Any Changes and Current Treatment: Questions You Should Ask

If there are any changes, and response to current treatment, are some key areas to focus your friend or family member on before their appointment.

The questions you will want to ask your friend/family member may vary depending on whether the visit is a routine check-up, an emergency/urgent appointment, or a follow-up visit. In order for you to be better prepared, you can ask the following questions and be sure to write down their answers:

  • Have there been any changes since their last appointment? If this is a routine check-up ask if your friend/family member has noticed changes in their breathing, weight, elimination (bowel or bladder habits), swelling in their legs or feet, head or chest pain, changes in their vision. Be to ask if they have had changes in their eating habits.
  • If they have noticed any changes in their condition be sure to ask the following questions: Has this ever happened in the past? When did they first notice this change? Can they pinpoint the location of this change? How long does it last (is it brief, does it last for hours?....) How would they characterize it? Is there anything that makes it worse? Have they been able to find anything that makes it better? Do they notice it more in the morning or evening? If they were to rate it on a scale of 0-5 where "0" is perfect comfort and "5" is severe distress, how would they rate this condition?

    By having the answers to these questions, your friend/family member's physician will be able to focus on solving your loved one's problem instead of wasting precious time trying to extract the information during the visit.

  • How are they doing with their current treatment? Are they having any problems taking the prescribed medication? Do they have any questions about what they should be eating or drinking? Have they noticed changes in their energy level as the result of their current treatment? Do they feel better or worse on your current treatment?

    When you are obtaining information from your friend/family member, remember to be patient! Your friend/ family member may have problems hearing. They may be confused by some of your questions and require examples or further explanation. Be sure you set plenty of time aside to help them prepare for their appointment!

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