Consumer Health Series:
2. Taking Charge of Your Health:
The moment immediately after you understand that something is wrong can be truly horrible. It is important that you remain calm at this stage. What you need to do now is to gain control over the situation to help you to see the true picture. It may feel like a verdict as you find yourself quite helpless!
How do you get the help you so badly need? Gradually you will learn to ask the right questions and find yourself on track to acquaint yourself with the situation. The first step is gaining control of your medical condition is to write down exactly what you understand about it. You could start by taking a sheet of paper and list down all that you understand. Then go about writing about what you should know and what you would like to know i.e. your doubts, questions cropping up in your mind – no matter how long the list becomes. This will help you relax (a bit); will remind you what to ask your doctor, your insurance company and will become a basis for your action plan. The following example will show how your information and question sheet might look like:
Understanding my Medical Condition
Medical Term and Layman’s term for my condition:
Obvious treatment: (if I’m aware of any):
Other information I have about my condition:
Lifestyle changes I think I should adopt:
What are the possible causes of my condition?
Why are there other symptoms than those generally
Associated with this disease?
Will going through a standard treatment get me cured?
Will I need any specialized treatment?
How long will it take me to get well?
Will my treatment allow me to continue with my
current activities? Will I need a break from work?
Think about how you can get information about your medical condition……