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Scary Diagnosis: After I stop shaking what do I do next?
Reina Weiner, author of Trust Your Doctor…but Not That Much
You’ve found a doctor with whom you’re comfortable. You’ve written your list of concerns and questions and had your first visit. Then you get the call. Your doctor says, “We need to“look into your symptoms a little further and schedule a test or two. Maybe some blood work, a CT scan, MRI or the dreaded biopsy.” She says it could be nothing, of course, but the problem needs to be checked out.
Then you get the follow-up call. “Please come to my office so we can talk about the results of your tests.” Now you’re really worried because you know when the doctor calls and asks you to come in, they’re not calling to discuss the new fabric you chose for your dining room chairs. At the office, your doctor slowly, carefully explains that you have a serious, chronic ailment. Oh no! But there is a treatment for your problem. Did I even hear anything my doctor said after the word cancer? No. Not one word.
Whenyoureturnforthatfollow-up visit, bring someone with you. It can be a good friend, family member, spouse or anyone you feel will be a calm listener and remember the things that you probably won’t. There’senoughconfusionwithmedicalterms; the stress of bad news and then trying to remember it all can be extremely difficult. Therefore, if your friend or family member can write it down or record the doctor’s words (with the doctor’s permission, of course) those notes can be a remarkable memory aid. Also, don’t be shy about asking your doctor either to repeat what they’re saying or slow down so your friend can get it all written or typed.
Remember, taking good notes and being informed is the way to be your own best healthcare advocate. Now you can go home, exhale, and proceed to learn more about your specific health problem with the information that you have.
Check out Reina’s book here www.tinyurl.com/y4brsg6d
Scary Diagnosis Part 1
Scary Diagnosis Part 2