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Author Topic: what to expect at first dr visit?  (Read 2337 times)

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Offline tippytu

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  • Posts: 71
what to expect at first dr visit?
« on: August 18, 2013, 09:03:18 AM »
just wondering what I should expect at my first Dr visit other than blood work? I'm I going to have to get undressed & all of that? I just want to be prepared.

Also I'm just wondering when I go to the Dr for something non HIV related are they able to see all my records & know I'm positive? There are just some instances in which I don't feel that information is important & would prefer for it to be keep private

Offline JMMich

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  • Posts: 18
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 10:19:34 AM »
Hi tippy,

I just had my first doctor visit for HIV two months ago, so it's still pretty fresh in my memory. It went something like this: my doctor and I discussed what I knew about HIV and HIV treatments, he answered all the questions I had (be sure that any questions you have, you have written down beforehand so you don't forget them), and then gave me a quick exam. He checked for swollen lymph nodes, ears, nose, throat, lungs, etc. There was also a quick check for anything "down below," and although it wasn't anything extensive, it did involve removal of the pants. Your doctor may or may not do the same. Other than that, it was just drawing the blood.

A quick note on the blood draw: they may take quite a bit on the first draw if your doctor wants to run lots of different tests. Don't be intimidated, as future draws won't be nearly as much (I had my second draw this past week, and it was a fraction of the first one). Your doctor may also run tests that require a urine sample. Be sure you drink lots of water, both before and after. That will ensure that you aren't stuck waiting if a urine sample is needed, and the water will help your body replenish the blood that is drawn. I always drink a ton of water every day just for general health reasons, and it really helped; I didn't even feel woozy after the draw.

As to the second question, that I really can't answer since my HIV doc is the only doc I've been to in years.

Best of luck to you!

-JMMich

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 10:22:55 AM »
just wondering what I should expect at my first Dr visit other than blood work? I'm I going to have to get undressed & all of that? I just want to be prepared.

Also I'm just wondering when I go to the Dr for something non HIV related are they able to see all my records & know I'm positive? There are just some instances in which I don't feel that information is important & would prefer for it to be keep private

Hi Tippy . The process of drawing labs isn't a particularly stressful procedure . You will most likely see your doctor or a nurse practitioner , they will examine you or discuss what labs will drawn and you will have an opportunity to ask questions you may have .

I have not had to disrobe for the procedure unless they need to specifically examine me for some reason . After the labs are drawn be sure and ask for a follow up with them for the results even if by phone or mail .

I urge you to tell all of your healthcare providers that you are living with HIV . If you have a doctor you do not trust then find on that you can . If you are grappling with disclosure issues finding healthcare providers you can tell and feel safe with is a good way to begin discussing your HIV status with others and see that disclosing isnt always an unpleasant experience .

Its important to remember , how would you feel if your doctor withheld some important information from you ?  You would never trust him again would you ... your run the risk of having a doctor that doesn't trust you if you are not honest with them  .

You doctors need to know the whole picture of your state of health in order to treat you successfully .   

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 11:17:13 AM »
Hi Tippy,

The first thing, that I would suggest, is to write down a list of all the questions that you may have, and don't be afraid to ask those questions. Let the doctor know of any other health conditions that may be gong on.

I would also suggest, that if you have a family member, friend , or loved one, that you trust,... you should ask that person, if they would like to accompany you on that first visit.  There should be no problem with that person, sitting with you and the doctor in the office. Let the doctor know, that this would make you comfortable.

Remember, your doctor is working for you ! Ask questions, be honest, let him/her know everything that is on you mind. Once you get a good doctor/ patient relationship going, these visits, will seem like nothing at all.

Now, in my case, when I had my real first visit with the doctor, in 2003, I thought it went extremely well. My health at that time was much different , than what you are probably going through, So I was quite anxious, to see the doctor, and get the ball rolling. My first visit was well over an hour long, with plenty of conversation going on. Discussing possible regimens,  along with the possible side effects of all the medications he was going to prescribe.

