Recently I’ve been on a hot streak seeing a doctor or a primary care provider once every month, and each time I go fearing what they’ll discover. And I’ll tell you, it doesn’t help when I hear, “We’ll, I’ve never seen that before.” or “Oh, that doesn’t look good!”
When you see a doctor as often as many of us, good communication is critically important – particularly for us older adults who often have more serious health conditions. If your doctor doesn’t know what you are experiencing, how is she going to treat you effectively? And if you don’t understand the hows, whats, and whys of your diagnosis and treatment, how are you going to follow your doctor’s advice?
So how best can you communicate with your doctor? Here are a few tips provided by the National Institute on Aging.
1.) Be honest. Don’t just say what you want the doctor to hear – that you have been exercising even when you haven’t. Tell it like it is so she’ll have accurate information for your diagnosis and treatment.
2.) Decide which three or four questions you’ll ask and state them at the beginning of the appointment, so they aren’t overlooked. You can start by listing all your concerns and prioritizing them before your visit. And if you don’t understand the answers, ask your doctor to clarify.
3.) Stick to the point. I always enjoy the friendly small-town chats but keep it short and get to the reason you’re there. Briefly state your symptoms, when they started, how often they happen, and if they are getting worse or better.
4.) Share your feelings about the visit. Tell your doctor if you feel rushed, worried, or uncomfortable.
And I’ll add one more from my own experience.
5) Consider bringing another set of ears – especially if you have difficulty hearing. They may catch something important you missed.
You can learn more by picking up a copy of the National Institute on Aging’s “A Guide for Older People – Talking with Your Doctor” or you can go to their website www.nia.nih.gov/health.
I have to give a plug for the upcoming theater production of Ripcord by Big Britches Productions. You won’t find many plays that feature older adults. But this comic drama by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Joe Garoutte “explores adversarial relationships between two older women in the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility: cantankerous Abby forced to share her sunny room with newly arrived and infuriatingly chipper Marilyn”.
The plot involves a seemingly harmless bet which quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship revealing not just the tenacity of these worthy opponents, but also the deeper truths they would prefer to remain hidden.
Ripcord plays at The Bingen Theater, 210 Oak St. Bingen with shows on January 27th, 28th, February 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th at 7:30 PM and January 29th, February 5th at 2:00 pm. Admission is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors. For more information, visit bigbritches.org or email email@example.com.
The name of the prehistoric reptilian monster that debuted in the 1954 film and has been called the “King of the Monsters” is Godzilla. I received correct answers from Emmett Sampson, Lana Tepfer, Deloris Schrader, Kim Birge, Dave Lutgens, Donna Mollet, Maria Kollas, and Melissa Hayes who sent me a picture of Godzilla fighting King Kong and is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
Game shows have been a staple of daytime television since the 1950s and we all had our favorites – What’s My Line?, I’ve Got A Secret, or To Tell the Truth. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was the television game show host for Truth or Consequences from 1956 to 1975 and The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a donation to your favorite animal rights organization.
Brain Tease: Another test of your grey matter. How many pennies can you put into an empty piggy bank?
Well, it’s been another week, looking for the prize in the cereal box. Until we meet again, as I often have to remind myself, there is a reason we have two ears and only one mouth.
“If a man loses anything and goes back and looks carefully for it, he will find it.” Sitting Bull
Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through Friday unless otherwise noted.
Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Hood River
Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center
(541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333)
For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office
(509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068); Skamania County Senior
Answer: Just one – after that it won’t be empty.