Getting the most out of your GP consultation is so important. They are your front line gateway to the next level of care if needed. In the early days of Ellie’s journey, I assumed that the GP would have all of the answers and be in the position to fix the problems and give us a solution. The reality is very different.
I’ve come to learn that I, as Ellie’s primary carer am in the best position to provide the information that will assist the medical professionals involved with her treatment.
I wanted to share a few things I have learned along the way.
As simple as it sounds, a diary documenting things has formed a great communication tool for me to prepare for appointments with either her GP or Consultant.
I didn’t realise in the beginning that Eczema is a symptom of a bigger picture. Quite often with Atopic disease, finding a trigger is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Sometimes it can be the most innocent of things that is causing the problem but that won’t always become apparent until you have got some clear correlations. Once you have unlocked the potential triggers, together with the right advice from your Medical professional, you can work towards making things better.
Having confidence to ask questions is a must too! In the early days, I was sent away with lotions and potions and I didn’t really know what I was doing with them. I always get people to write things down for me now if I am unsure of what they are telling me to do. Knowing the amounts of medication/topical treatments you have to use, the duration and also about stepping down steroid use will all contribute to a better outcome for your little one. Pharmacists are a wonderful bank of knowledge if you ever forget anything. If the balance is out of kilter anywhere, it can cause problems and rebound flares. No body told me about rebound flares! Now I know about them, I know that stepping down the steroid gradually makes for an easier life!
Writing down what is working well, what isn’t going so well and what questions I have is a must too. Sometimes I would leave appointments feeling like I hadn’t accomplished what I had set out to do. This stopped that from happening.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is communication is key! Consider your relationships with medical professionals as a partnership, they can only give out advice based on what your put in. The more detailed the picture you give them, the better chance of them completing the jigsaw puzzle and providing a successful treatment outcome for your little one!