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Preparing for the doctor’s appointment

Elderly couple consulting doctor

Be prepared to ask the most important questions

My doctor is the expert, why do I need to prepare?

Your doctor is the expert but it can help to remember that he or she also deals with many of the same work constraints that we all do. Doctors want to do the best job they can with the resources available, but in some cases that can be no more than a short 15-minute appointment.
Even though your doctor wants to give you all the information you need, one person’s concerns may be irrelevant or unimportant to the next person walking through the door. Your doctor will be able to better answer your unique questions if you take a proactive approach. 

When should I speak up?

Your doctor may start the appointment by asking medical questions, focusing on your symptoms and family history, for example. However, before the doctor begins, it can be helpful to let him or her know that you have prepared a few questions. That way, they know you have come prepared and can be sure to leave time to address your specific concerns.  Try to be open with your doctor and aim to come away feeling informed on your own terms. 

A few questions to get you started

Quick tip: A few days before your doctor’s appointment, review this list of questions and keep them close by in a notebook or on your mobile. That way if any other concerns come to mind, you can write it down and be sure to ask at your appointment.  
  1. When will my blood clot (DVT) and pain go away?
  2. How long do I need to be on treatment?
  3. What if I feel sick and need additional treatment?
  4. How soon after my clot can I return to normal physical activity like exercise and sports?
  5. What are the risks of flying and when can I do it again?
  6. Can I get another blood clot if I am already on treatment?
  7. How can I prevent complications?
  8. Can I take painkillers while on this treatment?
  9. What happens if I forget a dose? Is it an emergency?
  10. What if I accidentally take a double dose? 
Some of the most important questions or comments for your doctor may also relate to how you are feeling – be it fear, depression, or worry about how to approach the topic with loved ones. You can ask your doctor for support in this area as well. If he or she does not feel like they can offer the right help for any reason, then they can still point you towards credible resources and professionals.  

Interested to know more? Watch our video about treatment of blood clots in cancer patients


Involving your family

Your family or close friends can play an important role in your treatment process, and they are often eager to help how ever they can. Consider involving them by asking someone to join you at the doctor’s or by sitting them down ahead of time to discuss the appointment. They may help you think of important points to raise or they might have a few questions of their own. 


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