Saturday, July 20, 2013

I'm feeling hopeful again. The physical therapy for my arm, neck and shoulders has been very helpful; in fact I "graduated" from PT this week.   Most helpful though, I think, has been Dr. Wasserstein's direction in taking medications.  He has me on a schedule, taking 3 Amantadine capsules a day, and now I feel great!

So here's that promised list of "Do's" and "Dont's" for communicating with doctors and their minions:

DO:
Keep a record of your symptoms so you can tell them when a particular symptom started, what it's intensity was as opposed to now, what you were doing at the time, what makes it better,what makes it worse, etc..

DON'T:
Don't exaggerate or belittle your symptoms.  Your doctor only has what you tell him/her to go by, when it comes right down to it, especially for neurological disorders.  What you tell him is crucial to your care.

DO:
Practice what you are going to say to the doctor before you get there.  I have even done this aloud while getting ready for work.  I find that even if I don't stick to the "script" entirely, it helps to remember issues you wanted to bring up, and it seems, for me anyway, to cut down on the intimidation factor.

DON'T:
Don't be combative.  I don't mean just nod your head and say "yes, doctor" to everything they tell you. What I'm saying is don't go looking for a fight.  If you're angry about something that they are responsible for, try to keep cool and explain your complaint in a rational way, and don't be accusatory.  Most doctors, it seems to me, get defensive very easily (scared of law suits probably) and then they stop listening.

DO:
Remember to thank the doctor and his/her staff for the job they've done (assuming they did a good job!)
I put together a card for my doctor with pictures of me and my friends at the Parkinson's Unity Walk, and thanked him for making this possible.  I think he really appreciated that.

DON'T:
Don't let yourself get rushed into not getting all the answers you need.  Don't say to yourself "well, he's too busy; I'll catch him next time".  Get your questions answered and your needs addressed now!

DO:
Be positive.  It always make the conversation more fun.
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About Me

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I'm a lucky lady. I have a wonderful husband of 27 years, a fantastic 25 year old son (I'm so proud of him!) a loving and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a job that I love, and... Parkinson's Disease. I was diagnosed in September 2006. That was a jolt, but I'm learning to deal with it.