Having to visit a doctor with a loved one who is suffering is one thing but when you are the patient, it quite another. A doctor’s meeting can cause anxiety but did you know? Anxiety affects your brain and your cognitive function. If you feel anxious during a doctor’s meeting, it can affect your memory making it hard for you to remember the specifics of your doctor’s instructions. Even if you remembered what was discussed, studies have shown that it may only be 50 percent of the right information. See? This is why you need to know these tips to remember your doctor’s instructions!
Speaking to another adult about your intimate and personal issue can be a little intimidating. Yes, doctors can also overwhelm you and just to be their presence creates anxiety for some people. Here’s information you need to prepare yourself with before you meet with your doctor.
- Note down all the symptoms you’re having.
- If you record your progress or health failing in a journal, bring that.
- Talk about any situation or person or life change that may cause you stress.
- Note down all the medicines you may be already taking or bring them along.
- Are you allergic to anything or ay particular medicine? Remember and take notes.
- If you’re already on a multivitamin or if you need supplements for any reason and note that down too to share it with your doctor too.
- Remember to bring all your medical records, previous tests or x-rays? Yes, bring them.
Even better, in today’s age of smartphones, maintain your medical history on your phone so that you don’t have to carry many files and other such details in physical copies along with you.
Sometimes, we don’t like to admit that you didn’t understand something. However, it’s very important to remember your doctor’s instructions. So at the appointment, be sure to ask many questions. Along with all the things you already prepare yourself for in the first point, note down questions as well. Ask these questions one by one at the appointment. If you didn’t understand an instruction, stop the conversation and get clarify right there. If the doctor wasn’t available, check with a nurse or another physician in the vicinity and clear all your doubts before you leave the premises.
Take notes instead of audio recording
Yes, in this fast-paced world, who has the time to write on a notepad anymore? Who does that, right? Well, although you will have to ask permission for voice or video recording, not all doctors are happy about reducing the meeting in any form. For the simple reason that digital recording can be misused. So doctors don’t like to be recording for the fear of using that as evidence for malpractice etc. you don’t want to change your doctor’s mood for any reason, that may affect the meeting. So being safe, take notes instead. Writing using a pen and paper helps you remember better anyway.
Use your smartphone
You also have the notes application on your smartphones. Use that to take notes during your examination. Make sure you write every instruction your doctor gives you down.
Bring a loved one
Whether it is your friend or a family member, your loved one will remind you of things you may forget to bring up the drug in the appointment. Your intention by preparing yourself beforehand and bringing your medical records is all done with good intentions. However, when you find yourself seated at the examination table, you may be too nervous or feel the anxiety to ask your questions. Let your loved one be your rock and your guide. Besides, while you may be on the table, your loved one can take the notes for you!
Organize yourself & follow up
You can organize yourself to remember to take your prescribed medication. Here are a few ideas:
- Set a reminder on your phone to take medication.
- Stick the prescription paper on your fridge or anywhere within reach.
- Follow up with your doctor/physician/nurse if you need more help or information.
So if you get home and you find that your symptoms have changed or worsened, you may have to follow up, anyway. Update your health records and share the details with your doctor when you visit for a follow-up.