Doctor, doctor Part II

redbandaidsThe trip to the doctor isn’t fun – we determined that in Part I.  Now in part II I will suggest 3 lists to take with you to your next doctor’s visit. It’s important to be an informed patient. To get the best care from you doctor you have to be prepared and smart.

1. The Question List

The Question List is going to be the one that has every little ache and pain that you forget about once the doctor enters the room. It’s a good idea to keep an ongoing list of items between visits.  Just before you go, mark off ones that are no longer an issue and prioritize them in order of importance.

2. The Medicine List

The Medicine List should list every prescribed, over-the-counter, and vitamin/herb supplement, with dosage.  It’s is important because there are many medicines that sound the same, are close in spelling, and have a range of doses.  Even if you don’t take anything on a regular basis think back if another doctor prescribed something for a flu or cold, if you had taken pills for blood pressure but don’t need them now – things like this can give a doctor clues to your medical history. Add any allergies too.

3. The Info/Contact List

This list will have all the junk that you might need for the stack of forms you might need to fill out.  Have your insurance information ready(there are 2 or 3 numbers on the card that they might need even though they copy your card, so take your card too.). Have the names and numbers of the friends and family that you trust to be your emergency contacts. Write down medical history information like past surgeries that you’ve had, major illness that you are aware of in your family and who had/has it.

The smarter and more prepared you are the more serious your doctor will take you.  Hopefully, it will result in better care.  If you don’t feel like you are getting the care you deserve from your doctor, move on.  You already have your lists made. -pm

Other articles in this series:

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Fall Back, Fast Forward

We’ve moved the clocks to “gain” an hour but the time speeds on by. This time of year screams go, go, go! Hustle and bustle is the phrase that pays when November and December come around. Retail thrives on people needing quick solutions to food, gifts, and anything else that might come up last minute. People really stress out this time of year and sometimes it seems that there is no escape from the madness. Treat yourself, friends, and family to some downtime. Take a quiet hike in the woods or walk your dog. Bundle up, go out and get some fresh air. It’s good for the brain and the light exercise will lower your blood pressure while burning off some of those extra holiday calories. If you are needing to conserve calories, maybe you’ve got a big race you are training for, the supplemental stress reducers might be better served by light stretching or deep breathing exercises. Sure this time of year can get rowdy but take some time to get away so you can recharge your energy and enjoy the craziness with everyone else. Moods are infectious, be the one spreading good cheer! -pm

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A Dash of This and A Pinch of That

I was brought up to be a label reader. Both of my parents were careful about what we ate and taught us kids to be aware of what was in food and drink. It gets easier as you learn the the lingo – who knew sugar has more names than “Diddy” ? The practice came in handy but certainly never ends. Every time I think I’ve gotten quick and slick at zoning in on what to look for and what to avoid, something gets added to the yes or no list. For example, not long ago I learned that particular condiments use Worcestershire sauce which is usually made with anchovies (a type of fish). This information is extremely valuable to anyone allergic to fish or who is a vegetarian. I’ve even found “hidden animal” in vitamins and supplements. It doesn’t stop there, bath and body products are no exceptions. Do you know what is in your pets food and treats? Basically anything with an ingredients list is up for investigation. So buyer beware! Do your homework. There is a lot of helpful lists out there that you can take a with you to the store. You will get the hang of it. Hey while you’re at it, ya might as well start learning the jargon for “going green”. -pm

Here are a few interesting sites with helpful bits. There are tons out there so don’t stop with these!

Caring Consumer
Celiac.com
Gorgeously Green

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