As a neuropathy patient, you need to be the most powerful member of your medical team. Here’s how to do it.
Your neuropathy treatment team is well trained and highly educated. But they are not the true experts on your neuropathy.
The only real expert on YOUR neuropathy is you.
You’re the one who is there 24/7 experiencing neuropathic pain and physical limitations. You live in your body, and you know what’s normal for you.
The only way to get effective neuropathy care is to be a powerful self advocate. You are the most important member of your treatment team. They simply can’t get the job done without your vital input!
What does this mean?
Here is how you can advocate for yourself in your neuropathy treatment.
- Provide detailed, up to date information about your symptoms. Keep a daily log so that you can track frequency and severity. Be honest and don’t leave anything out.
- Tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking, including vitamins and herbs, as well as over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or allergy medications.
- Be honest about your history and current use of alcohol, tobacco products, caffeine, and other drugs that can affect your symptoms and interact with prescription medications.
- Read what is out there about neuropathy treatment. Ask questions about whether the techniques you’ve read about are appropriate for your care.
- Share your worries and concerns. If the doctor seems to brush them off, state them again and make sure he or she understands what you mean. Ask WHY that particular symptom or occurrence is not significant in your doctor’s eyes.
- Write down everything that your doctor says during the visit. If that is difficult for you, bring a tape recorder or a family member / friend who can take notes.
- If you still have unanswered questions at the end of your visit, ask the doctor for more time or request another professional (such as a nurse practitioner) to come in and talk more with you.
If you feel that your current medical team is not addressing your needs, look for a doctor in your area who has specific training in neuropathy issues. Click here for a list of NeuropathyDR™ specialists.
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