Hands up who has come home from a hospital appointment and thought “What DID my doctor say?!”
Lots of hands…I thought so.
I’m a healthcare professional (who mostly knows what to expect), but even I have been astonished by how difficult it is to remember details when it really matters. A quick survey of several health sector colleagues (okay, chatting over coffee, still valid though!) proves that you and I are not alone.
I’ve been on that chair, hearing the worst news a daughter could hear. And I’ve been there on smaller chairs in a different ward (several times!), when the problem wasn’t life-threatening, but still sick to my stomach because this was my precious child in pain. Each time I was acutely aware of how fear can disable your brain and prevent you from focussing – and absorbing – and hearing – and understanding the information that is so important. Worry and panic are nasty little gremlins.
And what about those of you who have a chronic condition and who are the hospital’s “regular” customers? Having waited (days, weeks, months, years?) for your appointment, watching the date approaching on the calendar, re-organising family & work to get there, waiting for longer than is acceptable or comfortable in a packed waiting room – finally your moment comes and your name is called. THESE are the precious few minutes that you have been granted amid the melee of hospital life, and suddenly your brain shuts down. You leave the room with one or two nuggets of information repeating in your head. As you travel home you replay the video in your mind trying to recall the rest of the visit, only to find that someone had turned the mike off during recording and your memory is blank!
You arrive home. Your family pounce… “Well, what did they say?” You can’t answer. “Did you ask about…?” No, you forgot. How frustrating! And worse, how are you supposed to comply with your treatment and follow the advice if you can’t remember half of it?!
Healthcare professionals would prefer you to tell them if you don’t understand, than go home none the wiser and not follow your treatment plan.
So how do you overcome the fear gremlins? Even if you are not a list person, this is the one time when a list is vital. The gremlins have no power over a written list.
As a List Lover (some might say List Lunatic…) I have created a list that you might find handy in a health crisis, or useful to put on the fridge if you have a chronic condition. It’s available to download & print FREE below and I send it with a virtual hug of support if you are in that awful moment of receiving bad news, or facing a health challenge.
To your health…and understanding it…
Click here to print “REMEMBER TO ASK MY DOCTOR…”
To print, right click anywhere on the screen when it opens and select “Print”.