Since breaking my back in 1998, I have been blessed with some exceptional physicians who believed in me and sincerely wanted to help me with my struggles with chronic pain.
Unfortunately, I have also encountered those who have not treated me so well. If you encounter a Doctor that does not treat you well or makes you feel uncomfortable; run, hobble, crawl, do whatever you have to do, to get as far away from the person as possible. There are plenty of great, caring physicians out there. Let’s put the other guys and gals out of business.
Let’s face it, even the best physicians are short on time and sometimes we get a little sensitive due to our pain, so it is important to plan ahead. I have a few tips I find helpful for me and my doctor. Hope you find them useful, as well.
1. Keep a diary of your symptoms, pain level, activity level, and other things your physician may have asked you to track.
2. Bring a list of questions and concerns to each Doctors visit. Be clear and concise. Remember, your Doctor has a limited amount of time to spend with each patient.
3. If you are having trouble communicating with your Doctor, coming along with a trusted friend or family member for the sake of companionship, to be your voice or evaluate the situation. Sometimes we get a little short tempered when we are in pain. If your friend agrees that the Doctor is not treating you well. Find a new Doctor.
4. Be honest as to whether or not you are following Doctors orders. Are you exercising, doing therapy regularly, taking your medications, etc…
5. If you don’t understand your Doctor, ask him to clarify, if you still don’t understand, ask again. This isn’t the time to worry about looking stupid!
6. Post all of your important medical numbers together, including; physicians, therapists, pharmacist, personal trainer, coach, and any other people helping you with your condition. This is also a great place to post your medications and latest symptoms.
7. Ask your Doctor the three most important things you can do to improve your condition.
8. Ask your Doctor for his honest assessment of what you can expect over the next week, month, year, and so on.
9. Last but not least, keep a positive attitude at the Doctors office. I use humor as much as possible in describing my situation. I believe that is why my Doctors and their staff like to see me. They must get a little sick of hearing people whine all day. They are only human. If you are blessed with a great, caring Doctor, give him or her something to smile about when you are there. Believe me, it will come back to you tenfold, on your roughest days, when you can barely muster a smile or hold back the tears. They will want to cheer you up!