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How To See Your Doctor... - Elf M. Sternberg
How To See Your Doctor...
So, as I've blogged before, I have recently dealt with both ADHD and dysguesia, and I wanted to see my primary care physician about both. For the first, to make sure she agreed with the treatment and my assessment of it, and for the second, to see if she could do anything more than the urgent care physician I'd seen a few weeks ago.
Do your homework. Make notes about your drugs and supplements, your aches and pains. Don't make them pull it out of your question by question. It'll give you and your doctor much more time to discuss the issue.

She came in and said, "So, what's bugging you today?"

I pulled out my notebook. On the first page I had written down all the medications I was currently taking, the last week's readings of blood pressure, weight, and tallied sleep. On the second page I had a list of all the symptoms related to the dysgeusia, including a timeline of when the symptoms came on, and notes about how the ADHD medications came much later, and so forth. On the third page, I had a list of resources I had consulted, and on the fourth I had a list of questions. She looks over my shoulder, laughs, and says, "I love you guys. You make my job easy."

We talked about the dysgeusia first. I noted that I hadn't been kissing any new, although some of the people I kiss might have been kissing anyone new. She finds my love life as entertaining as everything else.

She looked at one note: "Alcohol: j-curve dose (usually)." "What does that mean?"

I said, "You know the j-curve? The one where one to two drinks actually reduces mortality? That's how much I drink."

She shook her head. "You're gonna live forever." I hope she's right.

By outside clocks, we were running late; the appointment had started later than scheduled. Hilariously, Omaha called to wonder where I was. "You should get that," my doctor said. "I want to talk to her too." They had a brief conversation about her recent hospital stay, and made sure she had an appointment booked soon.

I love my doctor. She's awesome. She gives a damn. And she appreciates not having her time wasted.

She thinks the ADHD treatment is fine, and I'm "taking the meds the way smart people do." She approved of my personal rules about it: skip it some weekends if I'm not doing anything intellectually demanding, skip it any day where I didn't get at least seven hours of sleep. Its job is to make me better, and I'm never going to be better than baseline without enough sleep. Still nothing about the dysgeusia, though. Having ruled out an infection or anatomical damage, we're scheduling blood-metals labwork next week. Joy.

But really, how to see your doctor: make notes before hand. Do your homework. It will give you both much more time to discuss the problem.

Current Music: Alien Cowboys, Liquid Haze

3 comments or Leave a comment
resonant From: resonant Date: April 2nd, 2016 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I print out everything in 14-point font and give it to my doctor as a single page.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 15th, 2016 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sleep Matters

Interesting Captcha that you're using here.

I'm glad to see that sleep was mentioned as an important component in ADHD. So often it's not recognized. Traditionally, and my sleep doctor agrees, that 8.25 hours minimum is optimal, but of course that might vary by person. Some people may wonder why commonly prescribed ADHD medications in past years were actually uppers, and yet they calmed ADHD people down instead. It's because they woke up people who weren't getting enough good -- important word "good" -- sleep otherwise. There is quite an overlap of symptoms between ADHD and inadequate sleep. And inadequate sleep is one of the easiest things to fix -- usually no pills necessary.

elfs From: elfs Date: April 18th, 2016 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sleep Matters

I don't have a choice about the Captchas. It's whatever my tovarishchi at LiveJournal decide it is.

One thing I've long known is that my sleep schedule depends upon absolute rigor; if I'm off by a half hour, I'm a vegetable the next day. And it's really frustrating; I know my sleep cycles are about 3½ hours, and I need at least two of them to be competent the next day.

I've always gotten enough sleep. The ADHD medicine actually increases the activation energy of the current task, keeping me from switching tasks willlessly.
3 comments or Leave a comment