I know this thread is a bit old, but I saw your post and wanted to respond in case you hadn't found your information. I put together a list of things to do a while ago and will post below. I am adding heart rate monitoring to this for my somewhat newer CFS symptoms, but have not updated it yet. I apologize for its length. I am not best known for my brevity :)
Checklist for doctor's visits
1. Write down everything you are experiencing in an easy outline format for yourself. It is easiest to keep this on a computer. Remind yourself to update this regularly. You will remember different things at different times. Keep a notebook near and jot down anything that occurs to you. This will help you when the doctor asks questions and you cannot remember the answers. You may not remember everything during the doctor visit. I know this sounds like homework, but it is necessary. We have so much else going on in our lives, that this is critical.
2. List length of time you have been experiencing each symptom.
Many symptoms don't mean anything until you consider them in the context of how long you have been experiencing them.
3. Describe what the symptoms are doing to your quality of life
(i.e. I can no longer stand for more than 5 minutes, I am unable to do the dishes, I am unable to sleep more than three hours at a time, I can no longer write my name, etc.). Be extremely specific and don't be embarrassed by anything you have to tell them.
4. Take a list of all your medications , vitamins and supplements with you. If it is a longer list, color code by what they are prescribed for. Many times the doctor will forget what they have prescribed for you. They will definitely forget what other doctors have prescribed. Make sure it is in front of you and easily readable. It helps limit the chance of getting to the pharmacy with an issue.
5. Don't ask to be put on medication.
Many people go to the doctor and ask for medication. This leads doctors to believe you are not there for help with your issue, but simply to get drugs. Ask what can be done to alleviate the issue(s) you are experiencing. There are other options to be considered. Be prepared for a good doc wanting to get tests run and/or have you see a specialist of some sort. A bad doctor generally won't bother. (I have a couple of these I am changing out).
6. Download a body outline from the internet for front and back
Mark all the areas you have problems/pain with. I recommend color coding as well. It is a memory aid for you as well as a good visual for the doc.
7. Keep everything in a folder on the computer if possible.
Update before and after each doctor visit with dated entries. Add an entry every time any little thing occurs with your medical (new med, etc). Make yourself an appointment to update conditions at least a couple of times a week and add things like how the weather is affecting you, how you dealt with a stressful situation, etc.
8. Keep everything in a simple cardboard folder you can carry with you.
Print new copies of any updated item. Print a copy of your medical log with dates. Print a current copy of your medication list to give the doctor at each visit.
Above all, stick to your guns! This is NOT in your head. You are there to communicate what you are feeling/experiencing. You are the person who was there for every feeling and issue you are discussing with your health professional. You may not know what all the pieces mean - but that is why you are at that visit to talk to the doctor. If they are not doing their job, you are in the wrong place and it is time to find another doctor. My primary gave me a stern talking to when she began to help me with some of this - they may be medical specialists, but they work for you. You wouldn't keep a plummer if they were ignoring the leaks in your house but still charging for the house call. (it helps me laugh and relax to think of it this way).
Fibromyalgia, CRPS/RSD, IBS/D, Diabetes, Eczema, Arthritis, Sleep Apnea, Chronic Insomnia, CNS, CFS
Meds: Tramadol, Lyrica, Simvastatin, Lisinopril, Tizanidine, Nadolol, Hydrochlorothiazide, Rozerem, Lexapro,
Post Edited (Firefly18) : 11/28/2016 3:26:59 PM (GMT-7)