Preparing for Your First Visit to Your ADHD Doctor – Part IV: Getting Organized

Get Organized:

Purchase:

  • 3 ring showcase binder

  • tabbed 3 ring binder dividers 

  • lined loose leaf paper

  • a 3-ring CLOTH pencil case     

  • a portable 3 ring-3 hole punch

  • 2 different color highlighters    

  • 2 NEW pens   

  • 2 different size, brightly colored, sticky notes: small to flag a line on a page, medium to post reminders  

  • 2 black magic markers for writing reminders on sticky notes to be posted

  • index cards  

Use the binder to create a personal health journal for yourself, or your child.  This binder is for all ADHD related papers, and information, so you can quickly access and refer to it when needed. It is a good idea to take the binder with you to any ADHD related appointments. Then when your doctor asks how your child is doing in school, you can quickly share the latest note home, or report card. In the end, you will have a complete history of your journey through the ADD maze. You will have a record of what worked for you, or your child, and what didn’t. You will have your own instant, personal, referral source to go to when you face future obstacles.

Set up the following sections:

  • Medical History: Your, or your child’s medical history. Give this some thought prior to your appointment and write down the dates of any major illnesses and surgeries. Also, be aware of any major illnesses, conditions, behavioral and/or learning difficulties of your parents’ and siblings. Think about your entire extended family. Some doctors require a thorough family history, others do not. It is better to be prepared.
  • Name of Doctor’s Practice:  for doctor-related business: (Your copies of any of the doctor’s practice policies re: cancellation, payment, letters from your doctor, etc)
  • Professional evaluations, school records,etc. File all evaluations, report cards, teacher notes here.
  • Lab Results: Some medications are monitored by reviewing the results of the amount of the medication in your blood, done via blood work. Also, sometimes a doctor will order blood work to rule out co-occurring conditions. (i.e.: vitamin/iron deficiency, thyroid conditions, etc.)
  • Q & A:  to record questions for upcoming doctor’s visit & notes on answers given during appointments. Before the first appointment, Prepare a list of symptoms, concerns, fears, and questions for the doctor in this section.  Chances are, once you are sitting in the chair at the doctor’s office, you will forget a high percentage of everything that you intended to discuss. Once the doctor begins asking questions, it is easy to forget any additional concerns or questions you may have. Having this information in writing will help you remember your agenda, so you don’t leave the appointment without the information you wanted.
  • Journal: to record anything significant that occurs between appointments so it is easily accessible to share with the doctor, at your next appointment.
  • Medication: to log each new medication tried, each increase, or decrease in dose, date started and stopped. If medication discontinued, a note as to why it was stopped.
  • Notes: It is strongly recommended that you take notes during all doctor, therapy, coaching, school appointments, etc..   It is also a good idea to write out thoughts, questions that occur to you between appointments. With easy access & easy recall, appointment time is better spent, than if trying to recall from memory, or looking through messy files, after the fact.
  • Medication Monitoring: medication symptom and side effect checklists

This binder can become a major tool for your long term success. It will become your own personal ADHD  encyclopedia. If set up, and used properly, it will not only be your way out of your present state, but will be a means to stay focused. Should you fall off track over time,  looking through your binder will help you quickly recall what worked, and what didn’t, along your ADD journey.

Next: Preparing for Your First Visit to Your ADHD Doctor: Part V Coming Soon!

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About addcoach1

This internet blog is written by Regina Cashman, M.A., an ADHD Coach with a nationwide internet practice. Regina previously worked as a Medical Psychotherapist for Human Developmental Services before opening her private practice as an ADHD LifeCoach, helping to manage the multiple interventions and psycho-education of those with ADHD. Regina's website, ADDCoach Services, is found at www.ADDCoach.info. Appointments are by video chat. ADD Coach Services helps individuals with ADD/ADHD, and those who love them, navigate the ADD maze so as to Master their ADD, rather than be mastered by it. Please provide comments and feedback!
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