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Worried, And Well

Kelly Deis is an executive assistant in the Public Relations Department.

After a routine appointment for lab work, I received a phone call from my doctor’s office asking me to come in for a physical.  I immediately became concerned because normally when my lab results are normal, I get them in the mail with a nice note from the doctor stating that everything is fine.  Not this time.  I wondered why they needed to see me.  Was something wrong?

I called the office back, and rather than ask about my results, I dutifully made my appointment – for two weeks later.  For those two weeks many thoughts ran through my mind – If there was something truly wrong, they wouldn’t wait two weeks to see me – would they?  Is my cholesterol high?  Do I have diabetes?  Is my liver okay?  And with those thoughts I had visions of the doctor lecturing me on my lifestyle, how I need to improve my diet, exercise more.

I had my appointment today.  My lab results were perfectly normal.  Turns out, I hadn’t had a physical in over a year, and it was just time.  No lectures.  No having to defend my lifestyle.  I sure could have saved  a lot of stress and worry if I had just inquired about the lab results earlier.  Take a lesson from me, if you have questions for your doctor, don’t be afraid to ask.  You’ll feel better that you did.

In WakeMed’s Partner’s in Care Brochure, we provide a few tips for communicating with your physician – whether in the hospital or in their office.  Good communication with your health care team will improve your safety and satisfaction with your care.

Ask questions. If you ever have questions or concerns, something doesn’t seem quite right, or you don’t understand something – Just Ask. It may be helpful to write down important questions and to take notes when the doctor visits.

Enlist an advocate. Enlist a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate. With your permission, your advocate can ask questions that you may not think of while you are under stress and can help you remember the answers. Ask this person to stay with you, even overnight if you are ever a patient in the hospital.