Leading up to (and going into) that first high risk appointment was nerve racking! From the day I scheduled my appointment to the day of my appointment, I had to about a 4 week wait. My feelings jumped daily from hopeful and optimistic to terrified and wanting to cancel.
At this point, I had no idea what to expect and was feeling more and more anxious. All of this, by the way, is NORMAL!
About 4 days from the appointment, the organizer in me took over. I was making a list. I wrote out the family history, wrote down my applicable medical information, and thought of 3 questions to ask that I didn’t want to forget.
Writing your questions help, if you are intimidated by this situation. You can hand them to the doctor/nurse and tell them that you want to address them during the appointment. This way they can leave, read over them, and then everyone can discuss. Or, if that isn’t something your comfortable doing, have your significant other come with you and ask on your behalf.
As time moves on, I highly suggest getting some appointments-specific writing and organizing materials so that everything is in one spot. I’ll show you what I’m talking about and what I have in another post!
Anyway, the 3 questions I came up with are pretty simple. I found, though, that they forced the doctor to explain in simpler terms and produced further questions.
- (After reviewing medical history) What are the next 3 steps in my process?
- Tests and exams?
- Additional appointments?
- Can I continue current medications?
- (Based on the answers from above) What is the timeline for the events?
- Rapid (1-3 months) or slow (longer than 5 months)?
- Should trying to conceive continue or stop?
For my appointment, Questions 1 and 2 were the second time my OB was explaining our next steps. To be honest, I felt bad. I didn’t want him to think that I wasn’t listening, but asking allowed me to add to my notes, gave me clarity, and allowed the doctor to review our plans (which ended up being tweaked as we talked).
Question 3, is a very personal question that I almost didn’t include in this post. My final decision to include this third question was simple. This answer will be different for everyone. The doctor knows this answer by the end of your appointment, but may forget to tell you. My doctor had thought that I knew the answer and didn’t think it was necessary to say aloud. His words. When I asked, he gave me the opposite answer I was expecting. I found this question to be surprisingly helpful and, bonus, I didn’t have to call his office and ask a stranger. Now, after every appointment, this question is asked. Without fail, it has changed with the new information provided and I feel better knowing.
Final Thoughts/Take Away
My final thought on asking questions is ASK!
It doesn’t matter what the question is or if you’ve heard the information before—sometimes it needs to be repeated. It may spark new questions, a new path, or just provide clarity. You’ll never regret asking.