Write down questions and bring them with you to your appointments
Take time before your visit to write down any thoughts and questions you may have so you can feel prepared and confident talking openly with your doctor. You may find it useful to keep a journal with all your doctor's answers so you can review them as needed.
- Understand your doctor's instructions
Make sure you are clear about all of your doctor's instructions before leaving the office. You may want to take notes about instructions so you can refer to them later.
- Find out if there are any pre-appointment restrictions
Be sure to ask if there is anything you need to do in advance. For example, before blood work including cholesterol tests, you may be asked to fast for a period of time.
- Take someone with you to help you remember instructions and answers to questions
If a family member or a friend accompanies you to your appointments, ask him or her to take notes for you.
- Get regular checkups
Mark down your appointments on a calendar and be sure to keep them. You'll feel more in control of your condition and situation if you are keeping your appointments.
- Keep a medical notebook
Write down your key medical information: when you are diagnosed, all medications and supplements you're taking, and any family history of heart disease that you may have.
Questions for your doctor
If you were recently diagnosed with CAD and you are feeling overwhelmed, it's important to sit down with your doctor and discuss all the questions, feelings, and concerns that you have. The more informed you are about your own condition, the more in control you'll feel. Questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
- What is my diagnosis?
- How long have I had this condition?
- Do I need to have any more diagnostic tests?
- What are my treatment options?
- Will I need surgery?
- Do I need to see another specialist?
- What is my risk of long-term complications?
- How will I have to alter my life or daily routine?
- Do I need to make changes to my diet?
- What about exercise—should I change it, increase it, or decrease it?
- How frequently will you need to see me for follow-up visits?
- What medication will I need to take?