Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your primary care provider. He or she might refer you to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases. Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your infection, you may also see other doctors, such as a lung specialist (pulmonologist) or a heart specialist (cardiologist).

What you can do

  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any possible exposure to areas with numerous birds or bats.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

For histoplasmosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • How could I have gotten this infection?
  • What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • Will this infection get better on its own, or do I need treatment?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
  • Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Can I get infected again?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Do you work outdoors?
  • Have you spent an extended time in areas with large populations of birds?
  • Have you spent any time in caves? Or other areas where bats might congregate?
Jan. 08, 2015