Preparing for a Medical Appointment

It’s always a good idea to prepare for your appointment, so you can get all the information you need out of it. Leaving with unanswered questions can cause anxiety and can leave you chasing things up when you’ve had the opportunity to ask or find out there and then. Here are a few things to consider before your next appointment.

preparing for a medical appointment


What are your current symptoms? Keep note of them, especially if they’re intermittent and not frequent, but be sure to mention them no matter how little they might bother you; it can all add to the bigger picture.

Any Changes?

We often won’t notice small changes, so ask a friend or family member what they think, write it down, and keep an eye on it. Maybe you’ll notice it yourself? It might be worth mentioning to your doctor; you never know.


Doctors always ask what medication you’re currently taking, but it’s also worth noting if there is anything else like supplements or diet changes that you have undertaken. Remember, it’s the small changes that can sometimes make a big difference.

Other Medical Appointments

From my own experience and talking to others with superficial siderosis, I know full well that communication between healthcare physicians isn’t the greatest. I always say to myself, ‘dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s,’ because, in essence, that’s what I find myself doing, linking up physicians, so they are aware of what one another is doing.


Before every appointment I attend, I write a list of questions, which my neurologist now expects. It’s a great way to make sure all your concerns are answered. I keep the lists on my computer and update them each time I think of something new I want to ask. I also list my current symptoms and add to that if any new ones appear.

Accessibility Aids

This is a must, especially if you are completely deaf like me. I rely heavily on the speech-to-text app on my phone, so making sure the phone is charged is hugely necessary. I also take my LCD board with me in case my doctor wants to write something down when the app doesn’t transcribe correctly. It’s also good to have someone else there in case you miss something important or don’t interpret something correctly.


Always ask what the plan of action is. What will happen next? Will I have a scan? A follow-up appointment? Be referred to another doctor? So, these are some of the things I do to make sure I get the most out of my appointments, I did forget one thing today, though, and that was giving my neurologist the SSRA wristbands I’d put in my pocket. Maybe I should have written that on my list too? Is there anything specific you do to prepare for your appointments?

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Rhys Holmes

Rhys is a former musician, data analyst, shop assistant,childhood footballer, and a feature writer at Living with Superficial Siderosis. In his spare time, he enjoys watching his favorite football team Liverpool FC. Follow Rhys on Twitter @RhysHolmes

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing the tips on preparing an appointment in your post. I’m guilty of being unorganized with my time and meeting, especially during checkups. It’s good that you mention a specific question you need to answer to your doctor, like medication for your current health condition. Since I have set appointments ahead, I’m glad I have come to know a health care clinic here in Billing, MT, which offers same-day appointments.

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