So, why am I telling you this story?
Because my pig story reminds me of a few doctor visits I have had in my life!
No, I did not see a pig in the office. However, I did get a surprise.
At the doctor's office, we hear health news that surprises us. We see photos about our health that are a bit scary too. Moreover, at first, we may not really believe the health news said to us during that doctor's visit.
How can we listen to more instructions given by the health provider when we are trying to figure out what was just said to us?
This kind of visit can and does happen to many people.
I think my reaction is how others may have felt during their own doctor's visit.
Getting startling news needs "thinking" time.
"Thinking" time is letting yourself take news in and understand what the nurse or doctor said to you. Sometimes it takes lots of time to think and accept news said to us.
Thinking time and taking the time to adjust to news is ok!
However, if you are unsure about all the news given earlier, what do you do?
Do these three helpful steps:
1. Call the doctor's office.
2. Talk to the nurse about your last visit.
3. With a pen and paper right near you, ask these questions:
a. What did the doctor say about my health during my last visit? Write it down.
b. Ask the nurse to spell and explain any new medical terms. Write it down.
c. Ask the nurse what you need to do before the next doctor's visit. Write down the tasks. If the list is long, ask the nurse to send you the list in the mail.
Before the next doctor's visit:
1. Review or look up medical news and write down questions you may have for the doctor or nurse. Remember to ask those questions in the beginning of your visit.
2. Do the tasks asked by the doctor. Go over important results from the tasks with the doctor.
3. Bring a close friend or family member to listen and write down medical news during your next visit. Afterwards, you can sit together and talk about what each heard during the visit. A friend or family member would be happy to do this valuable and supportive task for you.
copyright 2012 Kim Kozina Evanoski, MPA, LMSW - Care Manage For All