I was either 19 or 20 when I went to the gynecologist for the first time, I was living with my aunt and her family while I was going to college. We discussed the normal paperwork stuff then I explained to him the severe pain that I was in and then came all of the tests, and birth control prescriptions.
I had my first surgery with this doctor and he was the one who diagnosed me with Endometriosis and he admitted to me that he was not familiar with it, but would try to assist me the best way he could, looking back I totally respect him for telling me the truth unlike the morons years after him that I went to that told me that I was the problem, you know I was over exaggerating, I have a low pain tolerance, things some of you have heard come out of the medical “professionals”. I will say the morons did serve a purpose, they taught me how to maximize my doctor’s appointment.
Unfortunately, on my series of doctor’s visits I went alone which made it a heavy experience. Here are somethings you can do to make the most of your doctor’s appointments:
1. Monitor your menstrual, write down how long you’re on, how many times you’re on, and what your pain feels like, where you feel your pain the most. Write down any abnormalities, if you vomit frequently, what foods make you sick, if you pass blood clots how often and how much/big, also keep track of your bowel movements.
2. Have your questions and concerns written out ahead of the appointment, keep it in your phone, ipad, or notebook.
3. Bring a small notebook with you that you can use to write down everything the doctor says, I know we have phones these days but if you’re like me, when I’m nervous I get frustrated and the way auto correct is set up I get big mad when things just don’t do what I need them to do.
4. When you are offered a treatment or medication, do not fill the prescription right away do your research, ask your doctor the reason they are using this method, also ask if there is anything specific you should expect or look out for.
5. If your doctor is doing a medical procedure Please, Please ask how he is going to perform the surgery (abdominal cut or robotic) and research it. Depending on the procedure ask if there are any other options.
6. If you would like to have a specific test done for example if breast cancer runs in your family and your doctor says you’re to young to be screened say to your doctor “As my doctor are you refusing to provide medical treatment”, patients have rights, but please don’t get in the office and act like you are the M.D, you will know when it’s time to flex and when it’s time to just let the doctor take the lead. Often doctors will start with one test and that test will determine their next step so use wisdom when you’re in the office, but also know your rights.
7. If you have a friend or close family that can go with you see if they can come, I hated being alone at my doctors’ appointments because I often forgot what I wanted to say or I just heard blah blah blah as the doctor was speaking because I couldn’t believe what he was telling me.
8. If you need to go to a specialist, please look them up check to see if they had any malpractice suits against them and check bedside manner. Please understand that all gynecologists are not created equal just because they are gynecologist doesn’t mean they know about endometriosis and can treat it that goes for any other reproductive health issue. If you are uncertain of what you may have go to a specialty gynecologist anyway because the chances of you getting a quicker diagnosis is higher.
9. Be nice to the nurses, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had nurses to just sit and hold my hand I’ve even had some pray for me.
10. Ask your doctor for samples, listen doctors get samples of birth control pills all the time yes, they are limited but they often order more, and most people don’t know to ask.
11. Take a deep breath You Got This!
Keep this in mind for any doctor’s appointments you have, all appointments are important no matter what don’t let anyone make you feel like your voice should not be heard, it’s your body.
~ Amelia LadyB
*Purchase my e-book “Advocating For Your Reproductive Health”, which is a writeable PDF