I was talking with a friend and colleague who has chronic pain as a result of fibromyalgia.  She is taking several different medications, her symptoms change frequently and she had many concerns and questions.

She’d thought about filling out the Appointment Preparation Worksheet before her doctor’s appointment but didn’t get around to it.  She said she “kicked herself” afterwards as she froze up when the doctor came in, unable to articulate her questions and concerns.

She recently was vomiting and having incredible pain.  

She was able to pull herself together enough, before leaving for the ER, to tell her husband to take notes on the Appointment Preparation Worksheet about what was going on (in between bouts of horrendous pain and other horrible-ness).

Here’s what she said:  “When I went to the ER, I got to be the patient and didn’t have to advocate for myself.  What a relief!

That’s such a huge thing especially when you’re too sick to talk about it.

Her husband signed her in and gave the Appointment Preparation Worksheet to the receptionist who made a copy for her chart.  The doctor’s  read it as they were examining her and several staff members mentioned how appreciative they were that she had everything in one place.

As it turned out, she had a gall bladder attack and needed to have her gall bladder out.  She also explained how much my work helped her while she was in the hospital.  She found herself much more willing to ask for what she needed (rather than pretend everything was alright).

“Even the name, Patient Power, helped me realize that I don’t have to be a victim anymore.  I can ask for what I need rather than feel guilty because I need help.”

She said in the past she’s felt so much guilt for having an “invisible illness” that clearly compromises her daily life and can’t be seen by others.  “It’s not like having a broken leg where there’s a cast and everyone knows that something is wrong.”

“Invisible illnesses” are my pet peeve because finding ways to explain what’s going on with you internally is so difficult.

That’s why I was so proud of her that she ASKED her husband to fill out The Appointment Preparation Worksheet as she was describing what was happening.   “Ask and you shall receive!”

It is my mission to help people who don’t feel well find the words to express themselves clearly.  That’s why I developed the Appointment Preparation Worksheet that is available right now for you for free.  I also created Patient Power to insure that you and your provider are on the same page.

Use my materials with your healthcare provider and let me know how they work for you.

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