is helpful to have someone else there to listen and ask questions.
Be honest: How have you been really feeling?
Sometimes people talk themselves into feeling better than they really do, so take some time and be honest with yourself about how you have been feeling.
What has been good and bad about your health? How are you doing emotionally? Have you been taking care of yourself and doing the things that can be helpful to your physical and emotional health?
What have you been doing that could affect your IBD?
Think about what you have been doing that may affect your health.
- Have you been taking your medications?
- Have you been eating well?
- Have you been smoking?
- Have you been getting any exercise?
- Are you drinking enough water and not drinking too many caffeinated beverages?
- Are you drinking too much alcohol?