Talking To Your Doctor About Parkinson's Disease
Your Parkinson's disease (PD) management game plan
will be more successful with the help of a good coach - your doctor. He or she is your biggest asset when it comes to symptom management
and treatment decisions
But it’s up to you to help your doctor help you. Only you know what your symptoms are like, and how they’re affecting your body and your life. Your doctors need you to tell them what’s going on so they know how to help you.
Prepare for Your Visit
This tool can help you get the most out of the time you have with your doctor:
Use the following questions to start a conversation with your doctor. If you already have questions you want to ask, you can add them to this list.
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- How am I doing compared to others living with Parkinson’s disease?
- Are there any new treatment options that might help?
- Are there exercises I can do to help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
- What about diet?
If you have prepared for your visit and made a list of questions and concerns, you should be ready to make the most of your time with the doctor! In addition, consider:
- Bringing a family member, friend, or caregiver to offer an objective viewpoint and help prioritize your issues. He or she can also provide emotional support and may have even noticed symptoms or side effects that you had overlooked.
- Being ready to voice your needs. Be open and honest - your doctor needs complete information about symptoms, side effects, and how well you've been complying with prescribed treatment.
- Taking good notes. It's not easy to remember everything your doctor says. And if you don't understand something, ask your doctor to explain it to you and write down the explanation.
- Scheduling a consultation appointment if you have a lot of things to talk about so you can have more time to talk to the doctor.
Remember, though, that no one knows everything. If you’re not sure about something, it’s okay to ask questions or get a second opinion. Even though doctors are working in your best interest, ultimately, your health is in your hands. If you don’t think a treatment is working, say so. If you have concerns about a recommendation, say so.
If you consistently feel your doctor does not listen to your concerns or take them seriously, or if you have ongoing difficulty in communicating with him or her, you may want to consider changing doctors. The quality of your health care can be directly impacted by your ability to communicate with your doctor.
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