Talking with your health care professional (HCP) is an opportunity to share what matters to you. Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your HCP is an important way to make sure you are getting the most from your care. If your HCP understands your challenges and what you’re aiming to achieve, they can help you make a plan to reach your goals.
Since appointments can be fairly quick, having a list of items to discuss can help make efficient use of the time you have with your HCP. By organizing your thoughts before your appointment, you’ll have a good idea of what you’d like to ask and what you’d like to share.
WHEN PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT:
- Try to bring your caregiver or family member with you. They can help explain what happens during your seizures and support you during your appointment.
- Keep notes and track your seizures in a seizure diary – and remember to bring your diary to the appointment.
- Bring a list of questions or notes you’d like to discuss.
- Aim to have all of your questions answered during your appointment. Rephrasing questions in a different way can help to clarify issues that are still unclear.
WHEN TALKING TO YOUR HCP:
- Be thorough when you discuss your condition and epilepsy treatment – your doctor only knows what you tell him/her.
- Let him/her know you want to be a partner in your health care.
- Discuss your expectations – don’t be timid.
- Listen carefully to what your neurologist/epileptologist says.
- If you don’t understand a diagnosis or treatment, ask questions.
- Talk about your epilepsy medications and any side effects you may experience.
- Do not forget to mention any vitamins or herbal medications you are taking.
If you do not have enough time to cover everything you’d like to discuss with your HCP, ask to schedule another appointment, arrange for a phone conversation, or follow up via e-mail. It’s important that you, your caregiver and your HCP are on the same page when it comes to your health.