I was quite sick in 2003, and had a few opportunistic infections going on.  So, when it came to drawing blood, I was happy to give as much as they wanted, because I knew it was for a good reason. I wanted to get well and I wanted it quickly !

The doctor I had at that time, the labs could be drawn in his office.  This made it real convenient, as I didn't have to make an additional appointment at Quest diagnostics, or someplace else to get blood drawn.


The first visit for me, went great ! A big part of our discussion was about all the med options, and when I walked out of the doctors office, I had my prescriptions in hand for my HIV medications, and a few others as well ( bactrim, zithromax, Diflucan, Valtrex,Vi -Q- Tuss liquid, and some medications at that time for shingles) Like I mentioned earlier, I was one sick puppy !

I remember having to take my shirt off, so the doctor could check me over.  A little prodding and probing, under and around the armpits, the neck, and checking around the abdomen, and groin area...  This is routine for me, ( as it is for all of us),  and happens on each doctors visit I go to. He may look down your throat, look in your ears, examine your skin.... 

I can understand that there is some anxiety, on that first visit, But try to relax and be comfortable. I am sure your visit will go very well. 

Let us know---Ray

« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 11:33:59 AM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline tippytu

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  • Posts: 71
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 12:02:59 PM »
my husband will be with me first visit.. he's positive too...it'll be his first visit  also.  I'm already on meds they gave me right away because I was diagnosed during pregnancy.


 As far as telling other health care providers if I need to go to the Dr for non HIV related things I am not going g to disclose not if ands or buts about it...that's why I want to know if they will have access to my records...I live in a small not small tibh town & I work in healthcare therefore I know someone in virtually every office in town & I know HIPPA yada yada but Ialso know people talk...& I have my children to protect...

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 04:42:37 PM »
my husband will be with me first visit.. he's positive too...it'll be his first visit  also.  I'm already on meds they gave me right away because I was diagnosed during pregnancy.


 As far as telling other health care providers if I need to go to the Dr for non HIV related things I am not going g to disclose not if ands or buts about it...that's why I want to know if they will have access to my records...I live in a small not small tibh town & I work in healthcare therefore I know someone in virtually every office in town & I know HIPPA yada yada but Ialso know people talk...& I have my children to protect...

I am glad yuour hisband will go with you!

As for other doctors, you really micromanage your case at your own peril. Healthcare workers tend to be the worst patients regardless, and by not disclosing to other doctors you rob yourself of adequate health care.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Habersham

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  • Posts: 317
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 04:56:32 PM »
That's great news Tippy!  So I guess your husband didn't cancel your health coverage?  Do you still have your car or is he driving you there?
Because I Can

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 05:51:36 PM »
As far as telling other health care providers if I need to go to the Dr for non HIV related things I am not going g to disclose not if ands or buts about it...that's why I want to know if they will have access to my records...

Your choice.

But please be advised, if they do not have knowledge of your health history and prescribe you medications, these medications could have harmful interactions with your HIV meds. 

I have my children to protect...

Protect from what? 

I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 06:13:53 PM »
Hi Tippy , please do not get discouraged from all of us that offer advice that sounds hard to hear or harsh , not that anybody has said anything out of the way too you .

Your still coming to terms with your diagnoses and its an honer that you chose us and allow us to be a part of the healing and eventual acceptance of knowing you can live a damn good life despite HIV .

I have been angered and challenged by the members of this forum from time to time and its not pleasant to be in that position . I have had HIV a very long time but one thing this old dog has learned is that when the advice I'm being given is offered with the general consensus of many , I had better listen , especially if its something I don't want to hear .

You are new here and still vulnerable and hurting and I want you to stick around , so although it may not be comfortable or you feel challenged , one day you will be the person giving support and trying to help another on their way simply because its the right thing to do . Hugs .

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 07:08:44 PM »
Tip,...

You will most likely have some forms to fill out when you get to the doctors office.

These forms will be asking you all about your health issues, and may ask to be able to "release" this information.

I recently took my partner to a neurologist ( first time visit--He is HIV negative). The questioner asked him all about his health conditions.  HIV was one of the questions.

