My daughter has 10 doctors, including specialists.
Each one of them wants to see her at least twice a year. I have a calendar that is only used to keep up with her appointments. This helps me to remember the day, times and name of the doctor for each appointment. If I did not have the calendar, I would never remember all of those things.
Another important part of preparing for these visits is making a list of questions you want to ask at each appointment.
Each specialist focuses on one area of the body. There is no way I could remember all the questions I have for the doctor without having a list. I carry the list around in my purse and as new symptoms appear, I can pull the list out and jot them down. Then, right before the appointment, I will take the list out and divide by specialty and type—and then neatly write them down. I also make sure that I leave space between my questions to write down the doctor’s answers.
I will take the revised list to the matching appointment. It is so hard to remember everything the doctor will say and recommend. Make sure you take a pen or pencil as well. This is so important for patient visits with new specialists. These appointments usually take two to three hours and a lot of information is covered. It is so overwhelming especially when another adult cannot come with you. This is a good way to inform your spouse, of the information as well.
Remember, paper and pen are very important. Also, remember to take any pre-appointment paperwork you had to fill out beforehand. Snacks and drinks are important for you and your child. Make sure you bring along an activity that will help keep your child entertained while you ask questions or if you have a wait before seeing the doctor.
These suggestions should help the appointment go a little smoother.
The Diagnosis and Healthcare section of this website has helpful information about doctor visits.
As a parent to a child with special health care needs, we often must learn little tricks to get things done. Each month Marty shares some of the tips and tricks she has learned along the way.