Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, find out if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
  • Write down your symptoms, even those that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
  • If you're a menstruating woman, write down the date your last period started.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
  • Bring a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions for your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. For toxic shock syndrome, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Do you use superabsorbent tampons?
  • What type of birth control do you use?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
May. 08, 2014

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