Tips from super smart readers on how to have great doctor visits to help create accurate records for their disability cases.
🌷 When I am choosing a doctor, I always tell them I am on disability and ask if they will assist with my reviews if needed.
Some doctors tell me right away that they will never do disability paperwork. Some doctors have an office policy about “no disability paperwork.” That is not the right doctor for me. – RL
🌷 When I go to a new doctor, I always let them know up front that if I’m rechecked by disability, I’ll need them to write a brief note explaining what my illness is and that I’m not able to seek or maintain gainful employment. So far, each have done that for me. – Clarissa Shepherd
🌷 I always remind the Doctor to add all of the symptoms I report in my medical records. I take a list of the official symptoms for ME/CFS and highlight all of them which pertain to me and ask them to add those to my medical records. Afterwards, I have a record of the visit mailed to me to make sure, its all being documented. – Clarissa Shepherd
🌷 Tell your doctor about all your symptoms and how much they limit you. Try to talk with her about this while she is writing in your records. If you tell her while she is examining you or while she is standing at the sink, she may not write it down. – BC
🌷 I made a special appointment with each of my doctors to fill out disability paperwork. I just knew they weren’t going to fill out the forms if I didn’t sit there with them. Plus, I wanted to be there to answer any questions they might have. If I wasn’t there, they would have had to guess, and they might guess wrong. – Violet
🌷 Communication with your doctor is SOOOOO important. Let your doctor know what is going on with you, even if nothing is changing. Make sure that every time you go, you are address the biggest health issues you are experiencing. – Heather
🌷 When I go to the doctor, the first thing I say is an update on my condition. It makes me feel better that what is written in my records is accurate. I don’t care if I repeat myself every time. It usually sounds something like this: “I am continuing to have severe, disabling symptoms from Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease. I have severe fatigue, dizziness, and widespread pain. I cannot stand more than ten minutes or sit up more than twenty minutes most of the time. When my symptoms are bad, I need a caregiver to assist me with eating, bathing and dressing.” – Linda
🌷 Whenever I go to the doctor I spend the entire visit talking about my symptoms: which symptoms are severe, what kind of things I cannot do because of my symptoms, what kind of help I need, what side effects I am having from medications, and discussing my doctor’s suggestions for treatment. EVERY visit. This is the only thing I ever talk with my doctors about.
I asked my friend what happened during her doctor visits and she said she thought she was explaining her symptoms, but when I read her records they were filled with notes about other things: her activities, hobbies, family, and other random things. There was not very much information about how sick she was. – Dahlia
🌷 I discovered that most of my doctors were documenting my symptoms wrong (For example, I would report joint pain, and they would write nerve pain or muscle cramping).
So I decided to type up a health summary with relevant info from my medical history, plus new issues and symptoms since last visit. Then I also write and print a second page with a list of the things I need from the appointment (lab tests, med refills, paperwork to complete, urgent issues, etc).
Presenting my doctors with a copy of my symptoms that is typed and in my own words has helped to get info documented more accurately in my file. I always leave it with them, in hopes they either scan it to my file or refer to it when they make their notes about what symptoms I was experiencing. – Ann Eide