His health care goes through Baycare Health system.


Below is the form he signed: ( you may or may not have a similar form to sign, or not to sign. It's your choice. In this form, ONLY those the Baycare Healthcare system can access this electronic info info. This is only an example of a form you may fill out

http://www.baycare.org/workfiles//eHX%20Conset%20BC1301713_Final.pdf


Here is " Details about your health information in Baycare eHX and the consent process.  You may have to zoom in on this document, as this is what they handed to him, after filling out the necessary info. I took a picture of this:








« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 07:22:28 PM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 07:11:50 PM »

Part 2:





Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 07:19:32 PM »
T...

I get my health care through the Veterans healthcare system. Everything is on computer , and is shared within the VA healthcare sytem.

When I see my eye doctor, he is aware of my HIV status, along with my dermatologist and my dentist, any anyone else, that I may be referred to.

I've always shared this info, long before I went into the VA healthcare system, and never had any issues, about my private info being exposed.


Honestly, you are only hurting yourself by not letting this info known, between you doctors and specialists.  It's for your own good, and sooner or later you will have to disclose anyway, when it comes to receiving medication, that may interact with you HIV medications.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline tippytu

  • Member
  • Posts: 71
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 09:15:36 PM »
That's great news Tippy!  So I guess your husband didn't cancel your health coverage?  Do you still have your car or is he driving you there?
No he didn't cancel my insurance because we are trying to stay in the marriage so I still have my car for now to.o
Quote
[

Offline tippytu

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  • Posts: 71
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 09:21:22 PM »
When I said protecting my children I meant if people found out about my being positive...I know first hand how people I'm this small town judge & I dont want my kids to ever have to pay for my mistakes!

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2013, 09:39:00 PM »
When I said protecting my children I meant if people found out about my being positive...I know first hand how people I'm this small town judge & I dont want my kids to ever have to pay for my mistakes!

I understand your fears - but putting your health at great risk will certainly not serve your children better.

MANY commonly prescribed drugs interact with HIV medication. And while your non-disclosure ideas might work in the short term, maybe for years. But it's unsustainable, and the time to start making other plans is now.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline skeebo1969

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  • Posts: 5,705
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2013, 10:19:05 PM »
When I said protecting my children I meant if people found out about my being positive...I know first hand how people I'm this small town judge & I dont want my kids to ever have to pay for my mistakes!

That's understandable.  It's a shame that your area is like this.  I guess it's something I can't relate to.  I have been disappointed with family members who gossiped and judged me because of certain aspects of my life, HIV just being one, and I've pretty much shut them out.

It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made, and one that I continue to grapple with.

I'm glad to hear you and your husband are working through this.  I hated hearing the possibility of you being alone during such a difficult time and also having health insurance taken out from under you.

I really hope you get to a better emotional place in all this.  It's difficult, I know. 

Regarding the disclosure issue to other healthcare providers I hope you understand how serious of a matter this is that may need rethinking on your part.  In my case, and my also wife for that matter, we've told just about every doctor we come into contact with.   Just an example, my eye doctor is even more thorough regarding certain issues because I also have CMV.

At the end of the day, it's your choice.  I commend you for talking about it though.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline tippytu

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  • Posts: 71
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 10:39:22 PM »
I will consider telling otherbdr's but I'm still various as to how much they know from electronic health records...

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: what to expect at first dr visit?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2013, 06:04:21 AM »
Tippy, there is the possibility that you may be able to inform a doctor that you're hiv positive, but have them keep that information out of your permanent record. You'll have to discuss this with each individual doctor, explaining why you do not want it written down.

I had my hiv status kept out of my GP's records for a while, because I also live in a small town (on a small island) and yes, some employees in my GP's office are notorious gossips. I only kept it out of my records for a few years while my daughter was young. I absolutely did tell though.

As others have said, it's important that your doctors all know about your hiv status (and this includes eye doctors and dentists) so they can give you the best care they can. And it's imperative they know what meds you're on before they prescribe anything new.

I'm glad to hear you and your husband are trying to make a go of it. I too was worried about you. Good luck!
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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