Be an Active Participant in Care
Your chances of achieving that goal are better than ever before if you become an active partner in your own health care.
Being an active partner in your own health care means taking some simple steps:
- Learn as much as you can about the kind of epilepsy you have. Ask about the diagnosis, look it up on the Epilepsy Foundation’s website.
- Ask questions about your treatment. Write them down before your appointment with the doctor.
- Ask what you should expect from the treatment you are having, and whether there are alternatives.
- Give accurate feedback to your health care team about how you feel and how many seizures you’re having.
- Tell your health care team about problems with sleep, memory, anxiety or depression. Ask about treatments that might help.
- Keep a medical history folder to track medication changes, and their effects. Include information on any tests you have done, and their results.
- Keep a seizure calendar to track your seizures. Having a written record will help you report more accurately when you see the doctor.
If you are a woman with epilepsy, chart your seizures and your menstrual periods. If they seem to happen around the same time, that information can help your doctor choose the best meds for you.
As an active health care partner you will also want to:
- Ask about side effects when you start a new seizure medicine. Ask which effects usually go away after a time and which ones should be reported quickly.
- Ask your doctor if you can take a generic version of your epilepsy medicine or whether you need to take the brand name product.
- Make sure that your health care team knows that you are willing to try new medications or other new treatments to get your seizures under better control.
You – helping you. Seeing the best professional person you can to help you get the best epilepsy treatment possible is certainly in your best interest. Asking questions and getting the best answers isn’t anything to be afraid of or ashamed of.
It just means you recognize what you’re dealing with and you’ve become an active participant in doing something about it.
Because in this as in so much more, the best advocate for getting the best care is always – you!
Learn more: www.epilepsyfoundation.org