Pneumonia – Preparing for your Appointment

When people suspect they may be suffering from pneumonia, they are likely to schedule and appointment with their doctor. The doctor may immediately send you to a lung specialist or may perform some tests and exams on you to see ascertain if you have pneumonia and send you to a lung specialist (pulmonologist) or a doctor specializing in infectious diseases if he diagnoses you positive for it.

When going for an appointment the best thing to do is to come prepared. To do this you can follow the following useful tips such as:

  • Bringing along someone else with you to the appointment – It helps to have someone around to help you remember some of the information said during the appointment which may have slipped your mind.
  • List down all your questions before the appointment and bring the list with you so you may not forget those questions.
  • Write down the replies of the doctor and be sure everything he says you comprehend fully. If it’s needed, ask him to clarify what he said.
  • Do not hold back asking any questions related to your pneumonia that you feel is pertinent to you to your doctor. Also ask where you can find more information about the topics you are talking about.
  • Write down all important information regarding your condition like the vitamins, medications and supplements you are presently taking, exposure to toxic substances you’ve experienced and the recent and past hospitalizations you’ve gone through among others.
  • Make a list of the symptoms you are presently suffering from or have recently suffered. These can include symptoms related or unrelated to pneumonia. Write down your daily body temperature.
  • Make sure you know and follow all restrictions required by your doctor before your appointment, like not eating specific foods, not smoking or drinking alcohol days before your appointment, etc.

You can write down questions to ask your doctor like:

  • Are my symptoms suggestive of pneumonia?
  • How do you think did I get infected?
  • Are my symptoms indicative of a certain kind of pneumonia?
  • Is the low oxygen level in my blood something to be worried about?
  • Do I have symptoms that indicate my pneumonia is progressing to a more serious type?
  • Do I show symptoms that can indicate any complications?
  • Is my pneumonia contagious?

Regarding the chance of getting pneumonia:

  • Do I have other symptoms or issues that make me highly at risk of getting pneumonia?
  • How can I lower my chance of acquiring pneumonia?

Regarding treatment choices:

  • Do I suffer from bacterial pneumonia? Can it be treated with antibiotics?
  • Is there any treatment for viral pneumonia?
  • What do you think might happen to me if I don’t get treated?
  • What medications can you recommend for my pneumonia?
  • What are the side effects of these drugs? What are their benefits?
  • Will these drugs have an effect with the other medications (drugs, vitamins, supplements) I am presently using?
  • Are there generic medications to the meds you recommend?
  • Are there any good alternative or complimentary therapies that can treat my condition?
  • Can you recommend any comfort measures for my condition?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?

Questions regarding lifestyle changes:

  • Can you advise me one any changes to my lifestyle that can make me heal faster and help me prevent any recurrence of my pneumonia?
  • What recommendations can you give me to help me cease smoking?
  • Do I need to stop any activities I normally do?
  • When do you think I can go back to doing my regular activities?

Regarding your outlook:

  • Will my pneumonia come back again?    How long could this last?
  • Will I develop any complications from my condition?
  • How long will my condition last?

Other questions you can ask you doctor can include questions like:

  • Are their other possible causes for my pneumonia than the one you suggested?
  • What tests do I need to undergo?
  • What kind of pneumonia do I have (chronic, acute or temporary)?
  • What best treatment approach do you recommend for my condition?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?
  • What restrictions am I required to follow?
  • Do you have any printed information regarding my condition I can bring and read at home?
  • Are there are helpful websites you may suggest for me?
  • What do you think needs to happen to me before you consider me needing hospitalization?

Things to Expect From your Specialist

The doctor will query you about things regarding your pneumonia to give him a better view of your condition.  Some of these questions you may have answers written down beforehand and you can read the answers to your doctor if he questions you about them. It is important to provide the doctor with an accurate answer to enable him to come up with an accurate diagnosis of your condition and thus the right treatment approach. Some of these questions may be like:

  • When was the first time you felt or saw these symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms coming up occasionally or is it continuous?
  • Are your symptoms severe or mild?
  • Do you do or take anything that betters your symptoms? What do you do or take that seems to worsen them?
  • Have you recently been on a trip? Have you been exposed to certain people with upper respiratory conditions or to any toxic materials?

Other things to do to prepare well for your appointment

  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Stay out of work, school or public places if you show signs of pneumonia and until the doctor tells you it’s OK.
  • Keep on drinking copious amounts of fluids
  • If your condition gets worse, go immediately to an emergency room

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St # 101
Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: (360) 715-1824
www.bellinghamacupuncturecenter.com

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