We are so lucky to live in Canada where our health care is covered. We sometimes forget that these services are covered by our government and as we know, they come at a cost and, a big one at that. The healthcare system is complex and over-burdened making it tricky to navigate. Feeling sick and having a new illness is stressful enough but then trying to navigate the complicated system can be overwhelming. Doctors can often be too busy to spend enough time with patients to properly discuss illness, answer questions and discuss next steps. So, we wanted to offer some starting points to help you navigate your care.
Too often we think that because the doctor is the doctor, they know what they are doing, and we do not need to ask any questions. But why are they sending you for extra testing? What does it mean? If you doctor plans on sending you for extra tests, find out what they are for so that you can better understand what might be wrong. This can help decrease anxiety about your health and testing.
… And write them down. It is normal to have question after question floating around your head and then as soon as you get to the doctor’s office, you forget them all! Write down your questions and bring them with you. Questions can be about the illness specifically, how it will affect your life, how it will affect the rest of your health, if there are lifestyle factors that you can modify, how likely it is that it could get worse… and so on. These are questions you may or may not want to know the answers to. Ask what you are comfortable with and as you accept your new health status, you can ask more questions.
Do your own research but… don’t google endlessly
It is so easy to get caught up in what is written online! However, it can lead you down a rabbit hole where you are wondering which way is up. There is so much information at our finger tips and unfortunately, it is not all accurate. When researching information online, it is important that the information is from reputable sources. It is also important to never let your own research prevent a doctor’s visit!
It can be overwhelming trying to navigate the health system but, that is why we are here to help! We will help you or your family member with your questions, next steps and appointment arrangements. We would even be thrilled to come to appointments with you. Contact us for more details at email@example.com