Do You Find It Hard To Talk To Your Doctor? Here’s Some Advice!

 

Talking to doctors about problems that I have has always been incredibly nerve-wracking for me. It shouldn’t be something that’s hard to do, but for some reason it feels like an impossible task. When something is wrong with you, you should be able to talk to your doctor about it. My entire life I’ve struggled with sleeping, but I only recently told my doctor about it because I was afraid. Once I finally said something, my doctor basically told me I would have to do trial and error with medications until the problem was fixed. This also gave me (and still gives me) a lot of anxiety. However, now that I have some practice with this, there are some things that I wish I knew. No one should struggle in silence, so here are some tips I have about talking to your doctor.

 

Write It Down!

If you have any nerves about your doctor not believing you or underestimating the problem, keep track of it! The way I did this is by wearing a watch that is capable of tracking sleep when I went to bed. When I went to my doctor, I showed her the weeks and weeks of not sleeping that was recorded by my watch. If you get migraines, mark them down! Have a notes page in your phone for migraines, and every time you have a migraine mark down the date, time and severity. If you have an irregular or painful period, get an app to track that! The data will not only help your doctor more correctly treat you, but it will also calm your nerves a bit.

 

Talk It Out!

Are you nervous for your doctor’s appointment? Grab someone you trust and talk it out! Tell them your plan of action. For example, I always talk to my mom before I go to the doctor’s. When I was nervous about talking about my sleep problems, I basically just walked my mom through what I planned to do. The conversation went a bit like me saying “Okay, I’m going to tell the doctor that I feel exhausted all the time. Then I’m going to show him the data from my Fitbit. Lastly, I’m going to tell him that my roommate has told me that I talk, toss and turn in my sleep.” This sounds pretty silly, but it really helped me to had the whole plan straight in my head.

 

Research It!

This is more for specific types of doctor’s appointments such as a first time seeing a gynecologist, having an ultrasound or anything you haven’t experienced before. When I had kidney problems, I was told I needed an ultrasound. My research was asking my mom what that would be like. She had had ultrasounds before, so she told me what to expect. So ask someone you trust what about their experience! If you are still nervous or have no one to talk to, try searching it up online.

 

Try It!

My doctor first prescribed me a medication that’s not specifically one for sleep. It was something else entirely that had drowsiness as a side effect. I was so nervous about this! However, I decided to try it with an open mind. I was on that medication for about three weeks before I decided that it really wasn’t for me. I stopped taking it, and told my doctor that it didn’t work. The doctor then prescribed me yet another medication that wasn’t intended for sleep, but has the side effect of drowsiness. I’ve been taking that new medication for about a month now, and it has really helped me! If I hadn’t listened to my doctor and tried the medication, I wouldn’t be feeling better. The first solution wasn’t the right one, but it was an important step toward finding what works for me.

 

It is absolutely understandable to be nervous to talk to your doctor about serious issues, but that anxiety shouldn’t prevent you from having those important albeit hard conversations. I hope these tips help you the next time you are nervous to talk to your doctor about an issue you’re having!     

 

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