The relationship a brain injury survivor has with his or her doctor will significantly affect the quality of care he or she receives, and therefore the long-term prognosis. The best kind of relationship the a person with a traumatic brain injury can have with his or her doctor is one that is open, honest, and easily accessible.
Write Down the Issues
The time following a traumatic brain injury can be incredibly frustrating, with the patient experiencing a wide variety of symptoms. For example, the patient may complain of headache at one visit, only to be plagued by dizziness or memory issues the next. The best way for a survivor to ensure that all symptoms and taken care of is to keep a running list of issues and problems. A journal that keeps track of when symptoms occur, and their severity, will help the doctor come up with an effective treatment plan.
Ask Plenty of Questions
Similarly, the survivor should keep a list of questions about his or her condition, and should schedule extra time at the end of doctor’s appointment to make sure that all questions are answered. Doctors should be forthcoming about rehabilitation, recovery, and long-term prognosis. It’s perfectly acceptable for the patient to ask the doctor for advice concerning resources, support groups, and finances. Doctors who deal with traumatic brain injury are well versed in these subjects, and should be able to steer the survivor in the right direction.
While it’s important to share issues and problems, it’s equally as important to share progress and victories. Sharing good news will help the doctor figure out what’s working, and will aid him or her in planning future treatment.
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