Did it ever happen to you to leave the doctor’s office realizing that you forgot to tell him something important or to ask the most burning question? Frustrating, isn’t it?
Forgetting to refer a symptom or a need, or also not being able to describe it as you would like can be very annoying and it happens more often than you think. In a busy doctor’s office, it’s a very common situation and it happens to all of us at some point.
Improving the effectiveness of the communication with your doctor is crucial, not only if you are not feeling well or if you have a disease but also during a routine check-up.
Describing how you feel is the first step to help your doctor understand if something is wrong and what could be the cause. The more the physician knows about your health, the more easily he can make a diagnosis or a therapy accordingly. When you are at risk or suffer of a nerve related issue, an effective doctor’s visit is important to help you to take care of your nerves. Nerve impairments have a broad range of symptoms. They can appear in different ways and with a different impact and therefore can be often misunderstood or just overlooked and not reported. For this reason, nerve impairments are not always treated properly.
Since some signs can be often misinterpreted or overlooked, you should try to describe them to your doctor as clearly as possible. It is also important to tell your doctor anything you feel out of the ordinary about your body wellbeing and health, even if you are not sure of how to describe it. Here are a few tips that may help you improve your communication with your doctor:
Make it easy
Symptoms may be different for every person, so they can be described in many different ways. This of course also applies to nerve impairment symptoms. Some people find it easier or more clarifying to use metaphors or to describe their symptoms with a lot of details. Using easy and simple words to describe your symptoms is a good start, for example, stinging is one the symptoms of nerve impairment and people usually describe it as a “pins and needles” sensation. Describing the situation where you experienced this symptom also might help.
Provide your doctor with the history of your symptoms. How long have you been experiencing them? Be clear and complete: before a visit try to list all the symptoms that you feel or any anomalous thing that you experienced, even if you think it might not be related to nerve impairment or it doesn’t look like a symptom to you. You may help yourself by writing things down and putting them in different categories, like “symptoms that I experience all the time” and “symptoms that appeared lately” or “other things about my health which are disturbing me”.
Remember to update your doctor
It may happen that a lot of time passes from a visit to another. If you have already talked with your doctor about your symptoms, it is very important to make him recall to mind your conversations. Update him about your progresses or if the symptoms have changed, gotten better or worsened. It’s important to let him know about the changes, especially when we are talking about underestimated symptoms like for example muscle cramps. Besides, he might have recommended you a treatment and should know whether it helped or not, a change might be necessary at a later moment.
Your doctor is your ally
Do not be afraid to talk to your doctor or share with him even weird or embarrassing situations. Your conversation with him is confidential and it’s covered by the obligation of professional secrecy. Doctors are used to deal with people of different sex, age, race with different personalities, experiences, backgrounds and sometimes these elements can provide useful information to help the definition of a diagnosis. So, if you think that adding an information about your daily life might be useful, go for it! Your doctor is there for you so be truthful and collaborative and strive to express your concerns clearly.
ASC Ref No. M060P112017N
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