Looking forward to your first (or 100th!) visit with your kidney specialist? Here’s how you can make the most of your appointment.
Before Your Visit
- Pack all of the things you need. Don’t forget:
- All the medications and herbal or nutritional supplements you take. Sometimes bringing the actual pill bottles to your visit is the best way to show your doctor exactly what you are taking.
- Medical insurance card.
- A list of all your medical conditions and surgeries.
- A list of all of your current doctors with their contact information.
- A log of blood pressure or blood sugar readings if you track them.
- Ask the office if you will need to give a urine sample. If you will, make sure you arrive with a full bladder!
- Think ahead. Write down the questions you have for your doctor. It can be hard to remember all of your questions during your visit.
During Your Visit
- Be on time. If you are late to your appointment, there is a chance the doctor will not be able to see you. Or, your visit might be rushed. Arriving on schedule allows you to make the most of your time with your doctor.
- Ask questions. If you don’t understand something the doctor is telling you, ask for clarification. It is important you understand everything you can about your kidneys and health. Here are some good questions:
- Why are my kidneys not working as well as they should?
- How well are my kidneys working?
- What numbers on my lab results do I need to know?
- Is my kidney function decreasing or staying the same?
- What are my treatment options?
- Should I expect any side effects of new meds?
- Is there anything else I can do to help keep my kidneys healthy?
- How can I reach you after the appointment with questions or problems?
After Your Visit
- Get all the tests you need. If your doctor asks you to get a blood, urine, or other kind of test, have them done as soon as possible.
- Schedule your next visits. Your kidney doctor might suggest that you see other healthcare providers — for example, a registered dietitian, a transplant doctor, or another kind of doctor. Get those appointments on the calendar right away.
- Change your medication routine. If your doctor changed the type or amount of medicine you take, make sure to fill any new prescriptions right away so you can take your medicine how your doctor recommends.
- Follow up. Most people will see their kidney doctor every few months. It is very important to go to all of your appointments. This way, your doctor can closely monitor how your kidneys are doing — and make changes if needed.
A Livongo expert coach can help you prepare for a visit with your kidney doctor. Schedule an appointment with one today.