My clients often talk about quality of life with me. And I often ask them if they are having this conversation with their physician. Are you?
This discussion needs to go way beyond getting your answers to "How are you doing on the medications?" Quality of life discussions should include topics like emotions and depression, sleep, staying reasonably active doing things you love, personal relationships, loss of sexual desire… and all of the other aspects of life that contribute to life satisfaction.
Sure, chronic conditions result in change. But by asking questions and working closely with your physician, you can get to a new normal that allows you to be the best possible you.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of patients acting as their own advocate, understanding their condition and its treatment, monitoring themselves, reporting how they feel and asking questions.
What aspects of your life make you feel good? What aspects make you not feel so good? What are you missing in life? What have you given up? These might be some topics to think about, maybe to write about in a journal. Does your physician know what's going on in your life? You might want to make a list of concerns and questions and bring them in with you for your next appointment.
Are you having these discussions with your physician? If not, it might be time to get the conversation started. As the saying goes, it can't hurt to ask. I would add that it also can't hurt to tell. And then to have a conversation.
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