We are taking a journey through the eyes of a patient with persistent fatigue. We have gone from someone you know and trust referring you to me to completing my “long as a CVS Pharmacy receipt” intake form. Now what?
This is my very favorite part. We spend time together. I get to know you, you get to know me (I’m a Trader Joe’s groupie) I listen, I take notes, I ask questions and you talk.
I ask things like…
- When did this start?
- When was the last time you felt great?
- What have you done so far to resolve it?
- Tell me what worked?
- What didn’t work?
This accomplishes many things.
- It allows you time to relax and spend some concentrated effort really looking at your fatigue. Often, we realize we have a problem when it’s been in the background so long that we have almost gotten used to it. This is your chance to put on your own detective hat and potentially have an “aha” moment. I have had patients realize their fatigue started after their child was born 20+ years ago, after they were backpacking in a national park or after a loved one died. These are all clues to help us resolve your fatigue.
- It allows you to list what worked and what didn’t work. Bonus, I’m taking notes. We will not recreate the wheel. If you have tried swinging from the chandelier, we will cross that off our list. No, I’m not suggesting you swing from a chandelier, that is dangerous and takes dexterity and strength that I’m sure you are lacking if you are fatigued. We will definitely put a plan together to make sure the appropriate actions that haven’t been tried are taken.
- It allows us to make sure your lab work is complete and thorough. When I say, we will leave no stone unturned, I mean it. If we are evaluating thyroid function (which is a gland in your throat area that controls your ability to maintain a healthy weight and adequate energy among other things) we will not just test for two markers when there are at least eight.
And more. Don’t be surprised if I ask to see a picture of your dog, your garden or your latest quilt creation (those are freakin’ impressive!). We are building a relationship of trust and I look forward to getting to know you.