Patient Wisdom

Patient Wisdom

Question 17: Do you take anyone with you to your appointments? Why?


Factoid: Patients find it helpful to have someone on their side who will look out for their best interests and help navigate the confusing healthcare system–in other words, an advocate. Read more information from the National Patient Safety Foundation about the benefits of taking a health advocate with you to doctors appointment. 

During the initial phases of detection, diagnosis and surgery and its aftermath, I relied heavily on my wife's accompanying me. Now that I am in a more routine surveillance phase, I find little need for that, so I am happy to do my appointments by myself (except when I might need a driver because of sedation). - Anonymous


No, I prefer to go alone. I cannot deal with my anxiety regarding LS, let alone anyone else's. It's works best for me. Besides, prepping for the colonoscopy is not fun; I prefer to be alone when doing so. - Georgia Hurst


My husband; this way, we can discuss the information provided and team together to take on this battle. And if I forget a question, he is there to remind me or think of others. Often times appts. can be emotionally taxing, so having someone there as a second set of ears is key. For those times [when] it’s bad news, he is there is comfort me. - Michelle Sutter


My husband, definitely, because he will hear everything the [doctor] says, where as I might panic and tune out. - Lara Breunig


Not before the ileostomy, as I would then have some nice time to myself afterwards and no-one would have been available every 6 months for 21 years. Now, I need my partner to take me, as I need at least a sedative. Before was just a sigmoidoscope. - Elaine Duxbury


I take my mom because I am often sick when I do go, so I need a second pair of ears and someone to remind me of the questions I wanted to ask. - Brenda Harbin


Sometimes. Not as much now that I'm older. I like being in charge of my care and advocating for myself if I need to. I also like learning more about my disease from conversations with my doctor. - Alyssa Zeigler


My appts. are usually mandatory to have someone as it's a day [surgical] procedure; if not, I just go alone. This last time (Endoscopic Barrett’s surgery) was the first time my sister and brother w/ wife came with me due to my extreme fear. - April Wood


My parents…I was diagnosed right at the cusp of embracing true independence, but my diagnoses have led to me needing to live at home for the time being. Although I'm sometimes uncomfortable with them there, we have a strong relationship and I've always felt compelled to share major issues in my life with them. - Dakota


I’ve taken my wife before. It is good to have your spouse or partner to be there with you to educate them as well. Sometimes they remember things the doctor says that you don't. - Brian Hanson


I used to when I was younger as a support and someone to ask any questions that I hadn’t thought of. Also, it’s another set of ears; afterwards, it was good to have a chat with that person about what had just been discussed to ensure I got all the information, too. But now, I don’t as I know exactly what I want and I write everything down. - Claire McIntosh


My mom. It's hard to remember everything, especially while on treatment. She is like my personal health manager. - Emily Wilson


Initially, the first year of testing/surgery/post-op, my mom came with me. But now that things seem routine, I go alone. - Janet Weistock


Spouse or parent for support so they will understand what I'm going through and up against . - Niki Mitchell


No. I do not as I know my doctor and team well and its like going to meet the extended family. I would not take anyone for a scope as its a pain to sit and wait but they no longer discharge without someone picking me up. I stay awake for my scopes without meds so [I] do not see the need for anyone to go with me. - Kari


My wife, because she is where my strength comes from to not let this disease defeat me. - Alan Wolf


I take one of my sisters if I know it is going to be an important appointment. For example, if I am seeing a surgeon for the first time or getting test results. - Brenda Harbin


I always take my wife. You need someone else there in case your medication makes you woozy and you forget what was said. - Anonymous Usually just my husband; he has always been by my side for anything I go through, even if he doesn't have what I have. - Melanie Hirschi


I take my fiance. I get nervous and he remembers a lot for me. - Marguerite Winters


My husband always comes with me. We are a team in this and tacKelly Livingstone it together. If I weren't married, my parents would be my next choice. - Brooke Porretti


I usually go by myself. But I think it is a good idea to take someone who cares about you. Sometimes you may hear something one way, and really it was presented differently. - Allison Brewer


My husband; he is my main support partner and Two sets of ears and eyes are better than one set. He can ask questions and let the doctor know how I am doing from his point of view. When my mom was alive, she would go with us to doctor appointments, too, if she was visiting us. - Betty Starr


These days, I usually attend by myself unless I need to be knocked out for a scope. When I was a teenager, both parents would take me. When I was in my 20s my boyfriend, now husband, would go with me. - Anonymous


My husband. He wants to hear first hand what the doctors says and be able to ask his questions right away. We have used the rest of the day for lunch or shopping. - Tami Arnold


Ever since I was diagnosed in 4th grades, my parents have always come with me to all my appointments. For a while, I was under 18 and needed them to come by law. But now that I am over 18, I still have them come. They are supportive and make sure questions are asked. - Anonymous


Sometimes my wife goes with me if they find something new. - Theron Perkins


I had to for quite awhile because I was not able to navigate or drive.  At the 2 yr post op my daughters came to celebrate with the surgeon!  It was wonderful. I go alone now and I report everything to the girls. I write everything down. I keep a folder of all the data. - Sandra Redlands


My husband. Because he's my best friend. He understands the extent of my sickness. - Anonymous


Sometimes, but it depends on who is available when. I usually turn to them for distraction during unpleasant tests (or being stuck with needles). - Morgan


Yes, so I have a second ear to listen. I can be very forgetful with how exhausted I always am. -Whitley Buckles


We go to all appointments as a family. - Suzanne Pilon

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