The treatment process of rare autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome can be challenging, and things can become more complicated with a lack of effective communication between the patient and the doctor.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your doctor’s visit.
Identifying the right clinician for the job
Sjogren’s syndrome is a rare disease that progresses slowly and not all doctors are adequately trained in its management. If you have been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, inquire about physicians in your area who are experienced in dealing with the disease. You can also check out these resources for guidance.
Never shy away from revealing details to the clinician about the symptoms you have been experiencing. More often than not, a seemingly innocuous symptom such as a dry mouth offers vital clues in understanding disease progression. If you have any inhibitions or difficulties in expressing yourself, make sure to have your caregiver accompany you to explain on your behalf. At the same time, ensure that your interaction with the clinician is concise and to the point.
Check your appointment goals
The time spent during a doctor’s appointment is precious. A bit of preparation before the appointment can go a long way in enriching the discussion with your doctor. Ask yourself what the purpose of the visit is. Have you noticed any symptom changes? Do you feel any medications aren’t working? Are your daily activities being affected by new symptoms? Make a note of all such queries so that you don’t forget to ask them during the appointment.
Maintain proper medical records
The importance of maintaining a proper medical record for yourself cannot be overemphasized. Most clinics have a database of your treatments and medical reports, but it helps to have your own personal record handy. A well-maintained medical record lets you easily access information about your treatment, including details of your current medication and any test results.
If in doubt, ask
It never hurts to ask for clarification when in doubt. If the doctor suggests a diagnostic test, you should ask for an easy-to-understand explanation of how the results of the test will help. You should also ask the function of each prescription medication.
Record the appointment
Voice-recording the conversation on your mobile phone during the appointment can prove to be handy for later reference. Make sure that you seek the doctor’s consent before recording.
Last updated: Sept. 10, 2019
Sjogren’s Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.