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Any advice on improving my next visit with my movement disorder specialist? The time spent on an office visit is so limited I want to take advantage of my time.




You’re right; the time allotted for your visit with your neurologist seems shorter than in years past, so being prepared is more important now than ever. One suggestion I have is to keep a “Symptom Diary or Tracker.” Paper or digital versions are available; you must choose one you will use consistently.

 

Motor and non-motor symptoms vary with each individual living with PD. Your physician sees a snapshot of you on a particular day and at one time. If your meds work, you may look great, and they will assume you are doing fine. It is your responsibility to have the most critical issues ready to discuss. You will be prepared to show what is happening and when by tracking your symptoms. Your neurologist can add your notes to your medical record and track your improvement or decline. Your visit will be more productive, and you will get the help you need.

 

The American Parkinson Disease Association has a user-friendly version. Go to their website, www.apdaparkinson.org, to download and start using. Begin your next visit by discussing the issues that are a concern. Your physician will be impressed, and thank you for making their job easier. Paper trackers are found online and are just as helpful if technology is still a mystery. Find a method that will make you a better advocate for your care and use it.



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