Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- List any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- List key elements of your health history, such as blood clots, bleeding incidents and a family history of high platelet counts.
- List key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking. Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, can increase the risk of blood clots in women with essential thrombocythemia.
- Take a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to take in all the information you hear during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- List questions to ask your doctor.
For essential thrombocythemia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition temporary or chronic?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- Will I need to take medication?
- Will I have any side effects from the treatment?
- What kind of follow up will I need?
- Do I need to restrict my activity?
- What are possible complications of my condition?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me?
- What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions that occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
June 24, 2015
- What signs and symptoms have you noticed?
- When did you first notice these signs and symptoms?
- Have they gotten worse over time?
- Have you had a recent medical procedure or blood transfusion?
- Have you had a recent infection or vaccine?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Do you have headaches, dizziness or weakness?
- Do you have any chest pain?
- Have you had any vision problems?
- Have you had any bleeding or bruising?
- Have you experienced any numbness or tingling in your hands or feet?
- Have you experienced any redness, throbbing or burning pain in your hands or feet?
- Do you have a family history of high platelet counts?
- Thrombocythemia. Merck Manuals Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/SearchResults?query=essential+thrombocythemia. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- Tefferi A. Diagnosis and clinical manifestations of essential thrombocythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- What are thrombocythemia and thrombocytosis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/thrm. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- Essential thrombocythemia. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/myeloproliferative/HealthProfessional/page5. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- Tefferi A. Prognosis and treatment of essential thrombocythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- Myeloproliferative disorders. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/myelopro-disorders/start/2. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- Mesa RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. May 16, 2015.
- Stroke: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/stroke.htm. Accessed May 19, 2015.
- Warning signs of a heart attack. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp. Accessed May 12, 2015.
- Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms treatment. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/myeloproliferative/Patient/page1/AllPages. Accessed May 13, 2015.