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10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Are Newly Diagnosed

It can often be very difficult to know what to ask or even where to begin when you have questions for your doctor at your first appointment for thyroid eye disease. Community members have expressed feeling easily overwhelmed and very nervous at their first appointment.

Organzing the thoughts in your head

The doctor should ask if you have questions or concerns, but it can be difficult to ask a question if you do not even know what you should be asking. Many times, you may feel confused about where to even start.

It can feel very difficult to put words to the thoughts that may be swirling around in your head, especially at that first appointment. Sometimes it can feel as if you do not even know what you are confused about or what your concerns are until you leave the appointment and you no longer have your doctor in front of you to ask questions.

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A million questions with no answers

No one wants to leave an appointment feeling like they have a million questions and no answers. This can lead to feeling anxious and frustrated, maybe even scared. Pile that on top of an already complicated disease like thyroid eye disease (TED), and it can start quite a downward spiral.

We have compiled a list of some common questions that may be helpful to have on hand for your first few doctor's appointments.

It may seem like quite a few questions, but remember you do not have to ask all of them. This is simply a list of questions that can act as a guide during those first couple of appointments.

  • What are my options for treatment and the pros/cons of each?
  • What will happen if I choose not to treat my condition at this time?
  • Are there dietary or supplement changes you would suggest I make?
  • What are the potential side effects of my treatment options?
  • How are appointments, refills, questions, or concerns handled? What are the procedures medicine refills?
  • How often can I expect to be seen by the doctor for my condition? Will I always see the same doctor?
  • How do I access my test and lab results?
  • Do I have to decide today on treatment, or can I take a week and think it over?
  • If I have a question or concern between appointments, can I call the office, email, or send a message with MyChart (if available)?
  • Question for a specialist: If I become sick with a possible infection, should I contact you or my primary care doctor? (This is important to ask especially if you are prescribed medicine that lowers your immune system.)
    When you know the right questions to ask, that is the first step to help you better plan and prepare for your journey with TED.

A new diagnosis can be scary

Being newly diagnosed with TED can be scary, and it can be hard to know what to expect. At first, it can feel like you are learning a foreign language. Test results, medicines, and side effects may be difficult to understand. Sometimes, it can feel like making an educated decision about your own health feels impossible.

What questions do you wish you had asked at those first appointments when you were newly diagnosed with thyroid eye disease? Let us know in the comments!

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