To help prevent a misstep in your medical diagnosis you need to be an active and persistent participant in your care. Follow this advice the next time you are heading to the doctor.
• Do your homework. Although there is a risk you may get more
confused if you do too much research before you see your doctor,
reading about your symptoms beforehand may trigger something you
shrugged off as unimportant.
• Organize your thoughts. Do this before you go to the doctor so you
don't leave anything out when you are face-to-face. Take notes and
bring them with you.
• Report all your symptoms. Symptoms can help clarify or rule out a
diagnosis, so include everything even if you think it is unrelated.
• Describe your symptoms in detail. This is the what, where, when,
how often deal. Your doctor will want to know when symptoms occur,
when they go away, what makes you feel better and what makes you
feel worse. If you have pain, use the right word to describe it. Is it
stabbing, dull, or does it only occur when you do certain things.
• Be honest. This is not the time to leave anything out so if you have
undesirable lifestyle habits you need to fess up. It can offer important
clues to your condition.
• Go with your gut. If you are feeling like your complaints are being
dismissed or ignored or not interpreted properly go to another doctor.
Simple as that.
• Get a second opinion. Doctors actually don't mind when you do this.
In fact, they expect it.