Here’s a 6-step guide to help you prepare ahead and be proactive for your next visit with your hep C doctor.

  1. If this is your first visit, be prepared to give the following information; health insurance information, medical history, family health history, contact information for all your healthcare providers, liver ultrasound, or imaging reports and blood work reports.
  1. Write down a list of all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If this is a follow-up visit, make note of any changes in your medication since your last visit.
  1. Write down any symptoms, or side effects you have been experiencing; when it began, what, if anything brought relief, and details of what you are experiencing. It’s best to write this down and take your note with you to the doctor. You may think you’ll remember, but at times it’s easy to forget vital information when you’re talking with your doctor. If this is a follow-up visit, discuss any changes to your symptoms or side effects since you last saw the doctor.
  1. Write down and discuss with your doctor any concerns you have about your condition with Hep C or medication. Ask your doctor if there is something specific you need or don’t need to do. Be sure to ask what over-the-counter medication, vitamins or supplements are safe for you to take.
  1. Talk to your doctor about any tests you either need to have done or have done. Ask details about these tests; what is the name of the test, why do I need the test, what is the doctor looking for from the test, what is the normal or not normal range for each test, how often will I need to repeat these tests? Ask for copies of the report to keep for your file at home.

     6. Talk to your doctor about treatment options that are best for your liver and medical condition. Ask what is the best option and why? What can you expect from treatment? What are treatment side effects? How long is treatment recommended for your condition? What is the cure rate? What tests need to be done during and after treatment? How often will you need to see the doctor during treatment? Is there anything you need to do or not do during treatment? When can you start treatment? Will treatment meds come from a specialty pharmacy or regular pharmacy? Ask about any concerns you have. The doctor’s nurse will also be able to help answer questions.

Do you have a question or comment about preparing for your doctor’s visit? Do you have a good tip to share?

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This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C on April 28, 2021 and is reprinted with permission.