With Curi™ we help you stay on track with your life but to stay on track you need to start off on the right track. The better you can describe your situation to your doctor and the better you understand what your doctor has told you you need to do to get or stay healthy, the better.
So, starting before your next doctor’s appointment, what can you do to better prepared to get the most out of your visit.
Know What You Are Taking
First, what should you bring with you to the doctor’s? Tips for a Successful Doctor Visit on WebMD (www.webmd.com/men/features/tips-for-a-successful-doctor-visit) suggests writing down for each medication you have; the name, dose and how frequently it is recommended you take it. I say bring in all your medicines.
- All the the ones you are taking.
- All the ones you should be taking.
- All the ones you have stopped taking.
If you have medicines you have stopped taking the doctor’s office is the perfect place to get rid of them. Pills are not collectables. They don’t get more valuable with age. They won’t come in handy for the next time that ailment strikes you because, more than likely, they will have lost their potency. Saving antibiotics left over from a previous infection can cause further complications, too. Not taking a full course of antibiotics can make you feel better without knocking out the germs completely. Taking the ‘leftovers’ next time may do less to make you well and more to make the germs resistant especially since you probably won’t have enough to do the whole job. Final note, doctors don’t generally repeat the same antibiotic so neither should you.
Your visit is also the perfect time to set your medical record straight as to what you are still taking and exactly how often. If you stopped taking that blood pressure medicine because it makes you feel sick then ‘fess up! Your doctor has heard it all before so they won’t be shocked or upset by the truth. You will also get much better care if your doctor is working with the truth rather than with a little white lie.
Also remember, they want to know everything you are taking, not just your prescription medicines, so bring in your vitamins and your herbal remedies, too. If you don’t, you open yourself up to unwanted drug interactions. To avoid this remember to tell all.
Keep a Diary
In Tips for a Successful Doctor Visit they recommend keeping a symptom diary. You may not remember everything, otherwise. A diary also helps you remember your symptoms in the order they occurred and helps you recall not only what you took but how you felt afterwards and how long symptoms lasted.
Other things they suggest you might want to jot down include:
- Has your appetite increased or decreased?
- Are you feeling unusually tired? Are you having trouble sleeping?
- Do you have any pains? How much exercise do you get?
- How's your mood?
- Your sex drive?
- How much alcohol do you drink? Do you smoke?
- Are you under stress? (family, work, kids, taxes?)
When you are at your doctor’s visit remember each member of the team has a different role. Don’t only give your information to your doctor. When I go in I volunteer all my information to the nurse that does my weigh in, blood pressure and temperature, too. In my case it is the nurse’s job to update my medical record with my meds, for example, not the doctor’s. By talking about my journal with my nurse she pointed out other symptoms that I could look for. Sharing your information saves time and allows you to get more feedback.
First Things First
If you are coming in because of chest pain, don’t wait to talk about that until the end. Your major reason for the visit today should be the first item for discussion. Once you have covered that then go on to the other issues.
The Center For Advanced Health (www.cfah.org/prepared-patient/communicate-with-your-doctors/getting-the-most-out-of-doctors-appointment) recommends that be fore you leave your appointment you know:
- When you should return or any other next steps.
- How to reach your doctor or urgent care office if conditions warrant.
- What symptoms or changes should prompt you to take immediate action.
Once you have talked with your doctor Curi™ will help you to follow through to your goals. If you need to take medications Curi™ will remind you and, if necessary, it will keep track of whether they need to be taken before, during or after meals. It will also easily allow you to journal how you are feeling or any symptoms or side effects that occur. This type of information can be very important in allowing your doctor to precisely adjust your medications. It will also help you remember appointments and much more.
Then, on your next visit, Curi™ will contain all your information including doses, symptoms and any side effects and you will be ready to help your doctor manage your health.