Doctor’s visits while dealing with sarcoidosis can feel overwhelming. Sarcoidosis patients often have a lot of symptoms, medications, doctors, and other things to juggle. When you get to the doctor, it sometimes feels like there is not enough time to cover everything you want to talk about. This is why going in prepared can be key to a productive visit. Sarcoidosis warrior Sandra shared with us the methods she uses to make the most of her doctor’s appointments.
Before you even go to the doctor, take time to write down three to five questions/concerns you want to address at your appointment. By writing them down in advance, you are less likely to forget to ask them during your visit. Bring a pen and paper to your appointment to record the answers to your questions, as well as a summary of what you learned from your doctor. Ideally, you might keep all of your questions and appointment summaries in a journal or binder so everything is in one place. For many sarcoidosis warriors, a visit to the doctor can mean a new medication. Sandra recommends asking these questions when you are prescribed a new medication.
How long should I be on this medication?
Will this drug be compatible with the other medications and supplements I am taking?
What effect will this medication have on my body?
When will I see you again to reassess how this medications is working?
Once you have decided to take a new medication, you will need to get the prescription filled. When you get your new medication, pay attention to the insert/information that comes with it. You can always ask the pharmacist to go over the insert/information with you. What is most important is that you fully understand how to properly take the medication and are aware of any side effects. Sandra recommends asking the pharmacist:
What is the cost with my health insurance?
How much does it cost if I pay out of pocket?
Does my health insurance cover this medication?
Once you start your new medication, be on the look out for any changes in mood, behavior, symptoms, etc. Write down descriptions of these changes so you can talk about them with your doctors at your next appointment. If any of these changes are negatively affecting you or if you have questions/concerns about your new medication, always contact your doctor’s office. Oftentimes, your doctor will be able to change the medication to another drug that may have different side effects. If you doctor does want to change your medication, make sure you ask the questions from above!
Within the next month I shall be entering into my 7th decade. During the past decade I have been dealing with sarcoidosis. I have two grown children who have their own families now. My granddaughter is in college. My husband and I have been divorced for many years. Always interested in biology, I went into healthcare by working in a variety of healthcare settings ultimately furthering my education and certifying in gerontology. Using my medical education, I have worked with clients who were either people with disabilities, or older people through an agency for people with disabilities and older people through Senior Options Consulting.