It is normal to have trouble remembering to ask all your questions or to remember all the things your doctor tells you. Medical appointments can make you nervous and tense, which can increase forgetfulness.
Remember – you play the most important role in your healthcare. Your healthcare team is there to help you learn how to live with coronary artery disease. So do not be afraid to tell them anything about your health that worries you (e.g., problems you have in doing what they have told you, changing your lifestyle or taking your medications). Your team needs to know these things to make the best decisions with you.
Preparing for a doctor’s appointment
It is normal to have questions and worries about your health. It is also normal to have trouble remembering your questions or all the things the doctor tells you.
Preparing in advance can help to make the most of your appointment.
- What is the reason for your visit? What do you need from your doctor?
- Find out (before the appointment) if there is anything you shouldn’t eat or drink before a blood test.
- Write a list of all your questions to make sure you get all the answers you need. Here are a few examples:
- What caused my coronary artery disease? Why and how did it happen?
- What is causing the symptoms I am having now?
- What tests do I take? How often?
- What is the best treatment for my condition?
- How can I take care of my other health problems while I look after my heart disease?
- What are the side effects of my medications and what should I do about them?
- Make a list of any physical changes you have noticed (all your symptoms) so that you can tell your doctor.
- Always carry a list of all your medications. Update the list if your doctor changes a prescription or prescribes a new medication.
- Bring a note pad and pen to make notes that you can refer to later.
- Bring a family member or a friend for support and to help you remember important information. If you are alone, ask the doctor’s permission to record your conversation on your cell phone.
Living with heart disease (PDF)
Talking to your doctor (PDF)
Virtual healthcare checklist (PDF)