If you are fortunate you will find a doctor that is comfortable in acting as a partner in your health care. You can begin this relationship on the right foot by indicating that you are willing to take as much responsibility as feasible for your own health.
The doctor patient relationship can be a bit complex. Sharing responsibility for your health care doesn’t mean you will be on an equal footing with your doctor when it comes to the amount of knowledge and experience you may possess regarding your symptoms or your condition.
Your doctor knows medicine best and you know yourself best. That’s a good place to start. Your values, your lifestyle, your beliefs and even your sense of humor may differ from your doctor’s. You should be able to frankly work out a course of action and treatment–sometimes only after acknowledging these differences.
In the case of chest pain your initial encounter with a doctor may seem a little one-sided because you will be asked a great many questions by your doctor other healthcare worker.
Even in the face of the anxiety that often accompanies chest pain you should try to be prepared to answer the following questions as accurately as possible.
What are your known health risks?
Have you ever experienced a chest injury? When was that? Was it the result of a fall? Do past injuries affect your current health?
Are you a diabetic?
Do you have low blood sugar?
Have you ever experienced pain like this in the past? Are other symptoms present? What are those other symptoms?
Have you experienced and ignored chest pains in the past?
Have your been treated for chest pain before? If so, where was that? Was another doctor involved? What treatment did you receive? Were you diagnosed? What tests were conducted?
What were you doing when the pain came upon you?
Is you chest pain related to any of the following?
* Sitting up
* Lying down
* Eating food
* Eating certain foods
* The position of your body
* Physical activity
* Emotion stress
* Sexual activity
Have you taken any prescription or over-the-counter drugs to relieve your pain?
Have you taken home remedies to relieve your pain?
Have you consumed any alcohol to relieve your pain?
Have you recently taken any recreational drugs?
Are you using any medication designed to treat erectile dysfunction?
Timing and Duration
When did your current chest pain start? How long did it last? How often has the pain occurred recently?
The Nature of Your Pain
Can you gauge the severity of your pain? Can you compare your pain to any other sensation? Where is the pain located in your body?
Does your pain begin in the chest and spread to any other part of your body? Does it begin, instead, another part of the body and then spread to the chest?
Try not to consider any of the above questions as overly intrusive or judgmental of you or the way that you live. Your healthcare professionals are here to help you.