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Appointments with a new doctor

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appointments with a new doctor

If you are in a state of chronic medical issues, you should know the drill by now when you have an appointment with a new doctor or other medical professional. When you get to the office to check in, the receptionist will have a sheaf of forms for you to fill out. Save some time and aggravation by writing up the standards beforehand and bringing them to the appointment.

I can speak from personal experience that line items have limited space on the forms anyway, so extra sheets will allow you to go into as much detail about the issue as need be. You can type up a tidy labelled spreadsheet to print off as needed, and it's easy to update if something changes.

What information should you provide?

This is what I take to appointments:

Tip: If possible, give your sheets to the receptionist when you sign in for your appointment. This will give the doctor or nurse-practitioner a chance to read things over before they come in to see you. You know your body best, so it's important to have a medical provider who will listen to you about your experience with your medical issue(s). If they can't or won't, or insist along the lines that "a bit of [allergen] won't hurt" or some-such, you need to find someone else who will listen.

Questions for your care provider

It's easy to be overwhelmed during an appointment with a new care provider, so it may help to have a list of questions ready to ask about your treatment options during the course of the visit.

What else to bring to appointments

Depending on the appointment type, you may find it helpful to bring certain other things with you.

Important: Always bring a zipper bag with your medications to appointments in case they are running behind. If you need another dose while you are there, you need access to your medications.

Getting a scan?

While there are lockers at facilities that do medical scans, the lockers are tiny. Don't bring more than what will fit into a small tote bag.

Note #1: Don't wear anything with metal (buttons, zippers, etc) as that interferes with the equipment. If you have a cane or other assistive device, it will if possible need to remain outside the equipment room.

The tech can put your glasses on the side once you get set up.

Note #2: If you have a PICC line or port, someone who can access the device will need to be available. Schedule your scans at a facility that can provide this service.

Having an infusion?

If you will be at the infusion center for longer than an hour (or if you are being dropped off on your own by a transport), I recommend a wheeled cart (aka "granny cart") to haul your gear. A backpack may seem more practical, but they get heavy fast.

What to bring for an infusion treatment:

While not essential, bring a small plushie or other little friend to keep you company during the treatment if you like. The nurses will ask about it. (A lot of patients of all ages do this.)

Tip: Keep your phone handy to watch the time. Cubicles do not normally have clocks.

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