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Author Topic: QUESTIONS FOR MY DOCTOR...FIRST VISIT!!!  (Read 5064 times)

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Offline Bruce_Wayne

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  • Posts: 39
« on: May 28, 2008, 07:24:49 PM »
Well after being off of work for two weeks, being hospitilzed for 4 days with PCP and now back working again I'm finally gonna meet my Doctor for the first time. LOL. What are some of the questions should I ask? I've never been on HIV meds and I have a CD4 count of under 20. They drew like 10 tubes of blood already so hopefully my virial load is ready. Will I be able to start my HIV meds even though I'm still fighting the PCP. What are some general questions I should ask? I have a pen and pad handle so SHOOT!!!

Thanks for understanding.

Offline BT65

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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 07:29:34 PM »
Well, of course you're going to want to discuss meds with your doctor.  I wonder if they did a resistance test to see what (if any) meds you're resistant to.  Up under the Aidsmeds.com logo, there's links to "lessons" and "drugs" that are helpful.  You might want to take some time, read over those, and try to formulate your questions afterwards.  I can't remember all the questions I asked my doctor the first visit, it's been so long.  You may want to ask your doctor for the name and number of the nearest ASO (Aids Service Organization) in your town who can help you if need any kind of government assistance (they can walk you through all that paperwork), and might also have a support group.  You might want to ask your doctor about hep B/C testing and vaccinations you might need. 

I wish I could think of more lucrative things to ask.  I'm sure others will chime in.  Good luck and let us know how things go!
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Offline Bruce_Wayne

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  • Posts: 39
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2008, 07:52:36 PM »
Thanks Betty! I met with a Case Worker today and filled out some papers. I'm going back tommorrow to fill out some more after my Doc. Appt. I'm sure he did a restiance test but I'll make sure I ask. I've been doing alot of research on the drugs and its scary. LOL. I'm kinda leaning towards Atripla because I've heard alot of great things about it with basically no horrible side effects. I just wanna make sure I don't forget something important to ask and since most of you have already been thru I thought I could get a little advice. Thanks again! If you think of a question I should ask post away!

Offline pacerintl

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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2008, 08:13:10 PM »

WebMD's 10 Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor About HIV/AIDS
Going to the doctor can be intimidating. You might feel rushed and forget to ask questions that are important. It's always a good idea to know what to ask beforehand and to take notes when with the doctor. Some of the questions below may be worth asking. Print out this page and take it with you to your next appointment.

1. Are you experienced in the treatment of HIV infection and AIDS?

2. What can I do to improve my health and delay the onset of medical problems connected with HIV infection?

3. In what ways should I change my day-to-day life?

4. How physically active can I be with HIV or AIDS?

5. What are the signs of complications or opportunistic infections?

6. What can I do to prevent opportunistic infections?

7. What can I do to prevent others from becoming infected with my HIV?

8. Do I have to take the medication if I'm feeling well?

9. How do you determine which medications I should be taking?

10. How will we monitor my immune system's health?

One of the most important things you can do to make sure you take your medicine correctly is to talk with your doctor about your lifestyle, such as your sleeping and eating schedule. If your doctor prescribes a drug, be sure and ask the following questions (and make sure you understand the answers):

1.  What dose of the drug should be taken? How many pills does this mean?
2.  How often should the drug be taken?
3.  Does it matter if it is taken with food, or on an empty stomach?
4.  Does the drug have to be kept in a refrigerator?
5.  What are the side effects of the drug?
6.  What should be done to deal with the side effects?
7.  How severe do side effects have to be before a doctor is called?

During every visit to your doctor, you should talk about whether you are having trouble staying on your treatment plan. Studies show that patients who take their medicine in the right way get the best results: their viral loads stay down, their CD4 counts stay up, and they feel healthier.

« Last Edit: May 28, 2008, 09:02:39 PM by pacerintl »

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2008, 08:44:25 PM »

Perhaps its a repeat of pacer's number 4, but what about asking specifically about what you can and can't do physically now, how you will know that you are overdoing and need to rest more

And the follow on to that is how rapidly you can resume your normal schedule and when you will know its OK to go all the way back to your regular routines.

Plus it might be good to do some level setting on what constitutes a problem where you should see the doctor now, when you would not have before (e.g. any difference in how long you should manage an apparent cold by yourself, etc.)

Good luck -- make sure you have a way to jot down answers -- or perhaps take someone with you to do that (and to be a second set of ears)

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%
2014 VL UD - 48
2015 VL 130 Moved to Triumeq

Offline BlueMoon

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  • Calling from the Fun House
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 01:43:17 AM »
I have found that the doctors do a pretty good job of discussing things without me needing to bring them up.  Most of the questions I've asked have been to clarify things that they've told me.  Even so, be prepared with a list.  The other replies here have covered that pretty well.  One thing to ask about is a phone number for questions that arise after you've had a day or two to mull over what the doctor tells you.   

If you've had just one blood test so far then probably there was no genotype test for resistance done, and you will not be prescribed HIV medication until it is.  That will require another blood draw, and then it can take three weeks or more to get the results. 

I've found the pace of things to be frustratingly slow.  I was ready to start meds the day I got my first blood test results, but it was another three months before I swallowed the first pill.
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.


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