Managing Acid Reflux: Big 18 At The Doctor's Office
My first class as an occupational therapy student was based around an introduction to the area of study, giving us an idea of what to expect in the profession. We spent a bigger part of the semester talking about reimbursement and how insurance influences our society. Our professor gave us a piece of advice, not only as future medical professionals, but as young adults entering the “real world.” She said the best place to start understanding insurance policies collectively is to learn our own, and she suggested that we each take the time to go home and read about our own coverage. I still haven’t gotten around to reading the 30 some pages of my member handbook, but I have started to take more perceptive on how the system works and how it can affect me.
My greatest resource is my mom and when it comes to questions about insurance and then how to approach doctor’s appointments. She’s the one I go to. She’s been taking care of that stuff for me for 18 years so I figure she knows a thing or two about it. After you get all the insurance business settled, you’re off to the appointment.
Three things to remember:
- Come prepared. My mom always had these note pads sitting next to our medicine cabinet and whenever my sisters or I had a change in health or medicines, height, weight, just about anything, she would make a little note and date it. Every time we went to the GI doctor, we could tell them anything they needed to know. It does really matter! Tracking symptoms can also help you or your doctor see a pattern in their occurrence.
- Ask questions! Your doctor has gone to school for years to be able to understand and help YOU understand your body. Those big medical terms catch me all the time so if you need clarification, ask for it!
- Most importantly: Be your own advocate. You know your body better than anyone else and you know when something’s not right. A doctor can help you figure out what may be wrong and they can put the puzzle together, but you have to give them the pieces to do so.
When I’m home, my mom usually still comes to the doctor with me. It’s a personal choice because, while I’m legally an adult, I still want her to be involved in my medical decisions. Whether or not you take yourself to the doctor, it’s always a good time to start understanding the process and independently advocating for yourself.